GM confirms Australian future post-Holden
Holden's parent company has confirmed its next chapter in Australia, which will involve American utes and sports cars sold locally under the new "GMSV" brand.
GMSV, or General Motors Special Vehicles, effectively replaces Holden Special Vehicles in Australia. The new business will initially offer Chevrolet Silverado pick-up trucks converted to right-hand-drive by the Walkinshaw Automotive Group in Melbourne, as well as a new Chevrolet Corvette built in North America next year.
Right-hand-drive production of the first mid-engine Corvette has been delayed, but plans to introduce the car locally are on track.
HSV finished its run of two-door Camaro muscle car conversions earlier this year, but hasn't ruled out another batch of high-performance Camaro models in the future.
The new business will open its doors through a network of dealers in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Former Holden executive Joanne Stogiannis will lead the company.
Ryan Walkinshaw, director of the Walkinshaw Automotive Group, said his business was pleased to continue its 33-year association with General Motors.
"We're able to keep significant automotive employment in Victoria through this new business and continue to bring exciting product to market which is core to the Walkinshaw Group's DNA," he said.
"We've developed unique engineering expertise in producing OEM standard right-hand drive conversions at scale, and we look forward to working closely with GMSV in this new era."
The announcement comes in the midst of a dispute between former Holden dealers and General Motors over compensation for the brand leaving abruptly earlier this year.
Head of the Australian Automotive Dealer Association, James Voortman, said the decision to launch GMSV is surprising.
"The launch of GMSV poses many questions and it seems unthinkable that shortly after ruthlessly dismantling the Holden Dealer network GM can simply be allowed to launch a new brand," said Mr Voortman.
"GM remains in dispute with a number of Dealers and most who have settled did so under duress, accepting the inadequate compensation on offer. Even a last minute request from the Federal Government to settle the dispute through arbitration was rebuffed by GM.
"GM has burned so much goodwill after taking so much from Australian taxpayers, yet here they are about to start another business," he said.
Originally published as GM confirms Australian future post-Holden