It’s the news we have all been waiting for, with General Motors officially confirming it will continue in Australia as GMSV (General Motors Special Vehicles).
GMSV will be run by Joanne Stogiannis, who has been confirmed as the director of the new business.
The new business will ensure 150 skilled Australians will be employed in engineering and manufacturing jobs in Victoria.
GMSV will begin operating as a business in the fourth quarter of this year.
The official announcement of GMSV’s creation is also an inadvertent confirmation of the inevitable death of HSV as a brand – though the core business will live on.
Walkinshaw will continue its partnership with GM under the new business deal.
The Silverado 1500 will form the backbone of GMSV’s product range initially. The large American pick-up is already re-engineered in Australia and is carving a strong niche in the market.
Chevrolet’s mid-engine C8 Corvette is locked and loaded for an Aussie arrival, following a period of uncertainty during the peak of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The C8 will be built in right-hand drive from the factory in the US, before being shipped to Australia, removing the need for any local re-engineering by Walkinshaw and GMSV.
It’s expected the C8 Corvette will arrive in Australian showrooms next year with a pricetag in the region of $130,000
Other products that could arrive include the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban SUVs, which would be among the largest high riders in the Australian market when they land.
Cadillac has been a brand that Australian customers have been baying for in recent years, with its range of fast sedans appearing like logical replacements for the hotted-up Commodores that were unleashed by Clayton up until the end of local manufacturing.
When asked about the brand’s potential for Australia earlier this year, HSV’s executive director of sales, marketing and after sales Chris Polites remained tight-lipped.
“They look exciting,” he said. “That's all I can really say about them at this point in time.”
HSV first began re-engineering previously US-only vehicles to right-hand drive with the Silverado 2500 and Chevrolet Camaro.
Both those model lines have currently ceased in Australia, though the 2500 will return under GMSV.
The future of the Chevrolet Camaro remains in doubt in North America, leaving red-blooded GM fans without a natural rival to Ford’s ultra-successful Ford Mustang which is sold in right-hand drive from the factory.
Wheels understands the groundwork for the deal was first put together in the months immediately following Holden’s departure from Australia in February.
However, official confirmation has been delayed as Holden and GM were dragged into a lengthy negotiations process with dealers about the compensation package that was offered.
Former Holden and current GM president Mark Reuss indicated at the new business in the press release that announced Holden’s death in February.
“We do believe we have an opportunity to profitably grow the specialty vehicle business and plan to work with our partner to do that,” he was quoted as saying.
A trademark for the GMSV name and logo was filed last month in Australia, all but confirming the end of the HSV brand as we know it.
Walkinshaw will continue to stick to its roots and develop high-performance packs and models based on GM vehicles.
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