Rumours abound of Holden heading to NASCAR
Speculation is rife in the US that Chevrolet’s secret new NASCAR could be primarily based on a rebadged edition of the Australian-produced Holden Commodore or Holden Caprice.
Chevrolet ignited the unlikely rumours overnight when it announced its 2013 challenger would be “based on a new nameplate to the brand’s line-up”, confirming that the auto will not be based on Chevrolet’s present NASCAR, the Impala, or present models like the Malibu or Cruze.
Chevrolet overall performance automobiles and motorsports vice president Jim Campbell confirmed the NASCAR’s donor auto would join the brand’s manufacturing vehicle line-up for the public to purchase.
“We know that Chevrolet followers are eager to see the new racecar and we hope that the prospect of currently being in a position to own one particular just like it will make the wait a little more bearable,” Campbell said.
Chevrolet confirmed both the racecar and production model would be unveiled in the coming year, with the racecar set to closely mirror the manufacturing car’s style.
Whilst global exposure in NASCAR would be an huge coup for Holden, the bigger implication of a Commodore- or Caprice-based product competing in the racing series would be a return to exporting vehicles to the US that have been accessible to the public.
Holden at the moment exports its extended-wheelbase Caprice to the US, the place Chevrolet sells them solely to police departments but not the public.
Holden’s previous US export system collapsed late final decade when now-defunct Basic Motors brand Pontiac went below. The Holden Monaro was rebadged as the Pontiac GTO among 2004 and 2006, whilst sporty versions of the Commodore have been marketed as the Pontiac G8 between 2007 and 2009.
Holden senior creation communications manager Kate Lonsdale said Holden had no announcement to make relating to Chevrolet’s future NASCAR plans.
“It’s all speculation at this stage,” Lonsdale mentioned. “We’re not going to comment on their [Chevrolet’s] future line-up.”
A new export deal to the US appears extremely unlikely, nonetheless, given the present state of manufacturing in Australia. Just final month, Holden announced it was cutting much more than 100 casual and short-term workers from its South Australian automobile assembly plant, a determination Holden mentioned was forced primarily by the tough financial disorders designed by the large Australian dollar.
GM Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux mentioned at the time Holden would not attain its export targets with the Caprice police automobile system in 2012, and admitted important export growth would be tough if the dollar remained about parity – as Holden forecasts it will – for “at least the up coming year or two”.
Lonsdale reiterated that exporting vehicles in the present financial climate was tough – the Australian dollar is at present really worth US$ 1.05 – but stated Holden had not abandoned hope of one particular day expanding its export program to market Australian-produced cars to the US public.
“It’s not easy to export there at the second,” she mentioned. “[But] we undoubtedly haven’t stopped looking at any [added US export] opportunities and we never ever will.”
Other prospective alternatives for Chevrolet’s new NASCAR stem from two concepts that have been unveiled at the 2012 Detroit motor display in January: the Cruze-based mostly Tru 140S and the rear-wheel-drive Camaro-inspired Code 130R.
Although neither notion has been confirmed for manufacturing, GM admitted it was investigating the possible for a sporty coupe like the Tru 140S based on its small-automobile architecture, even though the Code 130R’s designer, Joe Baker, told CarAdvice he didn’t want his car to be “dismissed as just currently being a concept”.
Chevrolet’s Campbell mentioned the team would put together for following season by testing camouflaged automobiles to keep the new car’s identity under wraps.
NASCAR’s 3 other producers have previously confirmed they will compete in 2013 with racecars primarily based on the Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion and the Toyota Camry.
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