A half-sister to the Chevrolet brand, Holden Australia has been making stellar cars and utility vehicles since the 1930s, when the brand became a subsidiary of American-based General Motors. Of course, many of the cars that came out of this collaboration were killer muscle cars like the Holden FB Special, Monaro Coupe, HQ Kingswood, and of course, the famed Pontiac GTO-like Holden Ute. But with Holden shutting down production in Australia in 2017, that leaves the performance tuning division of the company, Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), without a permanent home. According to Motor Authority, that could mean that HSV will be heading stateside.
In late 2013, Holden announced that it would cease production in Australia by 2017, citing limited domestic sales, high-cost of production and the hefty exchange rate of the Australian dollar. Though the brand will remain intact, all the cars with the Holden badge on them after 2017 will be re-badged imports. This leaves the brand’s premiere in-house tuner in a pickle.
Now that their services won’t be needed in Australia, HSV, which specializes in creating specialized Holden Commodore-based, rear-wheel-drive V8 sedans, is looking for a new home, making the move to the United States an easy decision.
According to Australia-based publication Motoring, the Walkinshaw Group, which owns HSV, wants to use the tuner’s business model to expand on a relationship with GM, including possibly introducing a “halo” brand for Chevrolet.
With their current loyalty to the rear-wheel-drive V8 platform, HSV could easily transition into building specialty Camaros or Chevy SS models, which are both rumored to be available in the Australian market at some point in the future. This means, there is hope that HSV could also offer them in the U.S. market.
“We think something like that (CSV) could work,” Walkinshaw Group Chairman Ryan Walkinshaw told Motoring. “It depends on what products are available. It’s going to depend on the discussions with GM going forward. There’s a lot of factors we have to take into account.But I think we are pretty confident in what we do.”
“We know we could deliver some pretty good products outside what we do with Commodore in Australia and we have proven that plenty of times before with our history and with what we are doing currently for other manufacturers.”
Though Walkinshaw’s optimal choice would be to have HSV stay in Australia still producing “Australian-built cars” by receiving them partly assembled and then finishing them off at a dedicated facility, they will take the company elsewhere if that isn’t an option. They are also open to moving business stateside or being a part of the import Chevy market.
We’ve seen some amazing cars come out of Holden Australia over the years and those touched by HSV have been nothing but stellar. We can only hope that regardless of where HSV ends up when Holden ceases production in Australia, that Chevy fans here will be able to get a taste of the HSV greatness on our side of the pond.