It was bad enough when General Motors announced it was going to kill Pontiac--and the excellent G8 sedan along with it--but then the General toyed with us, giving us conflicting reports over whether the G8 would be sold as a Chevrolet once Pontiac goes away. (It won't.) Now we're hearing that not only will GM assemble more G8 sedans for Australia, but the Aussies will also get that nifty pickup version that never made it to production.
According to a report stemming from a dealer bulletin, GM's Australian division, Holden, will build about 1500 Pontiac G8 sedans, wagons, and utes to be sold as special edition Holden Commodore SS-Vs down under. The Commodore SS-V was rebadged and shipped to the U.S. as the G8 with unique front and rear fascias. These "special edition" versions will get all the body cladding from the G8 versions, including the bonnet, front bumper, and grille, but will be badged as Holdens, not Pontiacs.
The dealer bulletin says Holden will built about 500 each of the sedan, wagon, and sport ute body styles. Here in the U.S., we were only offered the sedan, though we came close to getting the ute as well. Holden is reportedly building these last 1500 G8s to get rid of spare parts that can't be used for anything else. Each of the limited models will be sold for $1000 more than a regular SS-V version of the Commodore.
Holden spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale would not confirm the models. "We are always looking to introduce exciting special edition packs, but we haven't announced any special programs yet," she said.
Ironically, the Pontiac G8 seemed to be GM's most recession-proof vehicle: Sales were up more than 63 percent last month compared with a year earlier.