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by Karl Peskett

Full production of the Pontiac G8 began today, with Holden announcing that the Elizabeth plant in South Australia will now be split 50-50 between producing domestic and export vehicles.

The production line will now be running at full capacity, which is 620 cars a day. Yes, that means that one car comes off the line every 76 seconds.

Holden marked the occasion with VIP event at the Holden Vehicle Operations centre in Adelaide.


The event was attended, naturally enough, by GM Holden’s Chairman and Managing Director Chris Gubbey. He was joined by new Federal Industry Minister  Simon Crean, acting Premier of South Australia Kevin Foley, and Victorian Minister for Industry and Trade Theo Theophanous.

Mr Gubbey was excited about the future of Holden, and noted that even though Holden has been producing local cars for 60 years, exports were integral to its continued success.

“GM has recognised Holden’s expertise and has entrusted the design and engineering of the Group’s large rear-wheel drive cars to us. This commitment is seeing us develop our exports which we see as a vital part of our business model going forward. The results are already evident. Vehicles are now rolling off the production line here at Elizabeth for export under internationally recognised brand names of Holden, Vauxhall, Chevrolet and now Pontiac. Next year, with our exports to Korea, we will add Daewoo to that list,” he said.

Mr Gubbey also made mention of the fact that the flexibility of the Elizabeth plant, due to recent investment, has been a key element in Holden’s export program.

“This investment has enabled us to remain competitive and means we can achieve a diverse mix of models, both left hand and right hand drive, for markets around the world,” he said.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au George

    I can definitely see a lot of people lining up to get that bonnet on their VEs.

    I was under the impression they were assembled in the US, guess not… definitely good news for Holden.

  • Myke

    ^The reason why the G8 is produced here, so that Holden has a future in Oz making the Commodore.

  • golfschwein

    George, I can absolutely see that happening! I’ve seen plenty of VT/VZs running around with Chevrolet grille and tail lamp appliques, so I’m sure Those Boys will find a way of getting a G8 bonnet.

    Myke, yes, yes, yes! No exports equals no future.

    Folks, help me. What does ^ mean?

  • golfschwein

    No, wait a sec, that bonnet won’t fit a Commodore because of the way it has a little jutty-out piece in the middle of the leading edge at the front.

  • Wheelnut

    Golfschwein – I think the “^” is to indicate that you’re referring to the previous blog – directly above yours

    Oh and inorder to fit the Bonnet you’llalso need a slightly different front bumper because the grille is deeper

  • Bavarian Missile

    hahaha….my anti spam word was FORD……

    Golfschwein……..terrible being generation x sometimes ha! I still don’t how they do those smiley faces??

    So Wheelnut do you think GMH will continue to export to the States? I think if they sell enough of them GM will do their own ! Someone refresh my memory on why they canned the Monaro in the States the first time? I remember reading about years ago!

  • Elitist

    GM is only manufacturing this car in OZ due to exchange rates.
    If they get the opportunity they will move the Pontiac to Korea and get is produced by Dewoo for even cheaper……Capitalism…No National pride.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Really……you think there isn’t much difference in the exchange rate at the moment……As components already get shipped over here from the US for them anyway it would all even out..Whilst in the US in August I am sure I read something in ROAD and Track that mentioned them being made in the USA…….Ill have to go through the coffee table pile of car mags that are about to be shelved for the year!

  • golfschwein

    Elitist, it’s all part of the deal. You might (?) have been joking but Ford Oz designed and developed the Indian Fiesta sedan that’s swinging in production right about now and Holden’s Caprice is about to be manufactured by, oh who was it…either by Buick as a Park Avenue in China or by Daewoo as a whatever in Korea.

    Whatever, it’s all good for our industry, says he who bought a South Efrican built Golf. :)

    Hi Bav Mis!!! How ya goin? Do a little colon (:) followed by a right bracket, which will look like a little smile on its side. Then, the clever people who work on the site immediately translate that into a little yellow face! If you do a semi-colon, that’ll give you a wink. A left bracket looks like a sad bastard and so on.

    Hard day at the office. Luckily, Big Cyster dropped in with a belated birthday prezzie that has the outline of a bottle of baileys. If it looks that much like a duck, I suspect the quacking noises will follow immediately upon opening it and I shall thus reward myself with a wee drinkie. Or three.

  • Bavarian Missile

    So when was your B/D ……..Oh I missed it! Ill have to drop down with something for you honey!!

