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Pontiac G8 to live as Chevrolet

GM CEO Fritz Henderson has denied the G8 would survive — stating he's not a fan of rebadging.

Media reports in the US have new GM's vice-chairman and senior advisor Bob Lutz saying the car would find its way into Chevrolet showrooms under the Caprice name, saying it was ‘kind of too good to waste’.

"The last time we looked at the G8, we decided that we would continue to import it as a Chevrolet," Lutz says. Mr Lutz, formerly the vice-chairman for Global Product Development, is a firm Holden fan and was instrumental in taking the reborn Holden Monaro to the US as the Pontiac GTO and the VE Commodore to the US as the G8.

The 77-year-old will be part of GM's global design and product initiatives but is planning to retire at the end of the year. In the restructuring proceedings GM CEO Fritz Henderson has denied the G8 would survive — stating he's not a fan of rebadging — but export agreements and the fact the Commodore is already sold as a Chevrolet in other export markets were reasons, Lutz said, for the Holden-sourced car to continue.

Holden spokesman Scott Whiffin says there is a lot going on at the new GM but they are unable to say anything more about any US exports. "There's obviously a heck of a lot of activity underway in GM in the US at the moment, but we're not in a position to add to Bob's comments at this stage. We can't say anything more about it," he said.

Holden has also received good news from China, with reports of increased engine export from GM Holden to China could grow by 400 per cent over the next four years. The company's Melbourne engine plant could go from building 6000 engines for Chinese export to 20,000 over the next four years, according to federal Industry Minister Kim Carr.

Senator Carr, visiting China with federal Trade Minister Simon Crean, says there have been discussions with General Motors and their Chinese joint venture partners about an increase in engine exports. "Engine exports from General Motors plants in Port Melbourne are likely to increase by 400 per cent over the next four years to move from a present 6000 volume through to a 20,000 over a four-year period," he says.

The minister believes the potential for increased engine exports shows there are opportunities for the Australian industry in China.

Holden's Jonathan Rose says the company anticipates an increase in V6 engine exports, particularly to the key Chinese market in coming years. "That's obviously contingent on future model programs in China.

"It's very pleasing to be recognised overseas for our technical capabilities and having Shanghai GM being enthusiastic about the opportunity with senior Australian Government Ministers," he says.