GM Holden is to export a super luxurious version of the long-wheelbase WM series vehicle to Korea where it will be known as the GM-Daewoo Veritas.

- By DAVID TWOMEY

Announcing the export deal today in Melbourne the Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden, Mr Mark Reuss, described the vehicle as a great addition to Holden’s export portfolio, demonstrating the company’s reach and flexibility.

Also on hand was the Federal Minister for Trade, Mr Simon Crean, and the Victorian Minister for Industry and Trade, Mr Theo Theophanous, both of who praised GM Holden for the work in extending the export of Holden variants to other countries.

GM-Daewoo Veritas

Mr Reuss said GM Daewoo had drawn on Australian expertise and resources for a vehicle tailored to meet the needs of the Korean market.

“GM Holden develops its large cars to be world class and we are seeing that paying dividends with new export programs like the one announced today,” Reuss said.

“Cars we build here in Australia are being exported to every continent except Antarctica for brands including Holden, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Vauxhall and now GM Daewoo.

“And with the engine in the Veritas also being built by Holden, it’s fair to say we are exporting the complete package.

“Exports are an increasingly important part of our business and Veritas again proves we have the capability to design, engineer and build vehicles for a wide range of consumers and markets.”

Based on GM’s Global Rear Wheel Drive architecture, Veritas is powered by a 3.6-litre Alloytec V6 and is fitted with a five-speed automatic transmission with fully optimized gear ratio settings plus Active Select and Sport Shift.

Mr Reuss said the Veritas would redefine the premium large car market in Korea, where the car had been primarily developed as a luxury, chauffeur-drive vehicle.

GM-Daewoo Veritas

He added that Veritas boasted segment-leading legroom in the Korean market as well as luxury features including massaging rear seats, electric-adjustable headrests and LCD screen and headset.

Having experienced the rear seat of the Veritas, CarAdvice can see some Australian customers demanding similar levels of luxury of the Caprice and Statesman versions of the WM Holden.

Mr Reuss said, “This vehicle represents a significant export program for GM Holden and is a prime example of how our recognised expertise in rear-wheel drive performance continues to be utilised by General Motors globally.”

GM-Daewoo Veritas

He added that GM Holden had always stressed that exports are an essential part of its business to ensure it would not only survive, but also prosper.

“The vehicle will be built at our assembly plant in Elizabeth, South Australia and will see us move even closer to our objective of a 50-50 export and domestic production split.

“It is a testament to our engineers, designers and the efficiency and flexibility of our plant that we are able to produce vehicles that satisfy the demands of both local and overseas markets, in both left hand and right hand drive.

Endorsing the GM Holden announcement the Trade Minister, Mr Crean, said, “This is a significant new market opportunity for Australia, it needs to be recognized that Korea is our sixth largest trading partner.”

GM-Daewoo VeritasGM-Daewoo Veritas

Mr Crean said the Labor Government ‘s trade policy was based on two pillars – market access and having a viable, productive and competitive industry.

“It is no good opening up markets if you don’t have competitive industries to exploit those markets.”

He said the GM Daewoo Veritas was an example of making the most of that competitiveness.

“To do this needs the experience of a company that can deliver, and GM Holden is such a company, “ he said.

Questioned about the impact of the exports to Korea Mr Reuss said he would not be drawn on the numbers of cars that were expected to be sold or whether the addition of the Korean market to the company’s exports would mean any increase in jobs.

“This is an experiment for us that is of value for us to show leadership in an export market that has growth potential for Australia,” he said.

Asked if the additional luxury that had been incorporated in the Veritas might flow through to the local Caprice and Statesman, Mr Reuss indicated that the company was looking at this, but no decision had yet been made.

GM-Daewoo Veritas

Mr Reuss acknowledged that the Veritas was similar in equipment to the Buick Park Avenue, which is based on the WM design and engineering, but is being built in China.

However, he said the Korean market was more of a niche market and Australia was much better able to service the market than China.

