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Monaro not dead - yet!

Rip-snorter: VZ Monaro will not be discontinued when VE Commodore hits showrooms early next year.

Monaro will continue on sale alongside next-gen VE Commodore - for the time being

19 May 2005

NEWS that General Motors had postponed the Zeta rear-drive architecture has given heart to Monaro aficionados that a replacement for the current VZ-based coupe might be built on the forthcoming VE series Commodore platform.

The thinking was that under the Zeta program, Pontiac was going to design its own version of the Monaro-based GTO and build it in the United States.

Holden could then import the car to Australia as a Monaro under the free-trade agreement with the US.

But the cloud over the Zeta program has given new heart for those who would like to see the Monaro based on the VE Commodore.

That’s the scuttlebutt.

In an exclusive interview with GoAuto, Holden chairman and managing director, Denny Mooney, said discussion about the next Pontiac GTO being built in the US was just speculation.

"People were jumping the gun on that. We had not made those decisions," Mr Mooney said.

So what is going on? Monaro has a future, but not necessarily on the VE Commodore platform.

Holden officials are saying that the Monaro – and the Pontiac GTO – built on a VZ Commodore platform will continue.

Holden executive director of engineering, Tony Hyde, said that Monaro had a finite life but the current shell would continue for Pontiac for as long as Pontiac could justify a business case for it.

He said Monaro would continue to be made after the VE architecture was launched as a sedan and wagon next year because it took a time-line of about six years to engineer and introduce all the variants on the Commodore architecture.

When the VT was launched in 1997, it was a sedan and a wagon. In 1999, the long-wheelbase models were added, followed by the Ute in 2000, the Monaro in 2001 and later the crew-cab, chassis-cab and Adventra AWD.

This means that Holden will make both the VE Commodore wagon and sedan alongside the remaining VZ models.

"We have no choice but to do this on a rolling process. Whatever models still make business sense at that time will be included in the rolling process," Mr Hyde said.

So if you want Holden to build Monaros on the VE platform, you’d better keep buying them.

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