The future of Holden's performance arm, Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), is unclear with no agreement struck between Holden and HSV beyond 2017.
Premoso Pty Ltd, the company that operates HSV in Australia, filed documents with ASIC in May this year that show profits for financial year 2015 had dropped from a little over $5.7 million in 2014 to just over $3.0 million in 2015 — a slump of almost 50 per cent.
Speaking at the recent launch of the Holden Colorado, Holden managing director Mark Bernhard exclusively told CarAdvice that while HSV is an important part of Holden's business, there was no definitive deal beyond 2017.
"We see them as an important adjunct to the Holden business and we’re happy to work with them," Bernhard said.
Asked if an agreement had been reached, he added: "No, not at this point in time. The discussions are ongoing around a number of different products."
To date, HSV has focused almost exclusively on developing high-performance versions of Holden product. In recent history, the only deviation from this was the HSV VXR, which was based on the previous generation Vauxhall Astra VXR.
History would suggest the next likely vehicle to wear an HSV badge would be a version of the upcoming Commodore, which is expected to be based largely on the yet-to-be-released next-generation Opel Insignia.
Could HSV work beyond its standard form of working on the Commodore only? Holden executive director of sales, and Premoso Pty Ltd director, Peter Keley seems to think so.
"They [HSV] have been a great part of the Holden image for a long time. The opportunity... everyone thinks of HSV one-dimensionally, the list of opportunities is significant," Keley said.
Holden and HSV today released a joint statement to CarAdvice regarding their plans, but it failed to shed any more light on the future of Australia's Holden performance arm.
"Holden and HSV greatly value their strong partnership. As both Holden and HSV’s businesses fundamentally change and transform for the long term, we are confident of finding a successful path in the future, together," said the joint statement from HSV managing director Tim Jackson and Holden managing director Mark Bernhard.
"As usual, we don’t talk about future programs or negotiations, but Holden and HSV are both working closely on expanding their vehicle portfolios for the future," the joint statement continued.
What do you think will happen with HSV beyond 2017? Which vehicles would you like to see in the HSV portfolio?