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Delhi show: Chevrolet’s Adra comes courtesy of Holden

Up on the roof: Melbourne’s skyline is visible behind this image of the Chevrolet Adra concept, which was fabricated in Holden’s Australian technical centre.

Holden designers guide Indian counterparts through Chev Adra compact SUV project

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Chevrolet logo5 Feb 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

GENERAL Motors today pulled the covers from its smallest SUV, the Chevrolet Adra, and confirmed that the tiny concept vehicle was a collaborative design project by GM India and GM Holden.

The little five-door wagon, which is under four metres long to qualify for tax breaks in India, makes its debut this week at the 2014 New Delhi motor show – the sub-continent’s biggest auto expo.

The project reveals the new world order for Holden, whose design studios survived the chop in GM’s axing of its Australian manufacturing and engineering operations from the end of 2017.

Holden’s design team is not only working on various design projects for GM sister companies – including a concept to be shown at the upcoming New York motor show - but also mentoring fledging design operations in developing markets such as India.

GM says the Adra has been designed specifically for the Indian market, meaning it is unlikely to be exported to Australia where Holden already sells the Korean-made Trax in the small SUV segment.

While the Trax is 4278mm long, the Adra will be somewhat truncated at under 4000mm, and unlikely to be considered for this market.

Said Holden national manager of product communications Kate Lonsdale: “This is purely a concept car at this stage specifically designed for the Indian market.” The sole image released today by Holden shows the Adra perched on the roof of its Fishermans Bend head office car park, with Melbourne’s distinctive skyline in the background.

As GoAuto exclusively reported, the Adra was fabricated by Holden at its Melbourne design centre as part of a joint venture with its GM India design team at the GM Technical Centre India.

Holden said in a statement accompanying the image that the Adra was conceived, designed and developed by GM India, with Holden designers supporting the vehicle’s development in their mentoring role for GM’s fledgling operations in developing markets.

The car was then taken to the clay model stage at Holden’s design studios, and then finally fabricated it its work shops.

Holden is only one of two GM design centres that can take a car all the way from design concept to production-ready prototype.

Melbourne-based GM International Operations (GMIO) design executive director Michael Simcoe said the Chevrolet Adra clearly illustrated GM’s collaborative approach to global design programs.

“Traditionally, work that took place in Australia would be seen on Australian roads,” he said. “That’s no longer how we operate.

“Today, GM designers work on global programs, the majority of which are for international markets and Adra is a perfect example of this.

“The concept clearly showcases GM India’s impressive creative design talent and strong understanding of this emerging market.

“And Holden’s design capabilities are recognised worldwide. They have a reputation for being a mature and highly experienced design centre with incredible scope including creative design, clay modelling, animation, colour and trim and fabrication.

“The end result is a show car that is sure to impress the Indian public and one that GM India should be incredibly proud.” Stopping short of saying if the Adra will go into production, GM India said the SUV concept was designed to meet the unique needs of the Indian consumer and fulfil the demands of next-generation car buyer.

“With all the benefits of a traditional SUV in a small and affordable vehicle, Adra boasts stunning design, all-round visibility, high ground clearance, generous interior space and emotional appeal,” the company said.

GM India said the concept was “testament that Chevrolet is committed to introducing products that meets Indian needs”.

In India, the Adra would give Chevrolet a rival for Ford’s Indian-built EcoSport and Renault Duster, both of which are under four metres long and therefore qualify for Indian tax breaks designed to foster compact, more fuel efficient vehicles on India’s crowded roads.

No powertrains have yet been revealed for the Adra, but Indian media reports speculate it will get a 1.3-litre diesel.

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