The appearance of GMSV online has sent of ripple of excitement through the community of Chevrolet Corvette and Silverado fans in Australia – but everything isn’t quite as it seems.
When Holden announced it would leave the Australian market, General Motors (GM) committed to bringing “specialty” vehicles such as the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette sports car and Silverado pickup Down Under through an organisation expected to be called General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV).
Details about the organisation haven’t yet been finalised, but we know it’s likely to be a continuation of the work carried out by the company formerly known as Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), which has been importing the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car and Silverado ute to Australia, converting them to right-hand drive, and selling them in HSV showrooms.
A website bearing a GMSV logo has surfaced, providing what enthusiasts thought would be the first look at the future of GM in Australia.
Only problem is, the new GMSV website and associated Facebook page are “absolutely not” affiliated with General Motors, Chevrolet, HSV, or the Walkinshaw Group.
“That website and trademark has no affiliation with HSV or the Walkinshaw Group in any way,” said Chris Polites, executive director of sales, marketing, and after sales at Walkinshaw Automotive Group, the parent company responsible for HSV.
When the closure of Holden was announced, General Motors said it “intends to focus its growth strategy in Australia and New Zealand on the specialty vehicles business and plans to immediately work with its partner on developing these plans”.
It has not since made an official announcement confirming its plan for the specialty vehicles program.
Along with cleaning products and branded clothing, the GMSV website features a ‘vehicles’ tab with a photo of a covered car, while the Facebook page says “GMSV Official Licensed Merchandise” is coming soon.
The GMSV trademark application was submitted on May 12, 2020, with the trademark registered by Laser Cleaning Machines Australia Pty Ltd. The same registered address of that company holds the registration for GMSV Pty Ltd and GMSV Performance Pty Ltd.
To make matters even more confusing, GMSV is running Google advertising promoting the shop as officially licensed merchandise when searching for things such as “GMSV Holden”.
Don’t get excited just yet, then. Holden is expected to make some kind of announcement in the coming months, which will cement its position on right-hand drive conversion of General Motors vehicles.
General Motors has recently confirmed the Corvette will still be factory produced in right-hand drive, despite production delays caused by COVID-19, firming its chances of coming to Australia.
We attempted to contact GMSV through its Facebook page and the telephone number listed on its website. At the time of publish there was no response to the Facebook query, and the telephone number appears to be disconnected.