The soap opera surrounding the return of the Holden Commodore — or Pontiac G8, as we knew it — continues. Although former CEO Fritz Henderson was against the idea of using the platform again in North America, recent comments from Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, and Vice Chairman Bob Lutz suggest it may once again be possibility.
In a recent interview with Reuss, PickupTrucks.com asked if there was any possibility of the Commodore-based Ute — which, at one time, was slated to be sold here as the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck — making its way stateside. Although nothing is set in stone, Reuss — formerly the president of GM’s Holden operations — seems more than open to the idea.
“I think another brand with the Ute would be pretty attractive,” Reuss said. Although PickupTrucks.com suggested the possibility of the Ute appearing as a GMC, Reuss mentioned the possibility of it appearing as a Chevrolet. Not only would that delight fans of the storied El Camino, but it would help the business case by allowing a sedan counterpart to be sold here as well.
“If we did something with VE, it would be the same approach [as taken with the G8] but with another brand,” Reuss said.
Furthering speculating on the VE’s future in North American future is Bob Lutz, who told the Australian publication Drive that the company was looking at building a high-performance Chevrolet sedan on the platform. In Lutz’s words, if the company can bring the larger Caprice over as a Chevy police offering, there’s no reason not to create a civilian version as well.
“If we can pull [the police car] off, then we want to take a look at reintroducing a civil version as a high-end Chevrolet,” Lutz said. “When you get down to it, the thrill of high performance dirivng is unmatched by anything that doesn’t have rear-wheel drive, bags of torque, and a nice transmission.”
Lutz isn’t forgetting about CAFÉ standards, and notes that such a model would be sold in limited numbers. “With US fuel economy legislation,” he notes, “we can’t afford to sell too many of them.”
While encouraging news, it’s nothing to hold your breath over — at least not quite yet. As Holden President Alan Batey told PickupTrucks.com, “it’s too early to say what is definitely going to happen,” but there are “absolutely” talks with GM North America regarding future products for our market.