The General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) brand is expected to outline its plans within the coming weeks or months – effectively replacing Holden Special Vehicles – however the iconic Chevrolet Corvette sports car has been delayed until late 2021 or early 2022.
CarAdvice understands General Motors will announce its plans for GMSV once compensation negotiations with Holden dealers are finalised.
Earlier this week, Holden boss Kristian Aquilina told a Senate Inquiry more than 90 per cent of the 185 Holden dealers who operate 203 showrooms nationally have agreed to compensation packages offered to them following the announcement of the shutdown of the brand.
While most dealers had signed before the 30 June 2020 deadline, one of the largest dealer groups extended their negotiations, but is understood to have finalised its compensation this week.
Holden dealer sources believe only 15 to 20 dealers remain outstanding; once those negotiations are finalised, it is believed General Motors will formalise its plans for GMSV.
One scenario is that GMSV would utilise the conversion facility built up by the Walkinshaw Automotive Group alongside its HSV assembly line, which pivoted to factory-grade right-hand-drive conversions of left-hand-drive vehicles when local manufacturing ended in 2017.
Under that proposal, GMSV would be responsible for the distribution, sales and marketing of all vehicles.
This would enable GMSV-branded dealerships to sell models such as the Chevrolet Silverado – remanufactured to right-hand-drive locally – alongside the new Chevrolet Corvette which will be made in right-hand-drive on a US production line for the first time in the nameplate's history.
CarAdvice understands the iconic Corvette was originally due to go on sale in the first half 2021, however it has been pushed back to coincide with a tech change that would homologate the vehicle based on European emissions standards.
It is unclear which variants of the Corvette will be offered in Australia, but dealers have been given indicative pricing starting from $120,000 to $130,000 plus on-road costs.
However, this price range is subject to change depending on currency pressure and any unforeseen costs associated with the homologation process.
Even at this target price point, the Chevrolet Corvette would have the performance to match or exceed sports cars that cost more than twice as much.
A representative for Holden Special Vehicles declined to comment on any future plans but said it was business as usual and planned to continue selling the Chevrolet Silverado pick-up and remaining stocks of the Camaro muscle car at HSV dealers.