General Motors’ continued presence in Australia despite the closing of the Holden brand got a shot in the arm over the past few weeks.
Tim Robson of WhichCar.com.au reports today that GM has filed applications with the Australian government through Australian law firm Baker Mackenzie, asking to trademark the phrase “GMSV” (General Motors Special Vehicles) in late June and then a Special Vehicles logo in early July.
Robson says the GMSV trademark was likely filed in response to a rogue Facebook page using the name to sell non-affiliated merchandise and covers a wide range of categories, including 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; and parts and accessories for all the foregoing.
According to Robson, the new company is likely to be a joint venture between GM and its long-time partner in Australia, Walkinshaw Group. He says GMSV will likely take over the importation of the factory-RHD Corvette C8, along with the conversion of LHD Chevy trucks, SUVS, and performance vehicles like the Camaro.
Robson points out that the filing for the logo is the first physical representation of the General Motors Special Vehicles operation since GM announced Feb. 17 that the Holden brand would be discontinued in Australia. At that time, GM International Operations Senior Vice-President Julian Blissert told the media that GM intended to remain in Australia, “albeit in a different format and a different model with the GM Specialty Vehicles.”
The connection with Walkinshaw dates back to when the late Tom Walkinshaw created Holden Special Vehicles. Since local manufacturing ended in 2017, his son Ryan Walkinshaw has led HSV’s move into a converter of left-hand-drive GM products to right-hand-drive.
GM President Mark Reuss expressed his support for GMSV back in February, saying “we do believe we have an opportunity to profitably grow the specialty vehicle business and plan to work with our partners to do that.”
Those vehicles will likely be distributed through a dealer network pared down from the current 56 HSV dealers in Australia.
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