The Australian car market has been reeling from low domestic sales and the loss of Ford Australia, which will switch to only importing, rather than building new cars. While GM has committed to keeping Holden a domestic manufacturer in Oz, sales have been slumping and the company could really use a shot in the arm.
Well that shot is called the Chevy SS, the all-new American sports sedan that will be built at Holden’s Elizabethtown factory. Motoring.com.au reports that production is underway, and while sale estimates are conservative, the extra revenue is exactly what Holden needs right now.
GM’s President of North America Mark Reuss has estimated that first-year sales of the Chevy SS sedan should be between 10,000 and 15,000 units. Considering that the more-expensive 2014 Corvette C7 is expected to exceed 35,000 units in the first 12 months it goes on sale, the $44,470 Chevy SS is even more “niche” than the Stingray.
But for Holden, an extra 10,000 to 15,000 units manufactured is a big boon to the Australian car company. Until 2011, the Holden Commodore, upon which the Chevy SS is based, was Australia’s best-selling car. Commodore sales dropped 25% in 2012, down to just over 30,000 units as Aussie buyers opt for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Add in the Chevy SS though, and production is right back where Holden is used to. That should put Holden in a much better situation, and secure its place as one of Australia’s leading manufacturers for a few years to come. Should the Chevy SS prove more successful than anticipated, who knows what could happen from there.