An executive from General Motors North America has revealed that Holden’s latest export deal is equivalent to only less than 1000 cars, a small number compared to what the car maker was shipping out during its prime.
According to The Herald Sun, the new deal is unlikely to give Holden the boost it needs, sending it on a collision track with the Coalition Government which promised to slash $500 million from the car industry funding.
John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager for Chevrolet’s performance cars told Edmunds.com that “around 900” cars will be exported by Holden later this year despite Chevrolet targeting a figure between 1,700 and 2,000 sales annually.
A related article from Drive.com.au also reports Fitzpatrick telling Edmunds that less than half of Chevrolet dealers would sell Holden’s Chevrolet SS, and that around 2000 cars per annum is needed to call the program a success.
Holden declined to comment on Fitzpatrick’s statement.
“We can’t comment on Chevrolet forward sales or forecasts,” says Holden spokeswoman Andrea Matthews.
“It is a niche export program for us.”
In April, GM’s North American CEO Mark Reuss told Fairfax Media that Chevrolet was not going to ship large numbers of Holden cars to America due to “poorly set-up” export programs for the Monaro-based Pontiac GTO and the G8 sedan.
The plan now is to take orders from the United States, build the cars in South Australia and ship within a 90-day window.
The report about Holden’s export deal with the US comes a day after South Australian Liberal leader Steven Marshall said that the company is safe in Australia, and the new government wants it to remain viable in the country.
On Monday Mr. Marshall told reporters that incoming Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants Holden’s operations to stay and grow in Australia but it needs a “sensible, adult plan” to ensure the viability of the sector.
Marshall says he plans to engage in further discussion with Mr. Abbott regarding the future of Holden. However the issue of overall assistance for the automotive industry would still be subject to an inquiry by the Productivity Commission.