Australian publication Motoring is reporting that locals may soon have the option of purchasing Chevrolet Camaro’s and Corvettes in Holden dealerships. The news would be welcomed for Australia’s V-8 lovers, who have lost the locally-produced Commodore SS V-8 sedan.
According to the report, the two iconic Chevrolets will get to Australia via two very different paths. The rumored mid-engine C8 Corvette is expected to offer factory-installed right-hand-drive, enabling it to (finally) become a truly global vehicle. This means GM will export the C8 to Australia for Holden dealerships not unlike other products.
The Camaro situation is not so simple. Since the current sixth-generation car was not engineered for right-hand-drive from the factory, this limits options to getting it to the island nation. So Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) is apparently going to take care of this situation by importing the Camaro and converting it to right-hand-drive for the local market.
Given HSV needs something to replace its Commodore lineup, this seems like a plausible product for them. The report also suggests that GM product boss Mark Reuss is a fan of the idea, while local management at Holden have given it tentative approval. It is worth noting that Reuss is the former managing director of Holden.
The Camaro conversion plan is rumored to take hold after the car’s expected 2019 model-year refresh. At which time the Walkinshaw Group (parent of HSV) would import SS, ZL1 and a Z28 (if offered) for conversion to the Australian market.
Technically the company can convert the Camaro without GM’s support, but it would mean Walkinshaw Group would have to purchase the Camaro’s at dealerships in the U.S. for retail prices, making it a rather costly venture for all involved.
Like the Camaro, the all-new C8 Corvette is slated to bow in 2019 as well. Given production of the Commodore is ending now, our Australian friends are going to have about a two-year stretch without V-8 muscle from GM, but it sounds like some indirect replacements are in the works.