With GM wrapping up auto manufacturing in Australia by 2017, those newer GM RWD cars like the Chevy SS and Caprice cop car need to be built somewhere, and that somewhere could be America. That means after years of getting secret Holdens in the US, we'll be doing the opposite, sending US-built GMs as Holdens.
Australian-built Holdens will continue to be sold until 2018, and while the Commodore's mass-market replacement will likely go FWD, performance RWD vehicles are certainly in GM's plans.
The cars still started life as Commodores, and the Holden name and much-better-than-a-bowtie lion badging will keep the Holden identity alive in Australia, according to Holden's blog. And while the concept of a brand so identified with a country being foreign-built and then re-imported seem very strange, it's worth remembering that many iconic national cars ended up this way: 2CVs built in Portugal, Beetles in Mexico, and Crown Vics in Canada.
If any two car markets were well-suited to build cars for one another, it's America and Australia. Australia has long been America's bottom-of-the-planet doppelganger, with a similar scale of homeland, and a similar love of V8 rear-drive muscle cars. Aside from putting the steering wheel on the wrong side and sticking more amber in the taillights, Aussie muscle cars have been dead ringers for American ones for decades.
So, sure it sounds a little weird, and it's a shame to see Australian manufacture stop, but we've been grabbing and rebadging RWD Holdens for years. I suppose it's our turn now.