Browse over 9,000 car reviews

GM Viva the revolution

A new Holden compact contender will emerge from South Korea next year.

The next Holden Viva has already been previewed, through the Chevrolet WTCC concept, and is being finalised for production.

The Viva is part of a global plan to centralise development of two General Motors products, its mini and small cars, in South Korea at GM Daewoo.

It parallels the large rear-drive operation in Australia that has already produced the VE Commodore, Pontiac G8 and the forthcoming Chevrolet Camaro coupe.

The difference is the Viva is the result of a truly worldwide program that will see two distinctly different vehicle lines, one to be sold under the Opel badge and the other for use by Chevrolet-Daewoo-Holden — emerge from the same product plan.

“It is the first of the global architectures,” GM Asia-Pacific president Nick Reilly says.

“We wanted to make sure we had an architecture that was broad enough to be able to take several brands. That basic architecture will be responsible for a Chevrolet and an Opel.

“Obviously, the looks will be completely different, but even some of the specifications will be different, to meet the brand needs. The architectures are being designed with enough bandwidth to cover different specs, different cost levels and so on.”

Reilly says the switch to Daewoo-built cars in Holden showrooms is working well, pointing to the improved numbers achieved by the dollar-driven South Korean Barina and the acceptance of the classier mid-sized Epica and the four-wheel drive Captiva.

“I have no apologies for the products coming out of Korea. The sales would suggest that it's been successful. I'm not saying they have all been home runs, yet, but we have had some terrific success with them,” he says.

But the Viva has not worked as well and Reilly hints that it is about to get a makeover.

The WTCC concept is widely accepted as the style direction for the Viva, though stripped of its wild racetrack body bits.