GM boss promises more right-hand-drive cars out of the US

#hashtags: #General Motors #Mary Barra #September 2015 #Joshua Dowling #CarsGuide #Barra

Global boss of General Motors, Mary Barra GM boss promises more right-hand-drive cars out of the US

15 September 2015 by Joshua Dowling · CarsGuide

Holden to import some cars from the US -- but don't hold your breath for big pick-ups.

The global boss of General Motors, Mary Barra, has confirmed Holden will source some of its vehicles from the US once the local production of the Commodore ends in late 2017.

The high ranking executive would not reveal which models would make the trip Down Under, but CarsGuide believes a number of SUVs shared with Buick and Opel are on the cards, as is a flagship Corvette sportscar.

The new Camaro is not likely to make the boat because it was not developed for right-hand-drive -- but we may get the next generation model due in 2022.

The company is now rebuilding its global line-up

When asked why previous right-hand-drive projects such as the Chevrolet Camaro were shelved, Mary Barra said the plans were scrapped due to the Global Financial Crisis, but the company is now rebuilding its global line-up.

"Some of the decisions were made when we were at a point … when it was difficult from a capital and investment perspective," said Ms Barra.

Australia would not automatically get "every vehicle across the (US) portfolio". But, she said, "we're looking for whatever the right vehicles (are) that are going to round out the portfolios in very important countries that require right-hand drive".

"I think you will see a much more planned and very proactive view of how we do it," said Ms Barra.

"Because when you engineer a vehicle (for left- and right-hand-drive), if you know from the beginning that's what you're going to do, it's much easier than going in and trying to re-engineer it, and so that's our focus, so you will see an improvement for sure," Ms Barra told media in Frankfurt on the eve of the motor show.

Ms Barra also repeated earlier comments that Holden would be more closely tied to GM's European brand Opel in future.

The British sister brand of Opel, Vauxhall, represents a staggering 40 per cent of the volume of the shared Opel and Vauxhall cars -- more than Opel in Europe.

Given that the UK is a right-hand-drive market, this means Holden will tap into more Opel cars, including the next generation 2018 Commodore and the new Astra hatchback, due late next year.

"Holden is an important market," said Ms Barra. "We've made changes to our business model there. But (we're) making sure that we look at the portfolio going forward, what are the right products to have in the Holden portfolio that are going to be most meaningful, and that forms a strong relationship with Opel."

Ms Barra also said the recent announcement that Holden had secured 150 engineering jobs alongside 150 designers once manufacturing ends in 2017 was a good opportunity for Holden, but it was not likely to lead to an increase in engineering work at this point in time.

Ms Barra said Holden has "very capable design and engineering talent".

"We'll look for the right engineering and design activity to be integrated and support (global General Motors vehicles). It's a moment in time that makes good business sense but I wouldn't read more into it," she said.

Related to this 2016 Renault Megane revealed Are small SUVs a better buy than a small hatch? Subaru WRX STI vs Renault Megane RS275 Trophy Renault Megane GT220 vs Peugeot 308 GT 2014 Renault Megane GT-Line review COMMENTS

In this section

2016 Renault Megane revealed Are small SUVs a better buy than a small hatch? Subaru WRX STI vs Renault Megane RS275 Trophy Renault Megane GT220 vs Peugeot 308 GT 2014 Renault Megane GT-Line review View all Related Pages: Holden Industry news Motor Shows Related Searches: Search Holden cars for sale Get the latest news, reviews and advice every week Subscribe '); }