There's life in the Commodore yet, with Holden planning to build and ship 1,000 left-hand-drive cars to the USA before its factory closes in the second half of next year.
The cars, to be badged the Chevrolet SS, will be built in Holden's Elizabeth manufacturing plant in the final quarter of this year, with the 1,000-vehicle order an unexpected bonus on top of the existing export agreement, in place since 2013. Despite relatively small sales, the Chevrolet SS is heading in the right direction in the USA, with sales increasing from 2,479 in 2014 to 2,895 in 2015, with the Aussie-built export on track for similiar results this year.
Holden is assuring Commodore VFII buyers hoping to snap up a final example that its local production plans won't be impacted by the Chevrolet order, tellling carsguide.com.au that the factory's production capacity will be temporarily increased before dropping back to planned levels once the USA models are built. But the company's plan to introduce special-edition vehicles next year combined with a predicted production slow down could see the number of certain Commodore models available to order evaporate.
“Due to excellent reviews and increased customer demand in the US, Holden has received an additional export order for 1,000 Chevrolet SS cars," Holden's PR manager Mark Flintoft said.
The reception from buyers and motoring critics is something that the Australian VF Commodore development team and our Elizabeth manufacturing team are very proud of.
"The cars are the left-hand drive/export version of the current VFII Commodore, which we’ve been exporting to the US as a Chevrolet SS since 2013.
"The US demand recognises the excellent build quality and significant technological advances in the current Commodore. The reception from buyers and motoring critics is something that the Australian VF Commodore development team and our Elizabeth manufacturing team are very proud of."
The US order will see some Cruze assembly line workers who were facing immediate redundancy temporarily shifted to the Commodore production line instead.
"This order, which will be filled in Q4 2016, will have a minor impact on current production for some employees. The previously announced redundancies will now be staggered over several weeks throughout October into November,” Mr Flintoft said.