Holden To Bring New Corvette To Australia

General Motors Holden has confirmed that the next generation mid-engine Corvette will be built in right-hand-drive and will be made available in Australia.

“Like anyone with a hint of petrol in their veins, we were glued to our screens watching the reveal of the new Corvette,” said Dave Buttner, Chairman and Managing Director of Holden. “The news that Corvette will now be built in right-hand-drive for the first time ever – and will be exported to Australia – is hugely exciting for our team at Holden and any Australian who loves high performance cars.

“With our long history in motor-racing, performance vehicles are an indelible part of the Holden brand. Our team is totally revved up to build on Holden’s performance legacy with the most technologically advanced Corvette ever built.

“We look forward to taking on the European and Japanese performance vehicles with some highly sophisticated American muscle.”

“Corvette has always represented the pinnacle of innovation and boundary-pushing at GM,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “The traditional front-engine vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout. In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history. Customers are going to be thrilled with our focus on details and performance across the board.”

The new mid-engine layout gives the Corvette:

  • Better weight distribution, with the rear weight bias enhancing performance in a straight line and on the track.
  • Better responsiveness and sense of control due to driver positioning closer to the front axle, almost on top of the front wheels.
  • The fastest 0-100km/h time of any entry Corvette — approximately three seconds when equipped with Z51 package.
  • A race car-like view of the road due to lower positioning of the bonnet, instrument panel and steering wheel. Excellent forward sightlines throughout the vehicle for both driver and passenger.
  • An enhancement of the Corvette’s traditional utility strengths with dual boots, ideal for luggage or two sets of golf clubs.

“As America’s most iconic performance nameplate, redesigning the Corvette from the ground up presented the team a historic opportunity, something Chevrolet designers have desired for over 60 years,” said Mike Simcoe, Vice President of Global Design, General Motors. “It is now the best of America, a new arrival in the mid-engine sports car class. We know Corvette can stand tall with the best the world has to offer.”

The new location of the engine is visible through the large rear hatch window. GM says the Corvette’s canopy-forward stance was inspired by F22s, F35s and other modern fighter jets, along with Formula One racing, adding that the Corvette is designed for superior ride comfort on the highway and well-balanced handling on the track.

“Thanks to sophisticated suspension geometry, tailored tyre technology and exquisite attention to structural details, we have improved ride and handling,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette Executive Chief Engineer. “No Corvette has ever felt so comfortable, nimble and yet completely stable.”

The new Corvette is powered by the LT2 ‘small block’ 6.2L V8 engine, producing 369 kW of power and 637 Nm of torque when equipped with performance exhaust. The LT2 is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and features double-paddles on the steering wheel for a ‘different’ shifting experience.

“Though now placed behind the driver, the LT2 gives the same visceral experience we all expect from Corvette,” said Jordan Lee, GM’s Global Chief Engineer of Small Block engines. “The LT2 has been designed to deliver excellent low-end torque and high-end power to give thrilling pedal response at any RPM.”

New Corvette production begins at GM’s Bowling Green facility in late 2019. Holden said it will share further details about Corvette in Australia at a later date.

Holden Launches ‘Project Monaro’

Holden is building something special as part of a brand-new after-sales promotion called Project Monaro. Paying homage to one of the company’s modern classics, the V2 Monaro – Holden is embarking on a unique restoration of a 2004 VZ CV8, and when the car is complete, one lucky customer will win it.

Holden says Project Monaro is a real ‘money-can’t-buy’ kind of car – as close to a brand new CV8 as possible, only reimagined, refined and improved from the ground up using Holden Genuine, ACDelco and Chevrolet Performance Parts.

Teaming up with motorsport icon Craig Lowndes, Holden will also be demonstrating its ongoing commitment to Australia and New Zealand by drawing on the wealth of talent within Holden as well as the company’s dealer network.

“I am truly proud to continue my long-term association with the Holden brand,” said Lowndes. “Like many Australians, I grew up with the Monaro. It’s such a thrill to be working on such a special project with the team at Holden.”

