The fact that in less than two years Cadillac, General Motors premium brand, will launch an all new rear wheel drive (RWD) medium size sedan with four and probably six cylinders to replace the short sighted and unloved BLS (reskinned Saab 9-3) has us wandering what the chances are that GM will provide the platform to its Australian Holden brand.
Holden is well known for the quality rear wheel drive cars that it manufacturers for a small cost in global automotive terms, for example the current VE Series Commodore and the Chevrolet Camaro that was developed down under.
Holden has had a previous history of selling medium sized RWD cars such as the fondly remembered Torana (1967 – 1979) and the not so loved Camira (1982 – 1989). Automotive enthusiasts thought it might happen all over again when in 2004 Holden showed a new concept car with the Torana badge. However it ended up being a design tease to the VE Commodore that went on sale two years later.
Whilst car enthusiasts are all hoping that Holden will get the go ahead to manufacture there own version of the upcoming baby Cadillac the odds might be stacked against it. It was only a month ago that General Motors issued a press release saying that going forward engineering projects that in the past were undertaken by divisions such as Holden may be moved stateside.
Secondly, General Motors has invested a large amount of resources to its Asian GM Daewoo division and we will shortly be seeing the fruits of this effort. The new front wheel drive 2009 Cruze looks very impressive and a new medium front wheel drive is due within 18 months. And this will certainly be offered to Australian buyers.
Thirdly, the Australian large car segment is hurting with buyers moving to smaller vehicles so Holden may end up down sizing the Commodore when it is due to be replaced with an all new model around the middle of next decade.
This leads us to believe that a future smaller Commodore may be the closest we get to a 21st century Torana.
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