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New car brand for Walkinshaw

Exciting times: “We are looking at a much bigger picture and it does not necessarily include Holden,” says Walkinshaw marketing and media officer Tom Reynolds.

Walkinshaw working on performance pack for new brand as it looks beyond Holden

15 May 2014

LONG-TIME Holden performance car partner Walkinshaw is preparing to launch a performance package for a vehicle from another manufacturer as it spreads its wings in Australia ahead of the demise of Holden local manufacturing.

The company also has conceded that Holden might not figure in its future once the production of Commodore – the basis of its Holden Special Vehicle range since 1988 – ends in 2017.

The new Australian Walkinshaw project – set to be revealed in the fourth quarter of this year – is likely to come under the Walkinshaw Automotive Group (WAG) wing of the British-owned company founded by former Scottish racing champion Tom Walkinshaw and now controlled by his son Ryan.

Melbourne-based WAG, which this week launched a suspension-and-wheels aftermarket enhancement package called Xtreme for Holden Colorado (see separate story), is responsible within the Walkinshaw group for developing and marketing performance packages for non-V8 cars that so far have included a range of Holdens – Captiva, Barina, Spark, Cruze and now Colorado.

Another division, Walkinshaw Performance, looks after the V8 Commodore aftermarket enhancement business, including supercharged engine modifications, while the flagship company, Holden Special Vehicles, runs the official Holden factory-backed hot shop producing highly enhanced vehicles such as the ClubSport and Senator sold through a national network of HSV dealers.

Walkinshaw marketing and media officer Tom Reynolds told GoAuto today that the company had other projects under development as it looked to expand its business beyond its current boundaries.

He said that despite the “doom and gloom” surrounding the closure of the Australian car industry by Holden, Ford and Toyota, Walkinshaw was looking to new horizons.

“It is a pretty exciting time for us,” he said.

Details of the non-Holden project are still under wraps, but Mr Reynolds said it involved another manufacturer and would be rolled out before the end of the year.

“We are looking at a much bigger picture and it does not necessarily include Holden,” he said.

Over the years, the Walkinshaw company has had relationships with several other car companies, including Volvo and Jaguar, in countries such as the UK, while also dabbling in the sportscar business by taking over Australian niche manufacturer Elfin, tucking it under its Walkinshaw Performance arm.

Walkinshaw last year launched into the import business in Australia with Indian light-truck brand Tata, founding a new company, Fusion Automotive, run by former HSV executive Darren Bowler.

However, Mr Reynolds confirmed that the upcoming new project due this year was nothing to do with the Tata business that so far has concentrated on establishing the Xenon ute.

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