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More GM global projects for Holden team

Aussie fan: GM North America president Alan Batey launches Chevrolet’s new Malibu at the New York International Auto Show.

GM’s Batey praises Australian development team efforts in recent projects

General Motors logo2 Apr 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER in NEW YORK

GENERAL Motors is sticking to its commitment to use the rich resources available at Holden’s Australia development centre in the wake of successful concept and new vehicle projects such as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Buick Avenir large sedan concepts that were both produced Melbourne ahead of their reveal at January’s Detroit motor show.

Speaking at the launch of the all-new Chevrolet Malibu and facelifted Chevrolet Cruze at the New York International Auto Show today, GM North American president and former Holden chairman and managing director Alan Batey told GoAuto the global car-giant was happy with the performance of the Australian team and GM would maintain the flow of projects Down Under.

“In Detroit in January we showed a concept vehicle — the Chevrolet Bolt — and that vehicle was done by our team in Australia and they did an amazing job, so there’s a lot of capability there,” he said.

“Mark [Bernhard] and I spent a lot of time down in Australia and they’ve got amazing skills and we’re going to put that team to work no question about that.”

Mr Batey pointed to Australian designers now working around the world for GM as examples of the quality Australia could produce, saying the Holden-based development team would continue to be heavily involved in a variety of upcoming projects.

“For sure,” he said. “We have great people from down there. Mike Simcoe’s here.

If you look at what Andrew Smith is doing at Cadillac, we are rich in Australian talent and we are using it on a global scale.”

The Chevrolet Bolt concept – expected to roll out as a production electric vehicle in the US next year – was created from the ground up in Holden’s Melbourne workshops — one of only two centres in the world capable of handling every stage from scratch.

At the same time as the Bolt EV reveal, Buick also unveiled its Avenir concept — another vehicle produced with input from the Australian design and development centre.

Mr Batey wouldn’t elaborate on which vehicles the Port Melbourne centre had behind its doors but it is understood the facility is working on a variety of projects, possibly including Opel and Chevrolet collaborations to end up both on home turf as part of the Holden range and overseas.

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