The on-going soap opera of whether the mid-engine C8 Corvette will ever be sold in Austrailia appears to be back on again after a confirmation from GM Holden interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina who recently commented on GM’s plans for selling the Silverado and Corvette under the new entity being created called GM Specialty Vehicles (GMSV).
Holden Motors, which has been part of General Motors’ portfolio since the 1930s, shut down its manufacturing of vehicles last year, and earlier this year GM decided to totally close its existing dealer network in the country.
For its new venture on the continent, GM is teaming up with Walkinshaw Automotive Group who will be converting Chevrolet Silvarados to right-hand-drive before selling them under the GMSV moniker. Walkinshaw was previously responsible for creating the line of Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), much in the same way that Callaway creates up-models of the Corvettes here in the USA.
According to Aquilina, the new venture will result in hundreds of Australian jobs. “This new venture directly adds sales, marketing and aftersales roles to GM’s 200-strong presence in Australia, and indirectly supports over 150 skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs at our partner in Victoria,” he said, and adds, “The initial product line-up will feature the latest Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ, with other derivatives, including the Silverado 2500 and spectacular mid-engine Corvette anticipated to follow in 2021.”
Joanne Stogiannis, a twenty-year veteran of General Motors has been tasked to lead GMSV.
“Sales of large US pick-ups have been growing consistently and I believe the ongoing strength of that segment will provide a very solid basis for us to build a successful long-term business,” she said. “The plan to bring the stunning new mid-engine Corvette in RHD direct from the factory is an enormously exciting opportunity for local performance car enthusiasts.”
A spokesperson for General Motors said that the dealer network for GSMV is still being finalized with many of the previous HSV showrooms expected to become GMSV dealers.
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