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OPTICAL AND HEARING
Unless Holden can motivate other GM Divisions
to buy a new model Monaro, this will be the last Monaro.
26th July, 2005
Australia’s sports car hero and international ambassador, the Holden Monaro, will be farewelled later this year.
Holden will next month release a striking special edition, Monaro CV8-Z, as the final chapter in a remarkable success story in Australian automotive history and cement Monaro’s reputation as a performance car collectable classic.
The modern Monaro, a reincarnation of the 1960s and 1970s performance leader, has captured the Australian public’s imagination and beaten all comers as the nation’s best selling sports car for the past three years.
The coupe has also become an international car, selling in the United States, United Kingdom, Middle East and New Zealand under various brands.
Holden will this month sell its 40,000th coupe.
GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, yesterday said the Monaro had been an iconic car for Australia’s icon car company. He said Monaro could only be farewelled with a special edition pack to ensure the nameplate left the marketplace on a suitable high.
“The new generation Monaro has been an absolute winner in Australia - a hands-down winner in the sports car market. It has been the flagship of our performance car range and the standard for others to match,” he said.
“Monaro has really strengthened Holden’s position in the global automotive business. It reinforced this company’s design, engineering and manufacturing reputation which was reflected in our record company exports of more than 52,000 last year.
“Our coupe has worn four GM brands on four continents and sold almost six times as many cars as were first planned. Of the 40,000 coupes we have built, about three-quarters were sent overseas.
“But most of all, Monaro ignited something deep within the Australian car culture and made people think about locally built performance cars as capable of competing with anything in the world from the value perspective. It’s important that we deliver a special edition VZ Monaro which keeps the coupe amongst the most collectable modern Australian cars into future years.”
Mr Mooney said GM Holden continued to investigate options for a next generation coupe with other divisions of General Motors.
“Everyone at Holden is certainly committed to delivering a new generation Monaro in the future but there is still a lot of work to make that happen. We’re looking at a number of options to ensure Holden continues to set the standard when it comes to performance coupes in the future.
“Monaro means too much to Holden to not have another Monaro at some time in the future.”
CV8-Z declares its presence with an all-new Holden colour called Fusion, extending the palette of colours for which the company has become renowned. Fusion is an orange-based metallic delivering sharp gold highlights through to darker bronzed drop-out.
Exterior features include factory fitted Holden By Design sunroof, black bonnet scoop accents, machined 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with one spoke embossed with the CV8-Z logo, modified rear lamps and unique gun metal chrome CV8-Z badging on the rear.
Buyers choosing Fusion or Holden’s signature black Phantom colour will receive a Fusion coloured instrument cluster and Fusion highlighted leather trim.
Three other combinations will be offered – Quicksilver, the chromatic teal blue mica Turismo and the bold Devil Yellow with anthracite leather and colour-matched cluster.
Holden Marketing Manager Large Cars, Alan Blazevic, said CV8-Z would be a wakeup call to Monaro fans who had not yet bought the new generation coupe, as well as a temptation for existing Monaro owners considering an upgrade.
He said CV8-Z would sell for $60,490, the same recommended retail price as VZ Monaro. Sales would commence in early August with planned production of 1,200 units.
“There is no question that the more aggressive, more powerful VZ Monaro has struck a new chord with coupe buyers as sales are running in line with last year,” Mr Blazevic said.
“The CV8-Z treatment takes a great coupe and makes it even better. It’s a fitting way to celebrate Monaro’s success and we expect it to be an extremely popular end to the current generation.
“Managing the life cycle ensures strong ongoing demand for used Monaros, keeping resale values high and protecting its deserved reputation as a classic.”
Introduced in October 2001, the new generation Monaro was coded V2 at launch. Holden delivered model upgrades as the V2 Series II (2002) and Series III (2003) before the more aggressive VZ Monaro was launched last year. The current series has the distinction of being the most powerful production Holden ever released at 260 kilowatts of peak power and 500 Newton metres of peak torque.
Mr Blazevic said the decision to complete the latest Monaro chapter applied only to the Australian and New Zealand markets. HSV and the various export markets would make announcements in due course regarding their programmes.
HOLDEN MONARO – DOMESTIC AND EXPORT VARIANTS
Australia: Holden Monaro
The new millennium Monaro was sensationally unveiled as an un-named concept at the Sydney International Motor Show in 1998, created as a ‘skunkworks’ project by Holden designers led by then Design Director Mike Simcoe. The coupe made the transition from concept to Monaro reality in just 22 months and was shown as a production vehicle at Sydney in October 2001 before being sent to showrooms. Embracing advanced design, engineering and flexible manufacturing processes, it showcased Holden's commitment to technological and creative leadership. The Monaro was fully designed and validated 'virtually', using Simultaneous Math Based Process (SMBP) technology, considerably reducing turn-around time and expense. Monaro was released with V8 and Supercharged V6 performance, with the V6 model discontinued in 2003.
New Zealand: Holden Monaro
New Zealand followed the Australian lead and introduced Monaro as part of a full-range Holden offering, included as part of GM Holden’s export programme to that country. Similar interest around the vehicle followed. Despite not having the same heritage around the marque as Australia, demand exceeded supply for Monaro for the first eighteen months it was available. With a strong V8 Supercar following in New Zealand, the Monaro symbolised everything that a performance orientated buyer was looking for and was unmatched in the local market.
Middle East: Chevrolet SS Lumina Coupe (LHD)
The Chevrolet SS Lumina Coupe injected even more excitement in the Chevrolet brand across the Middle East. The coupe was positioned as an extension of the Holden-sourced Lumina range, already including several Commodore variants. It particularly appealed to young locals and expatriates in the United Arab Emirates and added to Chevrolet’s performance credibility in the Middle East alongside an American performance car legend, the Corvette. The vehicle was offered with a 5.7L V8 (SS Coupe) or 3.8L V6 (S Coupe). The V8 was the overwhelming favourite and the V6 was withdrawn from market in mid-2004.
United States: Pontiac GTO (LHD)
Holden’s performance car icon also became the reincarnation of an American legend, the Pontiac GTO. GM’s Chairman for North America and Vice-Chairman for product development, Bob Lutz, requested during a February 2002 visit for Holden to deliver the car as a Pontiac. The new generation ‘Goat’ was unveiled as the hero of the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2003 and released in late 2003 as a 2004 model. The GTO was offered with a 5.7L V8 engine shared with Chevrolet Corvette. Modifications were required to meet or exceed mandatory US legal requirements, environmental conditions and design cues for Pontiac. A 6.0L, 298kW engine and more aggressive styling were introduced for the 2005 model.
United Kingdom: Vauxhall Monaro (RHD)
Vauxhall chief Kevin Wale, a former Holden executive, secured an agreement to import the Monaro under the Vauxhall badge along with a smaller programme to introduce the Vauxhall VXR performance brand using HSV GTO coupes. The British embraced the concept of an affordable, high output Aussie coupe along with all the Australian jokes they could find.