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HSV Cruze on the cards

Even though the HSV line-up is currently full, thanks to the GXP models, company chief, is continuing to scout for new metal.

So is the potential of a right-hand drive conversion on the Chevrolet Camaro.  Even though the HSV line-up is currently full, thanks to the arrival of the starting-price GXP models, company chief Phil Harding, is continuing to scout for new metal.

He says his enthusiasm for an HSV Cruze to sit below the Commodore-based lineup remains strong, and he can also see potential in the Camaro.  But Harding says the Cruze is the more-likely starter at HSV's headquarters in Clayton, Melbourne, although he needs local production to begin before he can create a workable business case for the car.

"We'll look at torsional rigidity, suspension and all that,'' Harding says.However, there is no urgency.  "I don't have a timeframe. What we'll do is get the package together and if it works we'll look at doing it.  So I don't think it has to be done by 2012 or 2013.''

Harding says local production of the Cruze sedan and hatch in Adelaide will make it an easier job for HSV.  "My target is to make sure the package works. If it works then we'll have a target of a model year introduction."

However, he says that the Cruze must fulfil the necessary HSV criteria for ride, handling and aesthetics.  "If it doesn't then we won't do it,'' he says.
For the Camaro, the biggest hurdle for a right-drive car from HSV is the investment needed for a low-volume seller.

"We think we understand what that investment level is. I'm not sure the business case works for us though," Harding says.  But Harding says dealers are not asking for a HSV Camaro.  When we launched the Coupe - our two-door version of the Monaro - our customers came from somewhere and when we stopped making that car they went somewhere else,'' he says.

"Our typical customer is married, in his 40s and got two kids and number one interest is motorsport... the sedan suits his lifestyle.''  He says it would be hard to sustain on-going sales interest in another coupe.