Holden insists it is not annoyed at the lack of right-hand drive availability on the Chevrolet Camaro, at the same time as nemesis Ford Australia is having sell-out success with the new Mustang.
As we reported this week, Ford’s entire 2016 allocation of 4000 Mustangs is apparently sold out, with 80 per cent secured via deposit before even going on sale.
Surely, we asked GM Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard last night, this must rankle? Surely Holden would kill to get its claws into a Mustang killer rather than looking balefully from the sidelines?
“No not really. When I came back (to Australia) I understood what the portfolio was. I’m very confident where it takes us in future,” he said.
“We’ve announced we will have a vehicle in that segment, and we are confident it will fit in.”
Indeed, Holden has confirmed it will have some variety of V8 sports car post the death of the Australian-made V8 Commodore in 2017, but we don’t know what it will be. Speculation suggests the Corvette.
We asked Bernhard if GM in the US might consider an about-face and eventually make the Camaro ex-factory in RHD.
“We’re not talking about that,” he said. “As I said, we are happy with the folio we have coming up. The dealers are happy with where we are headed with the product,” he insisted.
Holden’s communications director Sean Poppitt weighed in, saying: “Would we like Camaro? Absolutely.” But, he added, the company would still have the V8 Commodore sedan, wagon and ute in its arsenal for two more years, to buy some time.
As we know, the 233kW/432Nm four-cylinder turbo and 303kW/525Nm 5.0-litre V8 Mustang Fastback and convertible are priced pretty keenly, between $44,990 and $63,990 plus on-road costs.
This figure must hurt local RHD converters. Any local conversion jobs on new Camaros will no doubt command a big cost premium over the Ford.
The new Camaro in the US matches up well to the Mustang, with its three-strong engine range comprising a 205kW/400Nm 2.0 turbo, a 250kW/385Nm V6 and the headlining 339kW/617Nm 6.2-litre V8 Camaro SS.