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Holden SS will live beyond Commodore

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    Holden boss, Mark Reuss, believes a long-term SS is possible if export demand for the car is strong.

The death sentence for the Holden Commodore could be commuted in 2016 for the SS hero car.

Plans are being hatched for the SS V8 to live on beyond the lifespan of the upcoming VF Commodore, which now is just around the corner, provided that performance-car fans in the USA and Australia are still prepared to pay.

Holden admits it could continue with a low-volume VF SS on its production line in Adelaide after the cut-off date for the current Commodore, which is set to be replaced by an international model with local tweaking.

That would mean three models in the same factory, with the compact Cruze running alongside the SS and the new car. "We are considering all options going forward but won't discuss specifics at this stage," the chairman of Holden, Mike Devereux, admits to Carsguide this week.

But one of his predecessors as Holden boss, Mark Reuss, believes a long-term SS is possible if export demand for the car is as strong as expected in the USA. Reuss led the push to take the SS to America as a Chevrolet - as well as Chevy's NASCAR racing spearhead - and also knows what is possible at the Holden factory in Elizabeth.

"We can sell this for as long as we can make it and sell it," Reuss, who know heads General Motors in the USA, says of the rear-wheel drive muscle car. He is a long-term fan of the Commodore SS and knows the pulling power it has in Australia, as well as its potential to bring buyers to Chevrolet dealerships in the USA.

"What if we have a really cool, loyal buyer base? What if we had that? What if it becomes the reason to go into a Chevrolet dealership?", Reuss says.

"What if we say we're not going to do it any more and there is an uproar saying that we want these? What if that happens, what would you do?"

The decision for an ongoing SS does not have to be made for some time, probaby not until 2015, but Reuss is already keen to find a way to keep the Commodore going. "I think that is a pretty good idea," he says.

"You need another body shop to keep it going, so what? There are two body shops in a place people said we could only have one, they said we couldn't do it but we did do it.

"It is paid for, it's all there."

This reporter is on Twitter @paulwardgover 

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 13 comments

  • @ wayne stevens of perth here, let me get that for you Wayne. "we've just passed Anzac day and had that feeling of national pride and thankfulness to the past ANZACs that put their lives out there for us and they felt that again when a couple of years after the second world war Australia produced it's first car, and a couple of years after that nearly every one in the street had one or was getting one. But go outside now and count - you won't need two hands. Even my mates who come with me to the v8 Supercars. I turned and asked how come you wear holden clothing but drive toyotas???????????????..

    translator of sidney Posted on 27 April 2013 3:06pm
  • Boy some people are getting carried away. Nationalism and pride in our country is one thing, but actually selling cars profitably is another. Mark Ruess likes the Commodore - that's great. But its not his decision. In GM, committee decide, and can override individuals, including very senior ones. And he has said nothing more than "It is an interesting idea. It might be possible to do." But there are enormous numbers of what ifs, particularly the one about "if it sells well". It has even become available there yet, not sold one car yet, and people are going nuts about keeping it going after 2016? Just silly. It could be a fizzer. It may go dusty in the showroom, like happened last time around. It may get great reviews, but Yanks may baulk at paying over the odds (in their pricing) for a Chevy that is a bit boofy but fast and good handling - the latter is not such a priority for many Chevy owners anyway. Look at the junk they buy. And no-one is going to be torn away from their 5 Series, Merc or Audi for it. So take Bex, have a lie down, and wait for a few years until the sales have settled, then start thinking about the future.

    Foresooth of Canberra Posted on 27 April 2013 12:38pm
  • I think the buyers for new SS models are getting older like me pushing 50 , and really in a world today of driving slower and slower and all the techno speed caputure stuff, whats the point anymore ? When we all have to drive like the masses ? But I probably will buy one anyway , in a year or two . Had a spanking new VN SS in grey that lasted from 1990 to 2004 , Then my VY II SS till now. Long term ownership is the only way to get any value and real enjoyment out of these cars. And they are great cars , to me anyway.

