GM CEO Fritz Henderson says the General's still looking to win a contract to supply re-badged Holden Commodores (formerly re-badged as the Pontiac G8 and once rumored to be re-badged as the Chevy Caprice) to US law enforcement agencies.
In an exclusive interview with the Aussie hoons at Drive.com.au at the Frankfurt Motor Show yesterday, GM CEO Fritz Henderson said the company was making good progress with a plan to sell the Commodore to US law enforcement agencies. Specifically, as we've reported earlier this year, the LAPD.
"We've been working on a package for police applications. I just think that's going to work. We're pretty optimistic about it and that product will be sourced in Australia," he said.
But, while Fritz was all about the fleet applications, he wasn't geeked about other short term roles for the Commodore. But in the long term? He didn't rule out a wider role for the car in General Motors' plans going forward.
"It's a global architecture, it gives us options in the future but right now you'd say, near term, no," he said.
Holden has been searching for alternative export programs ever since, but in June GM shut the door on plans to revive the car as a Chevrolet Caprice.
It was thought the GM plan to import cars from Australia to US enforcement agencies would meet with strong opposition from GM's new owners, the unions and the Government, in light of the mass plant closures and job losses in the United States that followed the company's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
But senior GM exectuive Bob Lutz played down those fears in a blog on a company website in June this year.
"While the large (rear-wheel-drive) cars may be made in Australia, they are an integral part of GM, contain US-built engines and transmissions and numerous other components, and are so ‘American' in character that I don't believe the law enforcement agencies would have any problems with the assembly origin of the vehicle. Plus, they'll love it," he said. (Hat tip to Ben!) [via smh.com.au]