Nonetheless, whilst Korean manufacturer Daewoo continue to send us cars built in a jungle clearing by people who go to work in shoes made from leaves (to quote Jeremy Clarkson on Malaysian cars), Holden has decided to repay the favour by sending over the WM Caprice.
Of course, the Koreans are a proud people, they don't simply buy our WM Caprice and call it a Holden Caprice, that would be similar to Holden selling the Barina as a Daewoo Barina. So instead they've called it the Daewoo L4X. The L4X is scheduled to go on sale in Korea in 2008 and will be based on the WM Caprice.
The new vehicle, which will be tailored to the needs of the Korean market (in otherwords, some of the good bits that us aussies love will be taken out), will be built at GM Holden's vehicle assembly plant in Elizabeth with the Global V6 engine coming from the company's engine operations at Fishermans Bend in Victoria.
GM Holden's Chairman and Managing Director Denny Mooney (who is an American), said,
“This is another example of General Motors' ability to leverage its global resources to satisfy a local market need. GM Daewoo and its customers will benefit from GM Holden's acknowledged expertise in developing and manufacturing rear wheel drive vehicles."
Although our hate for Mr Mooney runs deep, he does have a point. The American approach of cut jobs and follow the Japanese model of designing a car with export potential has paid of for Holden.
“With our new VE and WM ranges, we designed and engineered them to appeal to both local and overseas markets. We are starting to see the returns from that with our Australian–built cars currently being exported to every continent except Antarctica." Mr Mooney said“Exports of cars and engines continue to be a core component of GM Holden's future strategy for growth and today's confirmation of new exports to Korea further expands our growing presence in overseas markets.”
When it comes to exporting Australian cars, GM Holden has been doing it for 5 decades. With over 772,000 vehicles exported to overseas markets, Holden does actually mean a great deal to Australia's economy.
Whilst we send more troops to combat terrorism in the region, we send far more cars to countries which tend to have indirect links to the terrorists. In fact the Middle East is Holden's best customer with over 31,000 new cars sent to the region in 2006.
The table below shows the current list Holden exports:
|Market||Local model||Closest Holden equivalent|
|Middle East – Chevrolet – LHD||Lumina LS||Commodore VE Omega|
|Lumina S||Commodore SV6|
|Lumina LTZ||Commodore Berlina|
|Lumina SS||Commodore SS|
|Caprice LS||No domestic equivalent|
|Caprice SS||No domestic equivalent|
|US – Pontiac – LHD||Pontiac G8||Commodore SV6|
|Pontiac G8 GT||Commodore SSV|
|New Zealand – Holden – RHD||Full range||Full range|
|Brazil – Chevrolet – LHD||Omega CD||Commodore Berlina|
|UK - Vauxhall – RHD||VXR8||Commodore VE Clubsport R8|
|South Africa – Chevrolet – RHD||Lumina SS||Commodore SSV|
|Lumina SS Ute||Commodore VZ SS Ute|