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AIMS: Holden primes show trio

Hatched: Holden is likely to debut the Australian-designed, locally-built Cruze hatchback at AIMS.

New Cruze hatch, Barina and Colorado all expected to jump into Holden’s spotlight

24 Jun 2011

THREE crucial new models in the Holden pipeline are likely to get their first Australian public airing in a triple treat for Holden fans at the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) in Melbourne from July 1.

The Australian-designed, locally-built Holden Cruze hatchback, new-generation Barina light car and redesigned Colorado ute have all been seen in various Chevrolet guises at overseas motor shows, paving the way for Holden to step up to the plate with its lion-badged versions at the only local major motor show for 2011.

Holden is a serial surprise puller at Australian motor shows, and it is possible that something else might arrive on the stand on show day, but the five-door Cruze – which is due for imminent showroom release alongside the existing locally-built sedan – and the new Korean-built Barina that is due on sale around October are virtual certainties.

Although the next Thai-built Colorado one-tonner is not due here until early 2012, Holden is likely to show a version of the new vehicle, if only to fire a shot across the bows of rivals Ford, Toyota and Mazda, who will all show new production models of their respective Ranger, HiLux and BT-50 one-tonners in Melbourne.

13 center imageFrom top: Chevrolet Aveo, Sonic, Colorado, Colorado Rally Concept.

An extended-cab concept called the Chevrolet Colorado Show Truck was unveiled at the Bangkok motor show in March, before General Motors revealed a highly-modified 4x4 crew-cab concept called Colorado Rally this month at the Buenos Aires International Motor Show in Argentina.

The Cruze hatch – designed by Holden in Melbourne – has already been launched in Britain and South Korea in Chevrolet trim.

The Holdenised version will enter production alongside the Series II sedan at the Elizabeth factory in South Australia in the final quarter of this year, potentially elevating the Holden small car to number-one status in Australia.

So far this year, the Cruze has been a rare sales highlight for Holden, with sales of the four-cylinder car up 13.4 per cent. Overall Holden sales are down 9.3 per cent in a market that has slipped 5.3 per cent.

Holden has released images of the Holden Cruze hatch, which has been undergoing testing undisguised on public roads recently.

GM’s global Aveo/Sonic light car will be transformed into the Holden Barina for the show ahead of its fourth quarter launch in Australia, where its is sorely needed to revive Holden’s light car sales.

Sales of the current Daewoo-based model have slumped 55 per cent this year, although some of those sales might be going to its smaller, newer and cheaper namesake, the Barina Spark.

The Chevrolet Aveo was revealed in five-door concept form at the Detroit motor show last year, before being wheeled out in production guise at the Paris motor show in September.

A sedan version, called the Sonic, was revealed at this year’s Detroit motor show and has also being confirmed for the local Barina line-up by Holden, but not until some time in 2012.

Also on Holden’s launch pad for Australia is a hot version of the Barina hatch – revealed as the Sonic Z Spec concept at Detroit – powered by the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine found in the Series II Cruze sedan. But again, that might not arrive until 2012.

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1st of January 1970

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