For Australia it’s out with Holden, in with General Motors Specialty Vehicles
GM Authority is reporting that General Motors and the Walkinshaw Group have cemented their stake in the new General Motors Specialty Vehicles brand, which is looking more and more like it will ultimately replace Holden in Australia as the marque ceases operations before 2021.
Less than a month ago, trademarks were filed with IP Australia for “GMSV” and “SV Specialty Vehicles,” according to documents. Based on GM Authority‘s report, this move solidifies GM’s continued presence in Australia despite the death of its domestic brand, with Walkinshaw Group handling the right-hand-drive conversions while maintaining its role as importer for GM’s global portfolio currently under Holden Specialty Vehicles (HSV). Walkinshaw Group—something of an OEM speed shop conglomerate founded by Scottish racer and constructor, Tom Walkinshaw—has previously handled the motorsport prep for Holden’s touring cars.
In February, GM announced that Holden would end sales by 2021 while also winding down all engineering and financial operations. Despite the Commodore and Monaro once upon a time effectively saving GM’s affordable performance offerings in the U.S., the brand has struggled to stay afloat against the increasing global competition. GM moved to retire Holden’s fleet of V-8, rear-drive sedans last year, but the coffin was already being nailed shut before the final announcement earlier this year.
“We do believe we have an opportunity to profitably grow the specialty vehicle business,” says Mark Reuss, who chaired Holden between 2008 and 2009 and currently serves as GM’s President. “[And we] plan to work with our partner [Walkinshaw Group] to do that.”
Interestingly, the “SV Special Vehicles” brand could opened up the Walkinshaw Group for more than just the importation of current GM products. According to the trademark filing, other ventures could may include: “Aircraft; boats; caravans and trailers; cycles and bicycles; vehicles including motor vehicles; engines for motor vehicles; cars, buses, trucks, and motorcycles; land vehicles; cigar and cigarette lighters for motor vehicles; parts and accessories for all the foregoing.”
For the time being, it appears that the GMSV brand will bring the Corvette, Camaro, and Silverado to the Australian market. Our guess is this won’t be enough to fill the void left in the hearts of Holden fans.