The total spend will reach $8.9 million and sees Holden increase its emissions and calibration team to over 100 employees, cementing it as a global player within the General Motors engineering world.
The upgrade will allow Holden to test vehicles up to a Euro 6c emissions standard, along with the stringent standards required in the United States. Holden is currently testing a suite of Cadillac vehicles, along with US market mid-sized trucks like the Colorado.
Performing over 100 tests per week, Holden is able to conduct around 7000 emission tests per year on a range of vehicles from the GM empire, covering around 10 brands in total.
Holden plans to complete construction on the refurbished facility by mid-2017.
Holden Australia will spend $6 million on a new Euro 6 emissions testing laboratory at its top secret Lang Lang proving ground.
Speaking at the recent launch of the Holden Colorado, Holden vehicle development manager Jeremy Tassone told CarAdvice that the implementation of a Euro 6 testing facility at Lang Lang would allow its local engineers to work on international product.
Each vehicle from each GM brand, globally, features a 'home room' that is responsible for aspects of the vehicle's development. Holden's local specialty is powertrain calibration (in addition to chassis calibration) for certain types of engines.
Peter Keley, executive director of sales at Holden, told CarAdvice that Australia's engineers are in high demand within the GM world.
"All of the global work that our powertrain calibration guys will be taking up - you may have seen Cadillac and full size American trucks on local roads. That’s been our powertrain engineering guys taking on those programs locally," Keley said.
"That’s what the upgrade is all about. It’s always been one of our strengths. The black art of tuning and chassis dynamics, along with powertrains."
This explains why a number of our readers have spotted Cadillac and GMC vehicles driving on local streets. A number of these vehicles require powertrain calibrations to meet Euro 6 compliance, or include mid-life upgrades.
With over 100 engineers working locally on powertrain programs, Keley said that GM fully supports Holden's involvement in global development programs.
"They see us as an integral part of GM on a global basis. I talk to people in Detroit on a regular basis and they are very supportive of us as a market and understand it’s right-hand drive," Keley said.
CarAdvice has contacted Holden for further details on the new Euro 6 emissions laboratory. In the interim though, it's exciting to see Holden's continued support of local engineering personnel and if you do spot any of these foreign cars on the road, you'll know why.