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Holden bombshell: Next-gen Commodore is go

Commodore lives: Holden's legendary Commodore will live on after 2016 afterall, with a new model already under development.

GM Holden chief confirms Australia will build the 2017 ‘VJ’ Commodore

8 Feb 2013

HOLDEN has confirmed that the design and development of the next-generation Commodore has commenced in Australia for release late in 2016.

A complete model change from the upcoming, VE-Commodore derived VF, the ‘VJ’ will be built alongside the future Cruze and its spin-offs at the Elizabeth plant in Adelaide.

Dropping a bombshell at the media design unveiling of the VF Commodore SS V and Calais V at Holden’s Fishermans Bend headquarters in Melbourne today, chairman and managing director Mike Devereux said it was now time to end speculation, conjecture and debate about the future of the large car in Australia.

While he would not reveal any details about the platform or engineering of the next Commodore – including whether it will switch to front-wheel or all-wheel drive – Mr Devereux said that there was never any doubt or debate about the future of the series.

GoAuto has also learned that design mock-ups have already been made for several proposals, with one senior Holden member confirming that the styling process is well under way.

However, Mr Devereux would not divulge whether the long speculated compact SUV would be built alongside the next-generation Cruze due in 2014.

Further details of the ‘VJ’ Commodore will be released closer to the car’s release in late 2016.

“In the immortal words of the late Steve Jobs, a lot of folks have been speculating about whether this is the last Commodore,” Mr Devereux said.

“Well, I can categorically tell you that we have already begun working on the Commodore that comes after this one.

“The interesting thing about the fascination of the Commodore name – and frankly it’s the reason why I wanted to lay that down today to end any speculation – is that people love this nameplate, and that we are going to have another one of these.

13 center imageFrom top: GM Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux Holden Commodore VF prototype Holden Commdore VE Series II.

“Right now we haven’t even launched and haven’t even started building the one we call VF, so we’ll leave all that speculation for years from now.”

Mr Devereux also made it clear that he was talking about a next-generation and all-new car rather than just a facelift.

“Absolutely,” he said when GoAuto asked him that question. “Not at all (is it just a facelift).

“General Motors has started working on it, the team here is obviously involved in that, as we are involved in all sorts of different things.” Mr Devereux refused to elaborate on whether the ‘VJ’ will be on a different architecture to the 2006 VE-based Zeta platform that is also underpinning the VF.

“The (VF) will run to the end of 2016, and after that time we will be putting two global architectures into the plant, and one of them will underpin the next Commodore … the Commodore that replaces the VF.

“We’re going to build a new Commodore coming after this one, we’re going to build it in Adelaide on a fantastic architecture, and you will have to wait about three years to find out what that is.

“We will launch another Commodore after this one … and I will say no more of it.”

Asked if Holden expects the next-generation Commodore’s sales to return to the halcyon days of previous models, Mr Devereux said that the world is a very different place nowadays.

“I think the time of any one vehicle of any nameplate from any company to sell one-tenth of all the cars sold in any country is an illogical assumption to make,” he said.

“I mean, what was the best-selling car of last year selling … 45,000 units? If you think about it – and this is what frustrates me – if you take a look at 10 years ago compared to now as far as car sales are concerned, “The days of one car sold by anybody to account for one-tenth of all sales in a country – it doesn’t happen anywhere on the planet. And that’s got nothing to do with Commodore – that’s human tastes, that’s fragmentation of markets … the job of each car in a portfolio has to do is very different to where those vehicles were at 10 years ago. You got small, medium and large size SUVs you got utes that are more car-like and frankly family cars.” Finally, Mr Devereux added that there was no discussion within Holden as to whether the Commodore should live on beyond 2016.

“We had absolutely no debates over it … zero debates about it.”

The ‘VJ’ codename, by the way, has not been confirmed by Holden, but is speculated to be the next in line after VF, since the VG was the first Commodore ute of 1990, while the VH was launched in 1981.

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