GM Holden designer Tony Stolfo told CarAdvice that there had been some engineering changes to the WM platform to incorporate the new level of luxury, including changes to the rear floor and seat back to accommodate the electrically adjustable rear seats.

Interestingly the new car will be called the GM Daewoo FC360 in Korea, and when CarAdvice asked what the FC stood for it sent the Holden PR crew scurrying for an explanation.

In true keeping with the style of the Veritas it apparently stands for “First Class” – an image GM Holden will be hoping the WM Holden quickly adopts in its newest home.




  • azza21

    Well always good to see more aussie cars getting sold. More money for holden and keeping the jobs in australia. I just think Ford australia needs to do the same thing if they are to survive.

  • Eddy The Expert

    From Article:

    Mr Reuss acknowledged that the Veritas was similar in equipment to the Buick Park Lane, which is based on the WM design and engineering, but is being built in China.

    Its actually called the Buick Park AVENUE, not Park Lane.

    I wonder when some of these features will become available locally? I think those who use these as Hire Cars would love having the twin rear seats with massage function.

  • http://www.littlepixiegifts.com.au Gift-Ed

    A few sales for Holden and another new market. Way to go.

  • Reckless1

    Every little bit helps.

    Kudos to Holden.

  • Richo

    Richo wonders out loud as to how long it will take Holden’s PR guru’s to slap together a special edition caprice with those rear seat in it..

    Good on holden, they are a good business, regardless of what you think of their cars, they are a good business with an exceptionally good marketing department

  • Sean

    Great news although Korea as an export market for the Stato was only a matter of timing.

    What worries me is the engine/transmission combination – HFV6 and 5spd auto for MY2009 doesn’t look too encouraging for the home market version. Looks like this will be the premium combination for VE/WMs for another 12 months at least before we get the DI V6 and the 6spd auto.

    Surely if the Epica is now solely a 6spd and that we will end up with a 6spd Viva next year, we should be able to get our hands on a 6spd auto Commode!

    AAAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • o

    the front looks really korean.like the tacky silver and the headlamps cheapen it

  • Realcars

    Five speed auto is just fine.

    Good on Holden for finding a niche in another market!

    On the China front I doubt Holden would be capable of making an interior crass enough for Chinese tastes.LOL.

  • Realcars

    looks pretty good in an out to me.

  • Golfschwein

    Positive news. Well done, Holden.

  • Crouchy

    Great news for Holden and what a tasty interior that is!!!!

  • Nihash

    سلام بابا دایی فلاح چشم و دلمونو روشن کردی دمت گرم مگه اونجا چیزی بشی نزنه به سرت برگردی!!! بخاطر عمر و روزی که خدا بهت داده در جهت خدمت به مردمی ستفاده کن که قدرتو میدونن…

  • trackdaze

    A good point well made Nihash!

  • topdog

    It looks better than the one thay sell here

  • Andy

    Koooooool, can I sneak one out of the line for local consumption?

  • ultimatefarmer

    good on ya holden

  • Andrew M

    maybe the koreans will see how to actually design a car.

    once they get this, then perhaps the korean publics expectations may increase and hence the small car range they send here may improve………

  • Drw009

    Mercedes Benz called- they want their grill back

  • Sam

    Veritas eh? What a crap name for a car

  • Watto_Cobra

    Well done Holden for continuing to explore export markets. Surely a flash Holden will be released here with the same gear as this unfortunately named ‘Veritas’

    I wish Mullaly and his predecessor had the same foresight as Lutz, and use FordOZ’s RWD expertise like GM has used Holdens.

  • Wheelnut

    “Veritas” is Latin for Truth – what Truth has got to do with the Statesmen.. so I don’t know

  • Wheelnut

    I believe that the luxury items found on all Holdens export models will eventually find their way into the local versions mainly as it reduces costs.

