GM says for­get the four

Holden plans to out-en­gi­neer the com­pe­ti­tion, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

THE ab­ject fail­ure of the last four­cylin­der Com­modore— nick­named the ‘‘back­fire’’ — has con­vinced GMHolden not to do it again. De­spite the ap­peal of a four-cylin­der econ­omy drive and the chance to go head to head with the fru­gal 2.0-litre Fal­con in 2011, Holden says it is not con­sid­er­ing a baby en­gine for its fam­ily favourite.

Rather than down­size its Com­modore, GMHolden chair­man Mark Reuss says the com­pany plans to ‘‘ out-en­gi­neer the com­pe­ti­tion’’.

‘‘Drop­ping cylin­ders would be the last re­sort be­cause peo­ple still like the power and the tow­ing, all the things that we get with this en­gine and with this car,’’ he says.

Ford and Holden are adopt­ing dif­fer­ent strate­gies to de­liver re­duced fuel use and lower emis­sions.

Reuss says the Com­modore can achieve four-cylin­der-like econ­omy from its new en­gines and prom­ises fur­ther tech­nol­ogy im­prove­ments to im­prove econ­omy.

At the launch of the com­pany’s greener di­rect-in­jec­tion V6s last week, Reuss said the com­pany was com­mit­ted to achiev­ing ‘‘fur­ther fuel ef­fi­cien­cies’’ out of its new 3.0-litre and 3.6-litre en­gines.

Apart from hi-tech en­gine man­age­ment so­lu­tions, Reuss says shed­ding weight is also a pri­or­ity for fu­ture Com­modores.

The com­pany does have an­other, smaller ca­pac­ity, V6 in the wings, though.

GM-Holden builds a 2.8-litre V6 for its ex­port mar­kets and Reuss has not ruled out such an en­gine join­ing the line-up.

‘‘I’m not say­ing we would never go be­low 3.0 litres, but three is the sweet spot for the ar­chi­tec­ture, the car, the fuel econ­omy and per­for­mance,’’ Reuss says.

‘‘We look at all of those things and the dis­place­ment it would have. You don’t rule out any of that stuff.

‘‘Our Port Mel­bourne plant is the most flex­i­ble en­gine plant in Gen­eral Motors so we can al­ways do that — and rel­a­tively quickly if we need to.

‘‘Right now we think this is the an­swer we’re looking for and which the cus­tomers are re­ally ask­ing for. But this is a jour­ney and we will re­act to the mar­ket.’’

Ver­sions of Holden’s new di­rect-in­jec­tion V6s will be ex­ported to GM plants glob­ally and will ap­pear in sev­eral dif­fer­ent brands, in­clud­ing some Saab and Alfa Romeo mod­els.

GM’s Mex­ico plant will re­ceive en­gines for the new Cadil­lac SRX, and other mar­kets in Europe are lin­ing up for the new V6.

GM-Holden’s in­com­ing chair­man, Alan Batey, says he was sur­prised by Ford’s de­ci­sion to not build the Fo­cus four-cylin­der.

The Ford de­ci­sion ‘‘cre­ates an even big­ger op­por­tu­nity for us’’ with the Cruze, he says.

‘‘I was a lit­tle sur­prised that Ford did make that an­nounce­ment, based on where we think our pro­gram is,’’ he says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.