What price a quirky new French Commodore?


New Commodore . . . future suddenly in doubt.


What does the future hold for Australia’s new Commodore?

Due for release next year the current model’s replacement will be an Opel Insignia, engineered to wear the Holden badge.

But news just in that GM has offloaded its European Opel/Vauxhall arm to the French PSA Group for $1.3 billion Euros has put the whole deal in doubt.

The agreement probably stipulates the new company must honour any existing agreement and that includes our new Commodore.

But what happens after that and how long have these deals got to run?

Holden has a long history of sourcing cars from Opel going right back to the very first Commodore which was an Opel Rekord.

Look it up if you don’t know the story.

The new Astra also comes from Opel.

Will Commodore, or the car that wears the badge, one day become the Chevy that some owners would obviously like it to judging by the number of Chevy “bowtie” badges that find their way onto the car?

In a statement Holden says it’s business as usual.

“Holden and Opel have had close ties for many years and delivered fantastic vehicles to Australian customers, including the current all-new Astra and the next-generation Commodore due in 2018,” a spokesman said.

“The good news is these product programs are not affected at all.

“We will continue to work closely with Opel and GM to deliver our vehicle plans with excellence and precision.

“This includes future, new right-hand-drive SUVs like the Equinox and Acadia that were engineered specifically for right-hand drive markets.”

The sale to PSA which is still to be ratified includes all of Opel/Vauxhall’s automotive operations, comprising Opel and Vauxhall brands, six assembly and five component-manufacturing facilities, one engineering centre (Rüsselsheim) plus about 40,000 employees.

GM will retain the engineering centre in Torino, Italy.

Opel/Vauxhall will also continue to benefit from intellectual property licenses from GM until its vehicles progressively convert to PSA platforms over the coming years.

Holden’s sales guy Peter Keley promises new Commodore will tick all the boxes.

It just won’t tick the V8 and rear wheel drive boxes that have endeared the car to Aussies from day one in 1978.

The V8 everyone loves will instead be replaced by a “howling” V6.

“Combined with the howling V6, world-first all-wheel-drive system and all the on-road performance you expect from the Commodore, this is a car that ticks all the boxes and more,” Keley said.

Time will tell.