    For instance when the Monaro was exported to the states USA Design regulations stipulated that the fuel tank must be located in a different place to that of the Aussie Version therefore; to reduce costs the changes were made to both models and the fuel filler door was moved a bit higher up from just above the rear wheel arch to the top of the rear 1/4 panel at the apex of the C pillar

    So apart from the dash be it LHD or RHD both cars were pretty much the same

  • Reckless1

    o Says:
    September 5th, 2008 at 4:30 pm
    the front looks really korean.like

    Gee, O, perhaps Holden has worked out its target market and has designed the car to appeal to ……wait for it……KOREAN TASTES.

    Plenty have said it – Holden’s marketing is way above average.

  • phillip

    I agree, it looks cheap and nasty from the front, which means the Korean’s will love it.

    I see from the interior photo that Holden still have their electric windows switches on the console. In 2008? They must be about the last maker still doing this, no?

  • Golfschwein

    I don’t understand the ill-feeling towards the window switches being in the centre console. It seems perfectly ergonomic to me.

  • Wheelnut

    Having the power/electric window controls is done again to save costs as they don’t need to have both a LHD and a RHD door insert with the switches etc on them for local and export versions of both the commodore and the Statesman
    besides the controls have been centrally located in every model commodore since the VN so you should have gotten used to them by now.

  • Andrew M

    Wheelnut,
    surely the switches in the centre has nothing to do with LHD/RHD compatibility.
    if they are on the arm,
    they need not replace the entire door insert, but rather just swap which side they put the trim that has more holes in it, from the drivers arm rest, to the passengers.
    the door insert isnt one piece. there is a little trim plate around the door switches which could be universal (not handed).

    Golfie,
    i myself would prefer them on the door because it means you dont have to climb right into your vehicle to put the windows up or down

  • Wheelnut

    Andrew M: I’m just going by what my mates at the factory have told me.

    As for not having to reach into the car to put the windows up or down.. If the windows are up; you’re going to have to open the door to put them down; and if the windows are down you’re still going to have to open the door to put them up that is unless you want to decapitate yourself..
    so it’s not really going to take that much effort to reach across and push a button now is it?

    Having said that my 02 Subaru Imptreza RS has the master controls for the windows on the drivers door.. so it just depends on what you’re used to I guess

  • Garage Man

    Veritas…sounds like a name for some sort of taco

  • Golfschwein

    Hey Andrew M, to close the Golf’s windows and sunroof, I need only hold down the lock button on my remote. From 10 metres away, if I wish. Boo yah hiss! :)

    • Shak

      Mate you can program your Commodore to do that as well

  • Wheelnut

    The other thing is that no matter if the controls are on the armrest or centre console; you’re still going to have to open the door wie enough so that you can put the key in the ignition – then either twist around to push the button on the armrest or lean over to push the button on the console…

    Some cars [ike golfies] have it the windows go up via either remote control or after a time delay once the ignition is switched off.. otherwise you can install a Rhino car alarm which will do the same thing

  • phillip

    But I’d bet the farm that for the next all-new model Holden will follow all other manufacturers in putting the switches on the door. They’re just a little slow, that’s all.

  • Andrew M

    wheelnut,
    have you even tried the ergonomics of it before.

    i mean, as a real life example,
    you are just leaving (lets say a mates place), and you open your door and start your car before you even sit in it.
    at that point you are on the inside of your door, but standing up leaning outwards saying your last words/goodbyes.
    as soon as you start your car you want the windows down.

    and if you are on the way out of your car, you can open the door, put the windows up and be getting out in the one motion, rather than having to be seated till the windows are up.
    my current falcon has a time delay on the windows of around 30 secs which makes it easier too.

    have you ever tried leaning over to the centre console without having to actually seat your self in the vehicle??
    its no good for fit people let alone if you have a bad back.

    i find the ergonomics of them on the door far better and i doubt you will find an “ergonomics professor” that will evaluate it to be the otherway.

    on another note,
    you must have your new rig by now hey??

  • Duck

    Holden does not get wood grain for Statesman or Caprice do they?

    • Shak

      The statesman gets wood and the tan interior, whereas the Caprice gets the aluminium and dark interior as standard.

  • alloyvee

    Why send our Aussie garbage over to Sth Korea. They have enough problems with there auto market without getting junk like this!!