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Discussion Starter #1
How about this Luwinki?;)


Pontiac G8 Ute a distinct possibility



Holden is planning on turning out the full capacity of 147,000 Zeta-based vehicles at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia. Part of the production increase can be attributed to the Pontiac G8's impending arrival, but there have been cagey references to importing the VE Ute, which shares the VE platform with the G8. Bob Lutz made mention of a desire to bring the Ute to the US a while back, and now GM's Asia Pacific President Nick Reilly has made a couple of cagey references to GoAuto, fueling the suspicion that we'll see a VE with a bed out back here in the US.

While discussing the Elizabeth plant's ability to meet production volume without adding a third shift, Reilly referred to US exports by saying "If they start to sell much better than we anticipated, then we would have to look at doing something else and clearly a third shift would be a possibility..." They? Hmm. When the follow-up question about just what he meant by they, Reilly sort-of clarified by further stating: "We haven't necessarily announced all the programs we have at the moment." The not-quite-confirmed multiple flavors of VE headed for the US, along with Bob Lutz's wanting to bring the Ute here as something other than a Chevy could mean that those wishing for a return of the El Camino might get their wish, minus the name.

Thanks for the tip, Ben!
 

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I actually like how that looks, I dig it. :roxor:
Hell, for all I care, they could bring it in as a Buick(they need another vehicle)..as long as it has the badass stats of the aussie one. 6l V8 and a 6spd manual.
Or they could bring back oldsmobile and plant that old rectangular logo on it..I'd go apeshit over that ;). In a good way.

Brandon, is there a link for that?



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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Here is another:

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story/1CCE9C0191ACFB6CCA25734600001918?OpenDocument

HOLDEN has confirmed that its all-new VE Ute is ready for export to left-hand drive markets, including the United States, but General Motors' global product chief Bob Lutz has quashed hopes it could become the latter-day replacement for the Chevrolet El Camino.

According to gminsidenews.com, in response to a member's emailed suggestion that the Ute should adopt more of a Chevrolet look if it is sold in the US, GM's global vice-chairman of product development and GM North America chairman Bob Lutz said: "Well, that's what we want to do, but it won't be a Chevrolet."

An announcement is due within the next 12 months and the latest betting is the VE Ute will carry either Pontiac or GMC badges in the US, in an arrangement that would see the VE Ute follow the VE sedan on sale in the US.

In an unpreceded export deal, up to 50,000 modified VE Commodore SS sedans will be sold in the US annually as the 2008 Pontiac G8 sedan from early next year.

Holden revealed with great fanfare its first G8 prototype in June, and GoAuto reader Jesse White has snapped what appears to be a near-final production version of the Holden-built G8 - the first example of the Holden-designed global rear-wheel drive large-car architecture (dubbed Zeta) to be exported outside Australia - on Melbourne roads wearing a Pontiac grille and spoiler, but with 17-inch Holden wheels.

GM Holden’s new chairman and managing director Chris Gubbey revealed at the VE Ute’s reveal last week that LHD prototypes were being assessed in the US.

However, he stopped short of confirming that an export deal, which could result in G8-style export numbers, was being negotiated with GM North America.

“No, it’s certainly not a done deal (but) we have got prototypes (in the US) and they are reviewing the vehicle,” he said.

“They have been very excited about it... the guys over in the US have been really excited about the design. They have to now balance up whether that fits the demographics and the segmentation of their own markets – but we’re hopeful.”

Much of the ute’s LHD conversion work was done as part of Holden’s export deal with Pontiac, as well as with the Buick Park Avenue, a development of the WM Statesman/Caprice to be built in LHD guise in China.

Besides reconfiguring the steering wheel and related controls, the VE Ute has the fuel tank forward of the rear axle and meets all the safety regulations necessary for US market certification.

This is despite the fact that the VE ute is unavailable, for the time being, with either side or curtain airbags – an omission, according to Holden, that relates to packaging issues such as having enough space for curtain airbag deployment.

“We put in a lot of effort with ultra-high-strength steel in the B-pillars, a lot of extra crossmembers … so within the normal safety limits of the cars over the safety belt, we have done a lot of testing... and the results have been promising,” Mr Gubbey said.

Holden engineering director Tony Hyde added that the wall separating the cabin and cargo area also provides additional protection from side-impact intrusion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I agree that if its not a Chevy that the best place for it to go is GMC. It's just not right as a Pontiac and too close to the G8.
 

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I saw a Pontiac just like this at a car show last month. :confused: I didn't get to talk to the guy but I did overhear him say that it was 1 of 2 cars, from Australia and the car is local. I honestly don't remember but i think it was left hand drive.

How can this be?

I'm checking the local car club/show sites to see if I can find a photo of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22408338-664,00.html

THE strong Australian dollar could scuttle GM-Holden's bid to export its new Commodore ute to the US.

Speaking at this week's Frankfurt motor show, General Motors chief Bob Lutz said the strength of the dollar was worrying for Holden's export business.

However, despite Mr Lutz's 11th-hour concern, BusinessDaily believes that ute exports will push ahead, with an announcement as soon as the Los Angeles motor show before Christmas.

"There is some internal discussion still on whether we want to do it and, if so, when and what brand," Mr Lutz said.

"The financial business case isn't being helped by the continued strength of the Australian dollar versus the US dollar.

"At the pricing we would need to make it successful, the program is about to tip to the point where it would not be a sound business proposition.

"Or we would have to subsidise it, which we're obviously not going to do.

"Or we'd have to price it to the moon, which we had to do with the GTO, which kind of killed it because we had to price it about $US7000 over where it should have been."

Holden exported the previous model Monaro to the US several years ago badged as the Pontiac GTO but it did not reach sales expectations because of its pricing.

The company fell short of its annual target of 18,000 GTOs, but Mr Lutz has gone on record saying it helped GM focus on the enormous capability of Holden engineering and its contribution to the global company.

Holden is already gearing up to export the Commodore sedan, badged as the Pontiac G8, to the US.

This car has been specifically engineered for left-hand drive markets.

This time around the G8 is expected to do far healthier numbers of up to 50,000 a year once it is up and running, largely because it is a big four-door rear-drive car -- which Americans love.

The ute and possibly the new Commodore wagon are expected to follow the G8 into the US.

Mr Lutz said there was still some discussion on whether the ute would be either a Chevrolet or GMC product when, and if, it hits US shores.

He believed it would most likely not be badged as a much-rumoured Chevrolet El Camino, "which in a way is a pity because I would like to see the return of the Chevy El Camino".

Chevrolet had too much product in its portfolio to allow for another vehicle, he said.

The ute could be called a GMC Sprint.
 

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