  • golfschwein

    Oh, way way back in October, Bavarian Missile. My family’s like that. We know where we all are, we just don’t always get there. :)

  • Al Juraj

    It’s normally the tendency. If you’re here, you’d want your VE to look like the G8, but if you’re Stateside, you’re after a Pontiac Commodore.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Ok Ill try that then Golfschwein…..:)

    Same here…and the worst I thought it would be a GREAT IDEA as its Christmas next week to do GYM twice a day…cardio in the morning weights in the arvo {some of those guys must be on horse steroids}So Im nackered !!!!Never mind only 6 more visits to go!

    Baileys……mmmm that brings back memories! I use to be a prom chick for the stuff! Plus most of the other well known top shelf stuff! Perfume going down….remember that!

  • jbot

    Wow. How embarrasing. Commodores getting rebadged as Daewoos. That’s just not right.

  • Bavarian Missile

    hahaha….it didn’t work try again (:)

  • Bavarian Missile

    hahaha….na.didn’t work again! Now it just looks like 1 breast with 2 nipples….hahaha.Give up!!

  • Bavarian Missile

    Hang on Ill ask the kids…………God she’s such an idiotic person isn’t she guys?.. :)

  • Bavarian Missile

    He typed too fast for me too see what he did? Now I give up!

  • Me.

    God this is filthy LOL…

    As for the car, I know that bonnet can’t be put on an Australian VE, but I bet Holden fans would love that bonnet on their VE.

  • Momo

    Those four men in the bottom photo must be all looking at the quad exhaust contemplating a 3″ stainless job, I’m sure.

  • golfschwein

    leave at least one space before trying, Bav Mis, like :)

    This is the blind leading the blind!

  • Bavarian Missile

    You know MOMO……I thought it was “which fat cat didn’t go with the other” See now chicks ring each other to find out what their wearing !!hehehe

    Looks real fake ha!

    As far as the Bonnet…..mmmmmm Well I guess the Americans like it. Remember the XB GS one the Monaro had last time….that looked crap! Sorry,but it did! :)

  • Bavarian Missile

    God damnit…..it worked!WOOHOO! :)

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Karl Peskett

    Fixed it for you BM. You just need to leave a space before doing the :

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yep……Golfschwein!!!!!Pass the Baileys……Ill have ice with it! :)

  • Bavarian Missile

    Thanks Karl…..I think Ive got the hang of it…….finally!

    Maybe we should both head off to Golfschweins place….I need to unwind!!

  • golfschwein

    Nothing new there, JBOT. Been happening since the VB, off and on.

  • golfschwein

    Oh no! You mean I’ll have to hide the Kevin07 t shirt?

  • Bavarian Missile

    I can drive a car a lot better than a computer………thank god!

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yeah….right……….your from my age group,you know what were in for!! Ill bring the “recession 08″ one down with me!hahaha

    So where do I park the hack??? Plenty of spots out the front?

    I guess your off to the relies for XMAS …….drop up to my place if you want after! Pick you up if you want? I cook a great XMAS LUNCH!!Crayfish,WA PRAWNS,HAM,TURKEY,PORK WITH CRACKLING……We always have a ball!

  • golfschwein

    LOL. Nothing like a bit of politics to get things revved up at 10.30, is there?

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yep……….have a good night……talk tomorrow!xxx

  • Lazybones

    golfschwein, Bavarian Missile lets just stay on topic guys. There is always facebook for this kind of conversation :)

    So anyway, I went to http://www.pontiac.com, looked at the range, chucked up my breakfast and then clicked G8 Early 2008 link. So can anyone explain why the yanks get a Holden VE V8 for 30K US (35K AUS), while we have to pay around 55K AUS for a similar product? Surely you’d think being made here would mean a lower price.

  • The Axe

    Good on Holden for leading the way again. I wish Ford HQ rethink their plans for Ford OZ because we are very good at building large sedans.

  • Frugal One


    I am happy for Holden and S/Australia.

    The piss off is the USA punters will have a much better spec. vehicle [with DOD V8 i believe] and after taking freight and other charges into consideration they will buy it heaps cheaper than they sell a base SS to us….Groan….



  • Duck

    Great for HOLDEN!

  • Wheelnut

    BM I think that Holden will continue it’s export program.. particularly when there are rumours that GM are looking at closing up to 4 possibly even 6 of its plants in the USA..

