Corp. reportedly sees the high Australian dollar as a threat to its plan to import GM Holden Ltd.’s new VE Ute to the U.S.
GM global-product development chief Bob Lutz said at the recent Frankfurt motor show the business case for the GM Holden export isn’t being helped by the strength of the Australian dollar against its U.S. counterpart.
The Melbourne Age quotes Lutz as saying this has driven up the price of the Holden vehicle to the point where it might not be a sound business proposition.
“We would have to subsidize it, which we are basically not going to do,” Lutz says. “Or we would have to price it to the moon.”
GM Holden’s plant in Adelaide will be at full production capacity later this year when the VE Commodore-based Pontiac G8 program begins – involving 50,000 units annually – and the company will require expanded output to fit in its VE Ute for export.
Unnamed GM sources have been quoted as saying the VE Ute could be announced either at the Los Angeles auto show in December or the North American International Auto Show next January.
Two left-hand-drive-version VE Utes are being evaluated in Detroit, and Lutz say one thing is sure – if one does come to Detroit, it won’t be rebadged as a Chevrolet.
“Chevrolet has way too much stuff in its showroom, and it would get lost in there,” he says.