    Rick of Melbourne Posted on 26 April 2013 7:06pm
  • V8 supercars are racing in austin texas this year...and will be for a number of years after that. they will start asking questions of the falcon i see it as a very good thing if only Ford oz had some idea about marketing the falcon would have to die. This coming from a holden fan. and yes not happy i completely agree with you, The media bangs on about it as if they want it to happen but as long as there is a case for a rwd in the states and also a coupe based version (camaro) the commodore will live on in current form albeit sold in reduced numbers. Either way i dont see it dying

    jordan of clayton Posted on 26 April 2013 12:10pm
  • we,ve just past anzac day,and had that feeling of natinal pride and thankfullness to the past anzacs that put thier live,s out there for us, and they felt that again when a couple of year s after the second world war ,australia produced it,s first car , and a couple of years after that nearley , every one in the street had one or was getting one, but go out side now and count you won,t need two hands even my mates who come with me to the v8 supercars, i turned and asked how come you wear holden clothing but drive toyotas???????????????..

    wayne stevens of perth wa Posted on 26 April 2013 12:09pm
  • And I'm sick of reading the garbage written (particularly from Dowling) saying that VF will be the last and won't go on past 2016. Bulldust. As if Holden would waste $500 million making the car only to have it produced for 3 years!? They wouldn't make the money back by then.

    GMV8 of Melton Posted on 26 April 2013 10:08am
  • Well Paul interesting story. I think the future just depends on how successful the Holden Malibu will become as they have fwd and awd with NA and Turbo 4. These days a 2 litre in turbo form can easily make over 230kw with direct injection and still deliver good fuel economy. While this might not be at the level of the LS engines there would be a lot of people who could afford the petrol bills. So, if the production line could be kept for the SS and a global vision for it - with RHD and LHD models, along with regular revisions and utilise the latest LS engines, there could be a niche market for it. So, the decision is up to GM and Holden to keep the SS fresh and relevant. As it has been said before "build it and they will come", because lets face it - Japan, Korea and Euro are not doing it at this price point.

    JoeR_AUS of North Ryde Posted on 25 April 2013 7:11pm
  • Since when have they said it will be rear wheel drive, not happy. They trend has been to make cars front wheel drive, and the car that they want to replace the Falcon with, the Tuarus, is FWD with the performance model haveing AWD. I had said to friends that car manufactures would drift toward AWD because of the then success of Subaru, but that hasn't happened and I blame the Magnas demise on not adopting AWD as standard in the 380 when it had at least been an option on Magna's previous model. And the companies have been giving customers less and less options for cars, back in the day you could get the lowest spec car and option a v8 so it could fit in your budget, now you have to go top of the line to get the v8 when you can only afford the executive, but you still have the caravan or boat to tow. You could allways go second hand but we are talking new car sales here. I am on your side Not Happy but we need to let the manufactures know what us customers want before the lock into a coarse of action that will leave us buying a RWD Hyundai Genisis.

    Aa Ron of Brisbane Posted on 25 April 2013 2:05pm
  • if holden try and sell me a fwd replacement commodore,they will not be around for too long, i will go out now and buy a few good vt to vy series and spares ,store them in the shed,keep them mantained and that will see me out no worries.remember the mitsubishi 380,good car, but the market didnt buy it,so mitsubishi australia rode off into the sunset,is that what holden wants? i will even buy a falcon before fwd any day,those old ef to el models,you get pick then up for near nothing ,and they will still be better then fwd architecture...

    old man of bellingen nsw Posted on 25 April 2013 7:23am
  • Ahhh Paul Gover, still peddling lies. Keep up the good work

    The truth Posted on 24 April 2013 7:27pm
  • well said 'not happy'

    Dave of Gawler Posted on 24 April 2013 12:45pm
  • As long as this global replacement car is rear wheel or all wheeled drive car then you could change styling and whack in a V8, even if it is just 3.0 liter quad cam, you can still call it a SS. I'm real excited at the moment as i am going to pick up my first and hopfully not my last Holden/GM V8 in the next couple of days.

    Aa Ron of BrisVagas Baby Posted on 24 April 2013 10:53am
  • I am sick and tired of the dreamt up crap that is always put on this website. Since when have Holden said that the next Commodore will be front wheel drive? Why would GM bother getting GMH to build the Impala in Australia when they could do it in America, or where they already make it, much easier? I would actually say that the Commodore could easily become the international vehicle for GM – after all, it is a world class car, and if it were offered all over the world it would receive a very warm welcome wherever it went, as there are no other RWD sedans like it (apart from the Falcon, which isn’t exported anyway) that are so cheap! If it is thought about, it only makes sense that the next Commodore will be Rear-Wheel Drive, considering the platform doesn't cost that much more to make. And if they are going to make any RWD vehicles, then it would only make sense to make all Commodores RWD. Did Devereux actually say they will be discontinuing the RWD Commodore? It is just like the “fact” that the VF was the last ever Commodore…so now the Journalists have to dream up something else to crap on about…

    Not Happy Carsguide, of Write some truth for a change Posted on 23 April 2013 6:09pm
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