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New Holden Commodore set for a short six years

Six shooter: Holden has confirmed that the ZB Commodore will have just s ix-year lifecycle in Australia.

Holden MD confirms supplier Opel cannot re-enter Australia during Commodore stint

6 Feb 2018

HOLDEN has confirmed that the new ZB Commodore to be released in Australia at the end of this month is set to have the shortest ever run in the nameplate’s 40-year career in this country at just six years, which is nearly half the lifespan of the preceding VE/VF generation and three years shy of the nine years enjoyed by the VT-VZ and VN-VS released in 1997 and 1988 respectively.

At the same time, Opel won’t be able to compete against Holden in Australia now that it is fully owned by Groupe PSA (makers of Peugeot and Citroen among other brands) until the supply contract for Commodore and the Astra hatch/wagon finishes in 2024.

Speaking at the launch of the brand’s first imported and front-wheel-drive/all-wheel drive large car, Holden chairman and managing director, Mark Bernhard, confirmed that the Commodore timeline is in line with the original agreement reached with Opel before PSA took over the German marque from General Motors last year.

“The new Commodore will follow the typical lifecycle of a vehicle, so that will be from launch through to the next six years or so,” he told GoAuto at the ZB’s launch in Melbourne this week. “There are no limitations at all… and absolutely no change. It is as it was before the agreement with PSA.”

Mr Bernhard added that it is too early to think about what a post-Opel successor to the Commodore might be.

“We’re not at a point where we need to make those decisions,” he said. “At some point of the future obviously, but today we know we have a vehicle that is shared on a global basis with Opel and Buick and Holden. With the Australian version we’ve had our design and engineering team all over the product and that’s what gives it its unique Australian character for Australian drivers and Australian conditions.” Mr Bernhard also confirmed that Opel as a standalone brand under PSA is most likely contractually barred from re-entering the Australian market until its supply agreement with Holden for Commodore and Astra hatch/wagon ends in six years.

“They can’t with this (Commodore),” he said. “This is our car and the Astra is our car. I’ll have to check, but I don’t think they can do that. They can’t come back as Opel in the interim (either).”

As reported by GoAuto in November, PSA revealed that by 2024 all Opel models will switch from GM to PSA platforms and powertrains, with the aim to boost the German marque’s reach into new export markets.

Reports from late last week have stated that Australia is a desired destination for the Opel brand once again, however that is likely to only happen once its integration with PSA is complete.

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