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Holden's Last VZ Commodore Rolls Off The Line At Elizabeth



11th September, 2007

Holden's last VZ

The last VZ Commodore, a white wagon, was driven off the production line at GM Holden’s Elizabeth vehicle assembly plant in South Australia last week.

The award winning VZ Commodore and earlier model, the VY, VX and VT Commodores secured Holden’s manufacturing base in Australia over the last decade.

Over 1.2 million VT series derivatives (including Commodore, Ute, Monaro and long wheel base models) were built at Elizabeth, establishing GM Holden’s status as a manufacturer of large real wheel drive cars.

Rod Keane, Executive Director – Manufacturing, GM Holden said last week, that today was not so much the end of an era, but more a sign of a new beginning for Holden’s Vehicle Operations.

“For over a year, our vehicle manufacturing operation has been producing cars on two product lines – the old VZ model and the new VE/WM car line. This has made our manufacturing life complex but thanks to the flexibility of both our people and our technology, we have succeeded in transitioning the plant to a single car line.

“With the growing domestic and export success of the new VE and WM models, from October onwards we will see the plant operating at the maximum line rate of 620 cars a day.”

"The VT Commodore helped pave the way for many of the features we see in the current VE and WM models of today."

The VZ was the first to be designed by Holden to suit both left and right hand drive configurations, with many high technology features ‘firsts’ for an Australian car. This included traction control, a feature now included as standard on all of Holden’s Australian-made cars.

Safety features continued to evolve across the lifetime of the VT rear wheel drive platform, culminating in the inclusion of an electronic stability programme (ESP) as standard on all VZ Commodore Acclaim and Calais models, another first for an Australian-built car.

In a move widely applauded by several road safety groups, all vehicles currently manufactured at Holden’s Elizabeth plant now feature ESP as standard. This includes all the VE sedan models and the forthcoming VE Ute which goes into production later this month.

Holden’s exports hit records with the VZ Commodore, with Holden posting its strongest ever year of sales overseas in 2005 at the height of VZ’s worldwide popularity.

Rod Keane says that exports have grown to become an ever more critical part of Holden’s manufacturing future.

“With VZ Commodore and its long wheel based counterparts, the WL Statesman and Caprice we demonstrated our expertise at building rear wheel drive vehicles. We are building on that success with the all-new VE Commodore and WM Statesman and Caprice models."

“From the middle of next year, we expect that half of all the cars we build at Elizabeth will be exported – under five GM brand names including Pontiac, Chevrolet, Vauxhall, Daewoo and of course, Holden.”

Since the launch of VT Commodore in 1997, the Commodore has remained the best selling passenger vehicle in Australia and is currently on track to retain that title for the twelfth consecutive year.

GM Holden celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Commodore nameplate in 2008 in addition to the 60th anniversary of the first Holden, the 48-215, and the 100th anniversary of General Motors.

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Other General Motors content: here.

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