Holden refuses to commit to killing Commodore nameplate

Holden has refused to confirm the demise of the Commodore nameplate when local manufacturing ceases in 2017, leaving the possibility that the next-generation large car will continue as an imported model.
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Asked directly whether the company would kill off the Commodore nameplate, Holden product communications manager Kate Lonsdale reiterated multiple times that "we don't talk about future product."

When asked whether Lonsdale could address the fact that Holden Commodore loyalists may what to know about the future of the nameplate, the product communications manager again declined to respond.

"We've literally just made this announcement, we've got a lot of things to work through and we're not going to talk about what's happening in a few years' time."

By contrast, Ford Australia immediately confirmed it would retire the Falcon nameplate when its local manufacturing operations close in October 2016, though as Holden is doing with the Commodore, it left the door open to continuing the Territory badge.

Holden managing director Mike Devereux said in February 2013 that the local design and engineering department had begun work on the next-generation Commodore.

"General Motors has started working on it," he said.

"The team here is obviously involved in that as they have been in all sorts of things, and I will say no more of it.”

Lonsdale again refused to comment on the eventuation of that project and whether it would be stillborn, except to say that "the design centre is going to stay, it will be a global design centre based here in Port Melbourne, [but] engineering operations will be scaled down over the next three [years] towards 2017. The Lang Lang proving ground and engines operations ... will be closed down over the next few years".

It is believed the next-generation Holden Commodore would be heavily based on a GM large front-wheel-drive platform. Killing the Commodore would today result in a 25 per cent loss in total Holden sales in this country, with the large car to November 2013 contributing to 25,218 of the brand's total 102,909 sales. Where the Commodore sold 3079 units in November, the company's new medium car hope and vehicle most likely to succeed the Commodore, the Malibu, garnered just 168 sales.

Devereux added in February that the company had "absolutely no debates about it [dropping the Commodore name] internally".

“The interesting thing about the Commodore name, and in fact the reason to lay that down today to end any speculation is that people love this nameplate..."

Whether that nameplate is linked with local production remains to be seen.