Holden might be gone, but General Motors lives on Down Under.
The American giant has officially confirmed it will sell low-volume enthusiast cars in Australia under the General Motors Specialty Vehicle (GMSV) banner, starting with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck.
The Corvette will be manufactured in right-hand drive from the factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, while the Silverado line-up will continue being converted from left-hand drive by Walkinshaw in Clayton, Victoria.
HSV has already revealed pricing for the Silverado 1500, which goes head-to-head with the Ram 1500.
General Motors hasn’t yet confirmed which other products will be brought to Australia under the GMSV banner, but a statement from its director, Joanne Stogiannis, points to the “niche luxury” segment as one option.
“The new investment by GM in the Australian and New Zealand markets will bring extra competition to niche luxury and performance segments of the car market, enhanced choice to consumers while underpinning new employment opportunities,” Ms Stogiannis said in a statement.
Could some Cadillac models be coming to Australia? We certainly hope so, although GMSV is focusing on the Chevrolet Silverado and Corvette at launch.
General Motors plans to have GMSV up and running before the end of 2020. Details about the dealer network haven’t been confirmed, but it’s likely to be made up of mostly ex-Holden Special Vehicles showrooms.
A GMSV spokesperson said the network is being finalised, but confirmed “many HSV dealers are likely to become GMSV dealers”.
There were more than 60 active HSV dealers when General Motors announced it would be leaving Australia earlier this year, but whether all of those will become GMSV showrooms isn’t clear.
General Motors currently has a staff of 200 in Australia, and says the establishment of GMSV indirectly supports more than 150 manufacturing jobs.