Make way for Aca­dia

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDITOR joshua.dowl­ing@news.com.au

HOLDEN will launch — lit­er­ally — its big­gest at­tack yet on the fam­ily SUV mar­ket with a gi­ant of the US auto in­dus­try head­ing here for the first time.

The GMC Aca­dia — a full­size seven-seat SUV made in North Amer­ica — is com­ing to cap­i­talise on the de­par­ture of the arch ri­val Ford Ter­ri­tory and bridge the gap to lux­ury SUVs, which con­tinue to post record sales.

At a top se­cret meet­ing in Mel­bourne’s Rod Laver Arena, Holden told its na­tional net­work of deal­ers the Aca­dia was com­ing to Aus­tralia about the same time as the Holden fac­tory will fall silent in late 2017.

It is one of 24 new im­ported mod­els due to fill Holden show­rooms by 2020.

The Holden badge will re­place the GMC logo on the large chrome grille but the model name is likely to stay.

The Aca­dia will be avail­able with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy in­clud­ing pedes­trian de­tec­tion with au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing, 360-de­gree “bird’s-eye view” cam­eras, lane-keep­ing as­sis­tance, in­tel­li­gent high­beam LED lamps, and for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing.

En­gine op­tions are tipped to be four-cylin­der and V6 petrol and, for mar­kets out­side the US, a diesel.

Holden deal­ers were told the Aca­dia is the first of many pre­vi­ously US-only ve­hi­cles de­vel­oped for the global mar­ket since GM ended bank­ruptcy and paid back its bailout debt to the US govern­ment.

Price is yet to be an­nounced. Holden re­fused to com­ment when asked about the Aca­dia this week but Carsguide un­der­stands it will join the lineup above the Cap­tiva, it­self over­due for re­place­ment, so the likely start­ing price will be about $45,000 stretch­ing to $60,000 for lux­ury ver­sions.

The Aca­dia will join the Toy­ota Kluger and Nis­san Pathfinder seven-seat SUVs which are also made in the US and take ad­van­tage of a free­trade deal with North Amer­ica.

As the Toy­ota and Nis­san are petrol-only propo­si­tions, the Aca­dia’s diesel op­tion will give it bet­ter stand­ing among top-end SUVs, where diesels dom­i­nate.

The lat­est Aca­dia, based on new global GM un­der­pin­nings, was un­veiled at last month’s Detroit mo­tor show and is due in US show­rooms in the se­cond half of this year. Right-hand drive mod­els are ex­pected to go into pro­duc­tion mid next year.

Mean­while, Ford’s Ter­ri­tory goes out of pro­duc­tion with the Fal­con in Oc­to­ber. Aus­tralian boss Graeme Whick­man says an an­nounce­ment about the suc­ces­sor to the SUV will be made later in the year.

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