Cancel the funeral and file away the eulogies, the Holden Commodore is not dead after all.
GM Holden managing director Mike Devereux has confirmed the Commodore will live on past 2016.
He made the announcement at a media preview of the VF Commodore at the Melbourne headquarters ahead of the official public presentation on Sunday.
“We will launch another Commodore after this one,” Devereux said. When pressed for more detail, he said: “This thing will run through the end of 2016.”
“After that we will be putting two global architectures into the plant, one of them will underpin the next Commodore,” he said.
The VF Commodore will go on sale around June and Holden hopes it will revive the vehicle’s flagging sales, which slumped to an all time monthly low of 1656 last month.
A cloud has been hanging over the future of the vehicle beyond the life of the VF, which is a heavily updated version of the $1 billion VE Commodore released in 2006.
Devereux would provide no more detail on the future of the Commodore, other than it would continue.
He refused to discuss whether the next Commodore would be built on a rear-drive platform or whether it would continue on as a large sedan. Both elements have been considered central to the character of Commodore, but the new car could be a size smaller and there is every chance it will be front-drive.
It is also not clear whether Holden would lead the design and development of the car in Australia or whether it is contributing to a global program headed out of North America or South Korea.
Holden had previously confirmed it would be producing two vehicles at its Elizabeth plant near Adelaide from 2016 onwards, a commitment that was central to it receiving $275million of federal and state government funding.
Devereux previously confirmed the small Cruze would be one of those vehicles, but would not be drawn on the second, until now.
He will travel to the US on Thursday in order to help General Motors North America president (and ex-GM Holden chief), Mark Reuss, reveal the new Commodore in the form of a Chevrolet SS at Daytona Raceway. The SS has been chosen as the car Chevrolet will use for the skin of its NASCAR racer in this year’s Sprint Cup series as it looks to build up publicity before the Australian-produced car goes on sale there later this year.