Holden confirmed today that the next generation Holden VE Commodore Utes and Wagons will not get built for an unspecified period of time. Instead Holden says it plans to build two generations of Commodore at its South Australian vehicle operations at the same time to meet ongoing market demand for its wagon and utility body shapes.
Holden will not upgrade the VZ Ute and Wagon to the VE model but will instead manufacture them alongside the all-new VE Commodore and WM Statesman and Caprice. Holden denys lack of resources as the issue but instead says the decision to stick with the VZ model is much the same as the previous program with the VS Utility after the last new generation car, the VT Commodore, was introduced in 1997. The idea is to keep the focus on the current VE Sedan models before moving onto other body shapes.
Nevertheless, Holden claims the new 2007 model Holden Commodore Ute and Wagon come with some new and interesting things to keep the sales going. These upgrades include, dual fuel LPG systems will being offered as an optional on the automatic transmission version of the base level Ute as well as the auto-only Executive and Acclaim model wagons.
As part of the changeover, Holden will introduce an SV6 model in the Ute range to replace the outgoing S model.
VE and WM represent the biggest section of the market for our local manufacturing operations. We have spent more than $500 million preparing the plant to make the new cars. It has been critical that everyone at Holden has kept focus on these vehicles and done an excellent job of launching them into the market.
We believe our VZ Ute, Crewman, Wagon and Adventra have an important role to play in the marketplace, especially in the commercial market. It adds extra challenges to our manufacturing operations but we have heard what our customers have said and we will meet their needs. GM Holden Executive Director – Manufacturing, Rod Keane
Keane said the major upgrade works helped to enable the plant to manufacture two different model ranges at once, despite a range of manufacturing differences.
Our Bodyshop has significant flexibility. One section will focus on VE and WM, while another section will focus on VZ variants. The revamp of our general assembly will greatly enhance our ability to manage the increased complexity. Improvements include much wider laneways for material flow as well as manufacturing processes aimed at continuous improvement and first-time quality. he said.
Holden said the relatively low number of common parts shared between VZ and VE was a challenge from a logistic and supply perspective, but arrangements had been made to ensure VZ supplies would continue.
Crewman Cross6 and Cross8, One Tonner Cross6, Adventra V8 and Monaro coupe models have already ended production.
Details and timing for Holden’s future programs on wagon and light commercial applications have not been confirmed or announced.
VZ series model lineup
Ute – Ute, SV6 (previously S), SS
Crewman – Crewman, S, SS
Commodore Wagon – Executive, Acclaim, Berlina
Adventra – SX, CX, LX
Ignition (new) – chromatic red orange with fine mica gold highlight (S Crewman, SS Crewman, SV6 Ute, SS Ute)
Nickel (new) – mechanical dark silver with coarse metallic highlight (Ute, SV6 Ute, SS Ute)