The Port Melbourne-based design team (including some of the original V2 Monaro designers) has been tasked with ‘contemporising’ the car, both inside and out. The Holden Engineering team, along with the help of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team and some key build partners, is in charge of improving ‘the big three’ performance characteristics of the Monaro – go, stop and turn, and bringing it to current day performance standards.

As part of the build of Project Monaro, Lowndes will take the audience behind-the-scenes in a series of mini-documentaries, exploring everything from concept development, through body, interior and mechanical restoration, culminating in the final shakedown of Project Monaro at Holden’s top-secret Lang Lang Proving Ground with Lowndesy himself behind the wheel.

View the Craig Lowndes video introduction to Project Monaro here.

The car is not the only prize up for grabs as part of the promotion. Second prize is Lowndesy’s Ultimate Holden Garage – the runner up will win everything they need to deck out their dream garage, from tools and Red Bull Holden Racing Team exclusives to an incredible collection of Lowndes-themed memorabilia.

Along with monthly Red Bull Holden Racing Team merchandise vouchers, Holden says the prize pool will make for something special that everyone will want to win.

Holden is opening this promotion to both trade and retail service customers of the company’s dealers in Australia and New Zealand. If you’re in the automotive trade, enter through your local Holden Trade Club website – www.holdentradeclub.com.au or www.holdentradeclub.co.nz, then follow the prompts to enrol in the Project Monaro competition.

Once enrolled, every $100 (not including GST) spent on Holden Trade Club parts between 1 July 2019 and 31 March 2020 will automatically earn an entry into the competition. The more you buy, the more entries you receive and the greater the chances to win.

If you’re not a Holden Trade Club member or in the automotive trade, there are multiple ways that you can still enter:

  • Spend $100 (+GST) on Holden genuine or ACDelco parts through a Holden Dealer
  • Spend $100 (+GST) in a Holden Dealer Service department
  • Spend $100 (+GST) or more on an ACDelco battery – from either your Holden dealer or from an authorised ACDelco battery reseller

Then to ensure you’re in the running, visit ACDelco.com.au/offers and submit your receipt. You can also see the company’s competition terms and conditions at the same link.

Holden Launches Power & The Passion

Holden has announced a new sales promotion titled Power & The Passion, with the company’s key aftersales brands – Holden Genuine Parts, ACDelco, Holden Trade Club and Chevrolet Performance Parts joining forces to create an exclusive prize pool for participants.

The promotion, which commences on 1 January, offers two major prizes: a 556 hp (415 kW) supercharged LSA engine and a race-engineered 476 hp (355 kW) 6.2L LSX V8.

Both Chevrolet Performance Parts engines are ready to drop straight into a project car, including a heavy-duty Holden Genuine remanufactured automatic transmission.

One person, along with three mates, will win a trip to the 2019 Bathurst 1000 as VIP guests of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.

In addition, each month from January to June in 2019, participants will have the chance to win a ride in the 3500 hp (2611 kW) ACDelco Pro Slammer Monaro, which can accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in under one second, and run the quarter mile in 5.76 seconds at more than 400 km/h.

The promotion is open to trade and retail customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Members of the automotive trade can enter through the Holden Trade Club’s website (www.holdentradeclub.com.au) by following the prompts to enrol in the Power & the Passion competition.

Every $100 (ex GST) spend on Holden Trade Club parts (including oils, chemicals and batteries) between 1 January and 30 June 2019 will earn an entry into the competition.

Bonus entries are also available to trade customers.

Non-Holden Trade Club members or automotive tradespeople can enter by:

  • Spending $100 (ex GST) on Holden Genuine or ACDelco parts from a Holden dealer or as part of a vehicle service,
  • Spending $100 (ex GST) or more on an ACDelco battery – from either a Holden dealer or from an authorised ACDelco Battery reseller, or
  • Spending $100 (ex GST) on Chevrolet Performance Parts from Australia’s only authorised reseller Eagle Auto Parts.

