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Holden taps Chevy for Silverado

Hi ho silver: Holden is bringing in a five-deep range of Silverados in two sizes very large and very, very large.

Chevy’s big Silverado truck set to be converted and sold locally alongside Camaro


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8 Dec 2017

HOLDEN is set to offer a full-sized pick-up truck in its arsenal next year, with the company announcing that it will import the Chevrolet Silverado from the United States in partnership with Holden Special Vehicles.

Five crew-cab models will be imported in a variety of model trims, and all will have the same powertrain a Duramax 6.6-litre turbocharged diesel engine that makes 332kW and a whopping 1234Nm.

A heavy duty Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission has been specified for Australian vehicles over and above the standard six-speed automatic supplied with the car, and all models will have a locking rear differential as standard.

The Silverado will join the Chevrolet Camaro at the new HSV plant in Melbourne where it will be converted to right-hand drive on-site.

Variants include the entry-level 2500HD WT, the high-grade 2500HD LTZ (the mid-grade LT is not being imported), the 2500HD LTZ Midnight limited edition, the 2500 HD LTZ Custom Sport limited edition, and the larger 3500HD LTZ.

In US trim, the base LT comes with 17-inch rims, single-zone climate control and a four-speaker stereo, while the LTZ adds items like electric sliding rear cab glass, digital radio, and the option of front collision warning, lane departure warning and hill descent control (not available on LT).

The Midnight adds 18-inch black rims, sprayed-on bedliner and black accents, while the Custom Sport adds 20-inch rims, body coloured bumpers and front and rear park assist.

The 3500HD is available in the US in either single rear wheel or dual-rear wheel form, while the LTZ specs are largely shared with the 2500HD.

No specification or pricing has been yet announced for Australia.

The 2500HD variants will commence production in Melbourne in April next year, and the 3500HD will follow later in the second quarter of the year.

Towing capacities vary between 3500kg (2500HD) and 6100kg (3500HD), while payload capacity varies from 1140kg through to 1848kg.

HSV managing director Tim Jackson said the Silverado range opened up new business opportunities for the brand.

“Whether it be farming or mining sectors, those who need to pull the large caravan, or those who simply want the load towing and load carrying capability, Silverado is the pinnacle of the GM range,” he said.

“For a number of years, the company had talked about bringing customers vehicles from around the GM world,” Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard added. “Today we’re proud to announce the next step in that strategy.”

Mr Jackson confirmed that HSV’s engineering involvement will start with the conversion of vehicles from left to right-hand drive, with no other modifications added. “These are iconic Chevys into the core, and we’ll let the bowtie speak for itself,” said Mr Jackson.

While both Holden and HSV were circumspect when it came to details about new dealership arrangements, Mr Bernhard said that “the existing HSV network would be progressively updated to carry the Chevrolet bowtie logo and branding as part of a new dealership of the future programme.”

Mr Jackson confirmed that details are still being thrashed out. “It hasn’t been fully locked in,” he told GoAuto. “Once we get all the details, we’ll let everyone know how it’s going to play.”

The Silverado will ironically compete against the Dodge Ram, which is also converted to right-hand drive in HSV’s facility. The Silverado is also imported in limited numbers by specialists' conversion outfits, such as Performax in Queensland.

Mr Jackson said that while companies aren’t prevented by law from importing and converting them, economics will dictate that it will become less attractive to do so with a factory presence in the market.

“It’s the overall package of the program in terms of the quality of the product that comes in the marketplace,” said Mr Jackson. “The sales and marketing channels, warranty backup, all those sorts of things are part of Full Volume Compliance.” While trucks the size of the Silverado and the Ram are standard fare in the United States, they so far have had limited penetration into the Australian market, which is dominated by smaller dual-cab pick-ups.

Ford has imported limited numbers of its F150 in previous years, though it has no such vehicle on its books at present. Small-scale conversion businesses also have limited penetration, thanks mainly to high retail pricing once the conversion is completed on an imported vehicle.

Mr Jackson would not be drawn on the possibility that the Silverado range would be expanded downwards to include the small 1500 range“It’s probably fair to say that we’ve got the okay for the Silverado 2500, and would develop the Silverado programme in consultation with Holden,” he said.

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