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No Holden VE Sportwagon For U.S.: A Nation of Big Back End-Lovin' Auto Enthusiasts Mourn

Illustration for article titled No Holden VE Sportwagon For U.S.: A Nation of Big Back End-Lovin Auto Enthusiasts Mourn

We can hardly believe our eyes. We all were under the impression after the last set of rumors from Automotive News that we here in the U.S. would be seeing a Zeta-platformed wagon and ute sometime before the end of the decade. We'd even done our darndest trying to track down that rumor ourselves — first with Rick Wagoner at CES, then with Lutz himself at Detroit on Tuesday morning. Now, Australian auto media site GoAuto is reporting GM's main product man told them and other members of the media from down under the United States will not be seeing a Holden VE Sportwagon-based wagon. How could "Maximum" Bob Lutz leave us out in the cold like this? Here's how and why — straight from his "Maximum" mouth:

"We looked at that, but the amount of change to meet US regulations was going to be quite a lot of money...and the sad truth is, as much as some of us like 'sportwagons', they just don't sell in the US.

"How often do you see an Audi wagon? How often do you see a BMW wagon? How often do you see a Mercedes wagon? The answer is, almost never...they're just not fashionable. I can't explain why."


We understand Bob, we understand — just as long as you don't kill the ute. Please don't kill the ute. And if you are going to kill the ute, give us the exclusive on it, so we can personally slap you in the face for teasing us — and so you have to watch us cry. You big mean Bavarian man. [GoAuto]

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My friends, the only reason why the "sportwagons" won't sell in the US is because of our current CAFE regulations. If you Import (or make) a wagon version of an existing sedan, it has to be classified as a car for CAFE Purposes. Thats why Ford had the Taurus Sedan (car), and Taurus X (Wagon). Thats why Chrysler has the 300 (sedan) and Magnum (Right, most are classified as Trucks!). PT Cruiser (Truck), HHR (Truck), XC-70 (Truck, yet the V-70 is a car).

One big reason for this is that Trucks achieve a lower rating, and they need all the help from those smaller CUV's and Wagons. Most of the European Wagons are still classified as cars for CAFE purposes, but the Asian manufacturers learned early not to buck the trend. Sad day all around.