SPORTBACK MUSCLES-UP AGAINST A-CLASS AND 1 SERIES
THE viral online reaction to sketches of the VF Monaro reflect the passion that remains for the Holden brand, says its newly appointed design director.
Richard Ferlazzo says Holden’s strength is in maintaining interest in its products among the public and its personnel, but in the case of the Monaro, it went overboard.
“The Monaro sketches were totally blown out of proportion. You’ve got to remember itwas a couple of guys working after hours mucking about and honing their skills. Thiswas not a project that was requested or sanctioned,” Ferlazzo says.
“Itwas shown just for fun because people always ask but with socialmedia today things get blown out of proportion very quickly. What it really shows is how much interest there is in the brand with a sketch like that… but any sensible person would know that, this long into its life-cycle, we wouldn’t be entertaining it.”
Ferlazzo knows a bit about concepts: He’ styled the radical purple-painted Efijy. That car won fans when shown at the 2005 Australian Motor Show andwas judged by global media as the outstanding concept car at the 2007 Detroit show.
“I’m equally proud of other products, especially Sport wagon, whichwas being developed at the same time. It’s a balance ... away of showing what we can do without constraints and that we can also create attractive, pragmatic vehicles.”
Ferlazzo won’t be drawnon the future of the Commodore beyond the VF, but says the car still has a place in dealerships.
“You only have to look at a 5 Series BMW... it’s the most aspirational sedan in the world. We’ve got one within a whisker of it at a fraction of the price, so you can’t tell me (the VF) is irrelevant, it’s just the marketplace here that’s small.”
Ferlazzo should know. The 25-year Holden veteran was responsible for exterior styling on the VT Commodore and had overall responsibility for the VE and VF. Hewas also involved in developing the look of the V2 Monaro and Pontiac GTO.
Holden says Ferlazzo’s new role involves “advanced, production and global contract programs”. That means he will oversee everything from concept cars and vehicles intended for local consumption to helping with the design of Buick, GMC, Chevrolet and the Chinese-based Shanghai GM joint venture models.
The downside is it means he will spend more time in meetings than he does behind the tablet.
Style and substance: Richard Ferlazzo