Because wealthy Middle Eastern families can pretty much get any car they want, Holden is going to officially export their super performance Commodore, the Special Vehicles E Series ClubSport R8, to the land of oil. Powered by a 412HP, 6.0 Liter V8, this sedan is built to tear up sandy roads. The car will not carry the Holden brand, but rather be marketed as a Chevrolet Special Vehicle CR8. It makes sense for Holden to continue to expand in this market as 31,000 of 46,000 vehicles the company exported in 2006 ended up in the Middle East. The launch is also timed to correspond with the Desert 400 V8 Supercar race in Bahrain this weekend, which includes a Chevy-branded Holden. [AAP/The Age]
@TR3-A: Mostly, because Bob Lutz doesn't want to see more Chevy product with the bowtie on it just yet. They are committed to bringing the Camero over here (which is a nice step), but, the Chevy catalog is already pretty bloated.
The Chevrolet line in the Middle East has a limited selection of vehicles. In the Americas (Canada matters too, you know) we have a very wide selection of vehicles already that get to carry the bowtie, and rebuilding the other more 'premium' brands seems to be the General's primary initiative.
I know up here the V8 sedans probably wouldn't sell as well as they probably would to the south. More people are becoming conscious of fuel economy, not so much for the environmental reasons, but just the savings you get at the pump. Which is probably another reason why they do so well in the Middle East — cheap fuel.
Don't get me wrong. I would LOVE to have a Holden Ute to call my own (even if it is badged as a GMC rather than a Chevy) but I still think that given the climate of today's consumers, they will be a very limited run and cost a hell of a lot of money.