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End of the line for hero Monaro

Jessica Parkes of City Holden takes a closer look at the CV8 Monaro

Holden's modern-day Monaro is to be scrapped.

The car maker yesterday announced that the last of the V8 coupes would roll off the Elizabeth production line later this year.

But Holden is hopeful of producing a new so-called muscle car in the future.
"Monaro means too much to Holden to not have another Monaro at some time in the future," said GM Holden chairman and managing director Denny Mooney yesterday.

The company claims sales had nothing to do with the decision to drop the Monaro after a special edition CV8-Z to be released next month.

Despite some speculation die-moulds for the reincarnation of the 1960s and '70s performance leader had been sold to Pontiac, Holden spokesman Jason Laird said he knew of no plans to build the car offshore.

Mr Laird was not prepared to comment on export programs for the coupe, leaving it to each of the export markets to decide on product plans.

"We're not in a position to do that on their behalf, this announcement is only in regards to Australia and New Zealand," he said.
Mr Laird said cutting the Monaro from the range built at Elizabeth would not affect jobs at the plant, with resources diverted to other production areas.

He said domestic sales for Monaro had remained strong since the badge was reborn and United States sales had improved significantly with the new, more aggressive look and extra power.

"In Australia so far this year, it is 38 units down from last year, in the fourth year of a coupe program, where traditionally they peter off quickly. For us to be with last year I think indicates the interest in the car," he said.

Mr Laird said the company was also looking to protect resale values on the coupe. Mr Mooney said the Monaro, which has worn four other GM badges on four continents, had sold almost six times as many cars as was first planned.

"The new generation Monaro has been an absolute winner in Australia, a hands-down winner in the sports car market," he said.

Mr Mooney said GM Holden continued to investigate options for a next generation coupe with other divisions of General Motors. "Everyone at Holden is certainly committed to delivering a new generation Monaro in the future, but there is still a lot of work to make that happen," he said.

The original Monaro sold from 1968 until 1977.

The name was resurrected after a small group of engineers and designers, led by designer Mike Simcoe, produced the attractive four-seater coupe.