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Living the dream

Proud dad: Denny Mooney with the VE Commodore SS V.

VE Commodore is the car Holden always wanted to build, says CEO Denny Mooney

19 Jul 2006

I’VE been around the business really my whole life, and been in product development for a little over 28 years, and it doesn’t get any better than this. It absolutely doesn’t get any better than this.

Welcome to GM Holden’s future. Welcome to the arrival of Australia’s first one-billion-dollar car program. To the fourth generation of Australia best-selling car for the past decade. Welcome to the premiere of Holden’s all-new 2006 VE Commodore range.

We’re here to show you a car that has travelled 3.4 million test kilometres just to be here today. A car more Australian in its design and engineering than any Holden ever before. A car which carries more global significance for us than anything we’ve ever done before.

The all-new Commodore is the largest single automotive program in this country’s history. Holden has built and sold over seven million vehicles around the world in almost six decades of local production. We’ve created more than 30 entries of family Holdens since releasing Australia’s first car back in 1948.

We’ve Australia’s longest and largest vehicle export program. And over the years, millions of Australians have owned Commodores, and in fact there are over a million Commodores on the road as we speak.

Commodore is Australia’s number-one best-selling car – and Holden is Australia’s number-one passenger-car brand. The new Commodore is a serious commitment to Australia by any definition.

We’ve invested more than one billion dollars in this product program alone. In fact, our total Australian investment over the past decade is a staggering $6.1 billion.

With that kind of investment, we could have provided three City Link road projects here in Melbourne or, believe it not, four M7 Motorways in Sydney. Pretty serious commitment. And by any measure, today is a big day for the Australian car industry and VE is a big car for the future of Holden. The future is what it’s all about – history counts for little right now.

13 center imageAnd the only thing that matters really for us is that the Commodore is a world-class car, capable of competing in any market around the world. Our targets have been some of the most expensive and carefully crafted cars anywhere in the world. And this careful consideration of global expectations is what should make this car work.

We pored over every panel, the tiniest of details to put this car right up there in terms of refinement. We think our cars will deliver more technology and more features than ever before. We believe they deliver exceptional ride and handling, exceptional performance, great quality and, really, unquestionable value.

They are comfortable and fun to drive over short or long distances, in the city or in the country, on some of the most diverse and demanding road surfaces anywhere in the world.

The need to be successful in any market around the world is what really makes Commodore so special to everyone here at Holden, and really to the entire Australian car industry.

Our chief engineer Tony Hyde, who has been around this company for over 37 years, he really sums it up best. Tony says: "VE Commodore is the car we always wanted to build." And I think that says a lot.

We’re under no illusions about the competitive environment, where history counts for little. "Buying Australian" counts for little. In this day and age, cars must succeed on merit – not on ancestry. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved with the all-new Commodore.

We know Australians still enjoy large cars and we know they want safety, roominess and style in these cars. And the only way to deliver that is, obviously, with great cars – cars that people really want to buy.

We know it’s a world where great cars rule. We have designed, engineered and manufactured this range, we believe to compete anywhere in the world. It’s been designed by Australians, for Australians, with clear international intent and expertise.

VE Commodore is about cars that people really want. And it’s the car Holden always wanted to build. You know, we’ve had the chance to live our dream – and you see it here today.

This is an edited extract of Holden CEO Denny Mooney's speech on Sunday.

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