The Chevrolet Camaro muscle car could replace the Holden Commodore on the racetrack and go head-to-head with the Ford Mustang as early as next year's V8 Supercar championship according to a secret proposal seen by CarAdvice.
The rollout of the local racing program for the American Camaro is part of a confidential plan to establish a new niche brand called General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV).
Under the proposal, which is yet to be signed off, General Motors would use the Camaro's participation in the V8 Supercar program to promote the local conversion of selected US niche models such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban SUVs, and could also pave the way for the return of certain Cadillac and Hummer models in years to come.
The GMSV brand would also distribute the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette due in Australian showrooms early next year. However unlike the Chevrolet models currently sold locally, the Corvette will be factory-made in right-hand drive.
Although Holden will close all 204 showrooms nationally by the end of this year, CarAdvice understands General Motors in Detroit is still keen to retain a presence in Australia.
Holden Special Vehicles, which had been modifying Australian-made Commodores for 30 years before the end of local manufacturing in 2017, has since shifted its business to convert certain left-hand drive models to right-hand drive but to factory quality standards.
Through its network of 65 Holden Special Vehicles dealers, the company has distributed the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car and Chevrolet Silverado pickup since 2018.
Holden Special Vehicles has had modest success so far with its conversion business, but it is about to ramp up production with the imminent arrival of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which undercuts its current pickup range by $30,000.
Representatives for Holden, General Motors, and Holden Special Vehicles have declined to comment on the speculation about the Camaro's track debut next year, however CarAdvice understands the plan is being reviewed at the highest levels of management in Detroit.
In the meantime, Holden has committed to supporting all current Commodore race teams through to the end of 2020.
The opening round of the 2020 V8 Supercars Championship starts this weekend at the Adelaide 500.