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Holden’s Daytona 500 debut is “supercool”
GM Holden boss rapt at 2013 racing prospects for Holden’s new Commodore
13 Sep 2012
By IAN PORTER
GM HOLDEN chairman and managing director Mike Devereux can hardly contain his delight over the fact that Chevrolet has decided to use the Commodore-based Chevy SS as its Nascar stock car in 2013.
The Chevy SS Nascar vehicle – essentially a Chevy SS silhouette body over a strictly controlled chassis and engine setup – will make its debut in February at the Daytona 500 season opener.
“That is the biggest stage in motor racing in the US,” Mr Devereux said at a Holden Volt pre-launch function.
“Half a million people are going to be there, 12.5 million watching on TV. We’re going to be supplying the racecar in the form of the VF Commodore.
“That, I think, is supercool.”
It’s the sort of marketing jump-start any exporter into the US market could wish for.
“The great thing about having a VF Commodore underpinning the Chevy SS next year is that you make a very nice link to a real car in a showroom, when people who are NASCAR fans are able to go and buy a kick-arse V8 rear-wheel drive sports sedan at the top of the Chevy range,” Mr Devereux said.
Mr Devereux said he was also looking forward to the entry of new brands into the Australian V8 Supercar series.
From top: Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux Holden V8 Supercar.
He said he believed the V8 Supercar series – which was recently sold to a private equity fund, similar to the one that owns most of Formula 1 –had a “very bright” future.
He said he did not think the marketing benefit for Holden would be diminished when Nissan – and perhaps others – joined Ford and Holden in the series next year.
“I think we have seen this movie before it’s called Nascar,” Mr Devereux said.
“When Toyota got into Nascar, nothing but goodness happened for that series.
“This is a great thing (in Australia). I would expect you will see more than just Nissan get into V8 Supercars. It’s not just a press release when we say the more the merrier.
“I think it’s much better for our brand to be associated with other world-class automakers in way that doesn’t seem like a little walled garden between Ford and GM, so I welcome it whole heartedly.”
Asked what it did for Chevrolet’s image in the US when its Nascar entries were beaten by a Toyota Camry, Mr Devereux said: “People get it.
“They understand that it’s got the same engine that the other guys have. It’s the same damn body shell.
“People get it. I think we sell people short when we assume that they think it is exactly the same car (as a Camry).
“The Chevrolet Impala Nascar racer is based on a front-wheel drive with a V6 engine.
“We think there is a great tie-in – that we have here with our V8 Commodores.
“The whole notion of other brands being involved here will help contemporise the image of Holden and not have it be in this walled garden.
“Skaifey (former V8 Supercars champion Mark Skaife) says the same thing. Don’t stop at Nissan, bring other guys in. It will be better for the fans, too. More competition is a good thing.”
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