To enter, visit ACDelco.com.au/offers and submit your receipt. Every $100 spent on Holden Genuine or ACDelco parts gains an entry.

The Power & the Passion promotion will launch at the Street Machine Magazine Summernats Car Festival in Canberra, held 3 to 6 January 2019. Participants can receive a free entry in the competition when they visit the ACDelco stand in the Rare Spares Pavilion.

ACDelco will display both prize engines, as well as the ACDelco Pro Slammer Monaro Racing Team.

The team is also looking to set a new Summernats Dyno record, being the first Pro Slammer ever to be run on the Summernats Dyno, and will unveil its new 2019 race car at the event.

Holden’s First GMC Vehicle On The Horizon

Holden will release its first GMC-based product, the Acadia premium seven-seat SUV, later this year.

While the Acadia is unashamedly American in design, Holden says its performance and driving characteristics will feel familiar to Australians, thanks to local engineering input. Using lessons learned from recent Commodore and Colorado programs, Holden engineers have focused on ensuring Acadia has direct steering and a composed ride.

Holden is also putting a fleet of 14 vehicles through real-world testing, contributing to a total of more than 1.5 million test kilometres.

Dave Buttner Appointed Chairman And MD Of GM Holden

Automotive industry veteran Dave Buttner will become Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden, with Mark Bernhard to retire from Holden and the wider GM group at the end of July, the company announced today.

The leadership transition comes at an important time for the Holden business, as it seeks to leverage its “strongest ever vehicle portfolio to win more customers, grow sales and strengthen GM Holden for the future,” said GM Executive Vice President and President of GM International Barry Engle.

“Dave’s proven track record and understanding of Holden’s markets – and the company’s potential in those markets – makes him the right leader for this next phase in the evolution of the business,” said Engle.

“GM’s most senior leadership strongly believe that we have a rare jewel in Holden, an iconic Australian brand that understands the needs of Australian and New Zealand drivers.

“Dave’s mandate is to work closely with our dealer network to win more customers for life, grow Holden’s market share and ensure our business is strong and profitable for the long term.

“Holden has all the building blocks for future success, including the best and most comprehensive vehicle portfolio in Holden’s history; the introduction of Maven, OnStar and GM Financial; and the ongoing global design and engineering work that continues in Australia.

“Dave is an outstanding leader with a peerless record of success in Australia and New Zealand. Holden will have a strong future under Dave’s leadership.”

“As Mark hands over the reins of Holden, I want to recognise all of his contributions over his career at GM. I appreciate his passion and commitment to Holden during his tenure as Chairman and Managing Director and throughout his career,” said Engle.

Bernhard said the opportunity to lead the company where he began his career in 1986 has been a privilege.

“Holden is where it all started for me. It has been an honour to lead Holden as we laid the foundation for a new future of this iconic Australian company,” said Bernhard.

“I am grateful to GM and the terrific people I have worked with through a career that spanned Australia, Europe, the US, Singapore and China – exceeding my wildest dreams when I joined the company as a fresh-faced eager graduate.

“Holden was born here and has a special place in our hearts. I wish Dave and his team every success for the future.”

Buttner has had an extensive 40-year career in the automotive industry, having most recently been President of Toyota Motor Corporation in Australia from May 2014 to December 2017. In his time at Toyota, Dave performed senior roles in Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing, Corporate Affairs and Product Planning and Development. Throughout these roles, Dave maintained a focus on customers and dealers. Buttner also led Toyota on its transition from a manufacturer and distributor to an importer and national sales company.

He will begin as Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden on 1 August 2018.

“I am honoured and energised by this incredible opportunity to lead Holden, a company which is part of the fabric of our country,” said Buttner.

“I look forward to working with our people, our dealers and our partners to grow our business and get more and more Australian and New Zealand drivers behind the wheel of more and more Holdens.”