Is this the next Commodore?
HOLDEN dealers have forecast a dramatic sales slowdown when the imported Commodore replaces the locally made model in 2018 — but the decline will be offset by other models.
The next generation Commodore will be front-wheel drive and available only with four-cylinder or V6 power — and there won’t be a V8, which accounts for 36 per cent of sales.
“There’s no doubt Commodore sales will be cut in half,” says a Holden dealer with three decades’ experience.
“We’ll lose a third of sales straight off the bat because there’s no V8, plus Holden won’t be pushing rental cars as hard, which is how they are making up a lot of volume.”
The dealer says the sporty Commodore SV6 is popular with private buyers but he expects demand for its frontdrive successor to slow down.
Another longstanding Holden dealer adds: “A lot of traditional sedan buyers are switching to SUVs and utes. That will continue to grow and sedans will continue to slide. Families want more space than sedans provide.”
But dealers anticipate being less reliant on the Commodore in the future.
Holden is planning to introduce 24 new models by 2020, including a significant update to the slow-selling Colorado ute due in August.
Utes are now among the bestsellers for several top 10 brands, including Ford, Toyota and Nissan.
Meanwhile, the biggest clue yet to the Holden Commodore of the future was unveiled at the Los Angeles show last week.
The new Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan has the same underpinnings and body structure as the 2018 Commodore, which will be imported once the Adelaide production line closes in 2017.
The design will change slightly, though the Buick is the clearest indication yet as to what the first imported Commodore will look like, including the long sleek body, hooped roof, large grille and tapered headlights.
Senior General Motors executives at the LA show told Carsguide the Buick shares key components that will form the basis of the next Commodore.
The Buick LaCrosse is the first in a line of new luxury sedans based on a completely new underbody to be used by GM globally. Next comes the Opel Insignia from Germany — it’s an open secret Opel will be the source of the imported Commodore, as Holden has had engineers in Germany for the past couple of years.
Insignia spy photos show the same stretched dimensions and roof as the LaCrosse. GM bosses concede the Buick and Commodore architecture would be common.