    If they do close then seeing that Holden is the R&D centre for RWD; GM may decide to expand the Factory at Elizabeth [there’s enough room].. Otherwise there’s Canada where the next GTO/Monaro will be built.

    we won’t know until after the meeting in January next year where the GM board will develop a plan to get then out of the trouble they’re in

  • Wheelnut


    GM is building this car here because the new production line which took nearlty 1/2 of the billion dollar babys budget has improved the build quality fit and finish of the cars compared to previous models so much that its only something that the Americans could only dream of with their cars

    And as part of GMs plans to streamline operations and get them out of the mess theyre in at the moment it’s expected that a couple of plants in the US will close

    Because in the US there are a number of plants producing the same cars as another plant a couple of 1000 miles away and most plants are operating at less than 75% capacity

    Whereas Holdens Elizabeth plant is at full capacity producing 620 cars a day which equates to one rolling off the line every 76 seconds [not bad when you consider VW are making one every 38 seconds]

    Price isn’t the real issue its Quality.. Holden builds a Quality; some would say World Class car and if people can see the quality in something; see that it does what its supposed to or meets their requirements etc they will often be prepared to pay a little extra for it..

    After all the reason the Daewoos in Holdens range aren’t selling as well as the Opels is due to the lack of quality
    which is the main reason Holden should start to import the Opels ASAP.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Thanks for that Wheelnut,time will tell!

    I guess that Americans would be expecting it to be manufactured their in the end which is what the story I read was probably implying.After all they don’t think our quality is as good as theres!

    I think that after seeing the VE now though they are thinking other wise!

  • Wheelnut


    The other thing is that it cost Holden $1 Billion to design research develop and produce the VE. Now inorder for Holden to recover that cost – if they made a $1,000 profit on each car they would have to sell 1 million commodores.. which would take at least 7-10 years if they only sold it in Oz.
    Therefore; inorder to reduce the time period the only option is to export the VE.. which is only now starting to take off with the Sedan plus the Ute and Wagon in 08.
    PLUS given the reported/expected demand for these Cars in the US the period should be reduced to approx 4 years by which time Holden will be ready to start work on the next RWD model if they haven’t allready.

    Holden means more to GM [and their plans] than you might think.

  • Wheelnut

    BM – I think the yanks are starting to realise what poor quality cars they design and build..

    Not only after seeing our Aussie built cars but more cars from Europe Japan and dare I say Korea.

    Took them a while

  • Me.

    Wheelnut, you right there.
    some of the modern yanky cars that came over here have turned in to lemons. The Ford Taurus that came here in the 90s was a piece of junk.

  • Lcat

    I agree with you Wheelnut.
    The yanks have finally come to the self realisation that their (GM) u.s. quality standards have languished in the dark ages and a plan of action is required.

    I think the appointment of Greg Tyus as chief of Holden engineering is part of that strategy and I would guess that they hope the stint in Aus will impregnate him with a good dose of Holden Aussie Know How and then ship him back to the states pronto.

  • http://caradvice.com.au chris parr

    This is the reason why I reckon holden and toyota will be the only manufacturers left in oz within the next 5 years.
    because they both have an export plan for the future and not relying on just local sales!! sorry but i think it will be good bye for ford and mitsubishi soon unless they change there ideas on exporting soon!!!!

  • Wheelnut

    All mitsubishi haS to do is let the creative genius wh designed the Lancer loose on the 380.. before they are head hunted by say Subaru.

    Afterall the cash they’ll receive from the expected sales of the new Lancer – particularly the EVO and Ralliart versions.. wil be more than enough for a facelift of the 380.. maybe even a complete overhaul to RWD [with V8 option] as Tom Phillips originally intended before getting the boot from Tokyo

  • troylynxtn

    As an american I will say Holden Commodor is built better than our own GM cars. And GM Pontiac has really gone down hill in the past 20 years. So the Holden built G8 is the best thing GM Pontiac could do to bring themselfs out of a hole. As far as the engine goes I will say GM America does build a very good engine….Also in reading some of your comments about people in OZ wanting their SSVE to look like a Pontiac the opposite is true here in the states. I have been waiting for this car to come here in the states for 2 years. And the first thing I plan to do is put a SS VE front end back on it… So if any of you Aussie’s would like to swap front ends I sure would send you my G8 front end…To me all the pontiac’s look the same and have no class.
    Sincery to all
    Troy H