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Holden gets keys to entire GM vehicle range

According to Holden boss Dave Buttner, all General Motors brands are on the cards for Holden importation.
Byron Mathioudakis
GoAutoMedia

24 Oct 2018 • 3 min read

Now that Holden exclusively imports its model line-up from overseas, the Aussie firm has been granted full access to General Motors' vehicle divisions including Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac.

According to GM Holden chairman and managing director David Buttner, no GM products are off the table if they are considered a good fit for Aussie soil.

In fact, even the medium-sized trucks from the States could be brought Down Under, providing a bigger option to sit above the Colorado ute.

This means that Holden's current arrangement with PSA Group-owned Opel will likely only extend to when the contract ends around 2023.

“The facts are we can draw on a fantastic stable of SUVs and trucks,” said Mr Buttner.

“And I spent a week in Detroit back in September as part of my 60 days of immersion, and I had a chance to go to the design studio, visit all the studio, see every clay model, see everything that’s under development for all of the brands.” 

Holden currently sells GM-sourced models from Chevrolet and GMC with its Trax, Equinox, Colorado, Trailblazer and Acadia, although Mr Buttner would not say if any Buick and Cadillac vehicles will join the range.

However, Mr Buttner suggested Holden is considering all of its options, making sure that no vehicle goes unexplored.

“If you get in early enough at the platform development stage designed for both right-hand drive and left-hand drive, then really, the world’s your oyster in terms of what you can bring in,” Mr Buttner said.

“You just have to make sure what you’re bringing in, you have to understand the market today, and if we’re planning three-to-four years out, then also what’s the market tomorrow. So, you have to make sure you are bringing in the right product to meet the market at the right time.”

GM vehicles that Holden could consider include the next Chevrolet Cruze small car, the Camaro and Corvette sports cars, the Colorado mid-size ute, the Bolt and Volt electric vehicles and possibly a Cadillac sedan or SUV.

When asked if pulling vehicles with very disparate design languages from GM's umbrella could confuse Holden buyers, Mr Buttner said it was more important to select the right vehicle for the right market.

“It’s interesting, because we have had discussions in terms of the focus of one brand so you have that same face across the product,” he explained. “But the fact that we can draw on a world of cars from different brands, (we ask ourselves) ‘What’s the best vehicle for this segment?’

“So, when we looked at (Acadia’s large seven-seat SUV class), we felt this was a big, bold vehicle, a GMC product that in this market that would suit the market, while the Equinox is a Chevy product that suits the segment it competes in.

“So, having that advantage to draw upon, at this stage we’re not hung up about having the same face, it’s not something we’re focused on, but whether that changes as we go through our strategic plan, we’ll see what comes out of that … and I don’t know of another product that’s got that similar number of brands on which they can actually draw upon.

“The fact that both Equinox and Acadia were developed exclusively in right-hand drive for Australia is a sign of GM’s commitment.”

Should Holden import vehicles from GM's upmarket Buick and Cadillac divisions? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.