Seis­mic Shift

4 x 4 Australia - - First Drive -

WHEN the cur­rent­gen­er­a­tion Holden Colorado de­buted in 2012 it rep­re­sented a seis­mic shift in Gen­eral Mo­tors’ global ap­proach to the light­truck mar­ket. No longer would GM look to Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer Isuzu for prod­uct in this mar­ket sec­tor as it had pre­vi­ously done with ve­hi­cles such as the Rodeo and the first gen­er­a­tion Colorado. In­stead, it would build its own ute.

To this end GM mus­tered its global re­sources, in­clud­ing en­gi­neers from Holden, and cor­ralled them in its Brazil­ian di­vi­sion head­quar­ters. And after six years and twoand-a-half mil­lion test kilo­me­tres car­ried out in South Amer­ica and four other con­ti­nents, Holden pro­duced a ute it would sell around the world.

This change from Isuzu-sourced to in-house devel­op­ment came about due to GM sell­ing the last of its in­ter­est in Isuzu in 2006, a com­pany it had held a one-third stake in since 1972 (and a con­trol­ling in­ter­est from 1999 to 2002). Isuzu was still in­volved in the devel­op­ment of this new ute but as a ju­nior rather than a se­nior partner. In­deed, the cur­rent Isuzu D-max shares its ba­sic body shell and chas­sis with the Colorado but dif­fers in pow­er­train, sus­pen­sion de­tails, body­work and in­te­rior fit-out.

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