Holden Special Vehicles and the Walkinshaw Automotive Group have appointed a new boss, Joel Stoddart, as the company prepares to broaden its engineering business across multiple brands and ramp up production for General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV).
And although Holden Special Vehicles branding will disappear with Holden showroom signage by the end of the year, the company says it will preserve three decades of history of HSV cars and continue to support them with parts and service.
Mr Stoddart, a senior engineer with Holden Special Vehicles for 22 years – and who had a 12-month stint at Jayco Caravans in 2013 and 2014 – has been appointed managing director of the Walkinshaw Automotive Group.
The management change means Tim Jackson (pictured below), one of the longest serving managing directors of Holden Special Vehicles – and who was instrumental in returning the company to its engineering roots following the closure of the Holden brand – will step down after almost 11 years of service.
Mr Jackson joined HSV 11 years ago as marketing manager and was promoted to managing director six-and-a-half years ago. In his tenure, Jackson oversaw record sales at HSV, the introduction of LSA supercharged-powered Commodores, and the HSV GTS-R W1 finale.
Mr Jackson also helped set the company on the path to remanufacturing Chevrolet vehicles following the shutdown of the Holden factory in 2017, and was instrumental in establishing the new deal with General Motors Specialty Vehicles.
Under the new GMSV structure, it is understood General Motors will commission the Walkinshaw Automotive Group (the parent company of Holden Special Vehicles) to engineer and remanufacture Chevrolet vehicles – primarily Silverado pick-ups – to sell alongside the Corvette which will be factory-built in right-hand-drive in the US.
The new GMSV showrooms, which are due to be rolled out early next year, will initially sell the iconic Chevrolet Corvette sports car alongside locally remanufactured Chevrolet Silverado pick-ups.
If the GMSV program proves successful, there is scope to expand the line-up to include other models such as the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV (which shares much of its structure with the Silverado) and certain future Cadillac and Hummer models.
However, for now there are no plans to expand the range beyond the Corvette and Silverado range in local GMSV showrooms.
A statement issued today by Walkinshaw Automotive Group director, Ryan Walkinshaw, said: "On behalf of the Walkinshaw family, I'd like to thank Tim for his energy and commitment in leading the business through its transformation, including through dramatic changes in our operating environment. The business is now well positioned for growth as we complete the transition into our new world with our new partners. We're looking forward to sharing more about our exciting future shortly."