General Motors’ commitment to building small cars as it restructures to fend off bankruptcy has spread to GM Holden which announced today that it will build an all-new small car alongside the Commodore
It will start building the car, a development of the Chevrolet Cruze, in the third quarter of 2010 with support from the Federal and South Australian governments.
Chevy will start selling the Cruze in America as a 2011 model; it’s built on the front-drive Delta platform which GM Europe developed in Russelsheim, Germany.
Holden will build the car as a sedan and hatchback, and engineer it for Australia and New Zealand at its headquarters in Port Melbourne, Victoria.
Australian sources are suggesting the car may be badged Torana or as a Viva. The original late 1960s Torana was a re-badged and mildly restyled version of the British Vauxhall Viva.
Holden boss, Mark Reuss, says start-stop hybrid technology and the capacity to run on alternative fuels such as E85, diesel, LPG and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) are all being considered for the new small car which gives Holden an opportunity to take a leading role in developing alternative fuel and fuel-saving technologies.
“We recognise the needs and desires of motorists are evolving with growing concern around
environmental factors and shifting consumer sentiment,” he says. “(That) calls for an innovative approach to complement our current offering (and) this new vehicle will cater for growing demand for smaller cars focused on economy.”
Reuss says the Rudd Government’s Green Car Innovation Fund provided Holden with the means to turn its plans into reality.
“This announcement complements the vision we share with the government of reducing Australia’s dependence on foreign oil and making motoring better for the environment.
“The support of the Federal and South Australian governments in securing this programme recognises the fundamental role which automotive manufacturing makes to national and state
“It demonstrates commitment to an Australian automotive industry which extends beyond manufacturing at GM Holden to thousands of suppliers and dealers across the country.”
Photo captions: Teaser sketch of the Holden small car. Chevrolet Cruze concept.