Holden’s new Chevrolet SS export hero has started rolling off the line at the Elizabeth assembly plant this week.
Early examples of the 6.2-litre sports sedan were being built on Tuesday, the day the Elizabeth workforce voted in favour of a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement that is the first step in the battle to keep the plant open to build a new Commodore and Cruze beyond 2016.
Holden managing director Mike Devereux was in Adelaide for the vote and saw the cars being built.
“We started building them this week and I saw five or six going down the line on Tuesday,” Devereux confirmed to motoring.com.au.
Fundamentally a VF Commodore SS-V Redline with more – including the LS3 engine used by HSV here, a driver’s knee airbag, upgraded front seats and flappy gearchange paddles for the auto-only model.
The SS goes on sale in North America in the last quarter of 2013.
Pricing starts at $44,470 for the SS and even at an exchange rate just above 90c, that equates to a significant saving compared to the 6.0-litre Redline here, which has a manufacturer’s list price of $51,490 (add $2200 for the six-speed auto).
The SS has been getting strong promotion throughout 2013 as a stock car on the NASCAR circuit. General Motors North American president Mark Reuss and Chevrolet global boss Alan Batey – both former Holden MDs – have driven the program to offer VF as a Chev in the USA and race it.
“The Chevy SS is so important to Mark Reuss, Alan Batey and the Chevy dealer network because they finally now have a car in the showrooms that connects passionate NASCAR fans back to an authentic performance sedan, which Chevy hasn’t had for a long time,” Devereux said.
Reuss and Batey have been conservative in their sales estimates for the car at around 10,000 to 15,000 per annum. That’s chicken feed by US standards but a key revenue boost for struggling Holden.
Devereux declined to offer any news on how orders were progressing.
“We will be constrained on that product and Mark and Alan are the right people to ask how many they want to sell.
“We will build as many as they want and I think Americans are going to love that car.”
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