Go to Ultimatecarpage.com

Go Back   Ultimatecarpage.com forums > Automotive forums > General Automotive


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-17-2006, 09:25 AM
SlickHolden's Avatar
SlickHolden SlickHolden is offline
Furniture
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,833
Australia.
Send a message via MSN to SlickHolden
The Most Dinki-Di Holden

Had a read of this and was sitting with my mouth open reading away.
Where is nota now to see this, He always mentioned how GM really was dirty to Holden this read almost leads you to belive they infact made holden almost go under.

http://www.carpoint.com.au/car-review/1905363.aspx
Quote:
Words - Joe Kenwright



In Holden's own words, "the new VE Commodore is the most homegrown development project in almost 60 years of Holden vehicle production." Joe Kenwright looks at why Holden might rate the VE as more Australian than a large and much-loved procession of Holden icons before it


Holden employees who have been with the company for almost 40 years are adamant about the unprecedented Australian input in the latest VE series. For most Australians who have always believed that all Holden family cars are Australia's Own as the slogan says, this can come as a shock.

If all Holdens are all-Australian, how can one be more Australian than another? The reality is that the since the Chrysler Valiant ended in 1981 and the final WB Statesman sold in 1985, Ford has been the only company building a unique Australian family car not related to an overseas model.

This is all about to change as Australians are offered a choice of two up-to-the-minute family cars that have no equivalents anywhere else in the world for the first time in 21 years.

How Australian were our Holden icons? Does it matter? How is the VE different from any Holden before it? It's worth a quick trip down memory lane to identify the most Australian of Holdens and those that were changed by outside interference. It's a fascinating trip when the most Australian of Holdens are not always the ones you think.

1948 Holden 48-215 Holden veterans still talk of the days when local engineers at the end of World War II could take up to two months just to reach GM headquarters in Detroit. Most had to catch a steamer to the west coast of the US then take a train across to Michigan to work alongside the Americans on their new car which was not yet called a Holden. At the close of 1946, the first prototypes were complete. The whole project along with a large team of engineers then headed to Vancouver by rail where it was loaded on a steamer bound for Australia. Only then, could local development and manufacture start.

Its big achievement was the first family car unique to Australia. Also unique was the fact that Holden and its Australian suppliers built virtually every component. However, Australian input in design, styling and engineering was relatively tiny.

1953 Holden FJ Surely that most Australian of Holdens, the FJ was all-Australian. Not so. The first proposal for a 1950 FJ included a full-width grille and one-piece windscreen that was rejected by Detroit as being too close to Chevrolet. The actual 1953 FJ was a US 1950 prototype that retained the two-piece windscreen and a grille that could not be confused with any other GM product then held over until 1953. It was no more than was needed in a highly protected market that kept more modern rivals out of Holden's patch. The FJ's only local claim was the big lift in refinement made by the Holden team.

1956 Holden FE Is it a coincidence that the first Holden with the most local input shares a similar model code to the VE? The FE was a huge advance in 1956 ready to stop visitors to the 1956 Olympics in their tracks. The first to be styled entirely at Fishermens Bend, the FE reflected the latest US styling trends as production caught up with demand. Cars such as the Humber Hawk/Super Snipe, Volvo 122 and Peugeot 403 which drew on the same influences, would continue well into the 1960s. The FC facelift was even more of a good thing. Under the skin, local engineers could do little about the extra weight and less performance when it was still mostly FJ except for the 12-volt electrics. The less said about the 1960 FB/1961 EK facelifts the better when both took Holden back to 1955 at a time when Holden faced modern new rivals for the first time.

1962 Holden EJ/1963 Holden EH The Americans were finally shocked into action by local spy photos after they revealed what Holden was proposing for the EJ. Knowing what was coming with Falcon and Valiant facelifts, the Americans quickly transformed the EJ's looks even if it was still basically FJ under the skin. The popular EH facelift was also a US design and introduced the much loved Holden red engines. Promoted heavily as the first modern all-Australian six-cylinder engines which they were, there are now strong suggestions they were intended for a baby Chevrolet that was abandoned after Chevrolet went down the flat-six Corvair route. This would explain why they shared almost identical capacities with the Falcon's two sixes and later peaked at a similar 202/3.3-litre capacity to Ford's Super Pursuit 200 from this era.

1965 Holden HD/1966 Holden HR The HD was a Holden low point after Detroit delivered what should have been a bigger and crisper new design from the ground-up. Tied to the EH footprint with engine propped further forward, the HD was instead a nasty exercise in cheap packaging to make a Holden look and feel bigger. The kidney slicers that were part of this deception were the final straw. After Australian protests were ignored, these sharp front guard extensions went into production confirming that Holden's own design centre was the way of the future. Their removal for the HR facelift was one of the first major local design projects since the aborted EJ proposal. Although completed locally, the HR was still under US supervision.

1968 Holden HK What should have been Australia's first all new design since the FE, was also undertaken under close Detroit supervision. The HK started out as Holden's more compact variation of the curvaceous 1965 Chevrolet milestone but had to be quickly abandoned in its final stages. Originally designed around HR dimensions, it had to be stretched in most directions to match Ford's shock release of the much bigger XR Falcon in 1966. Hence its slabbier proportions never looked quite right and its tail lights seemed too small. The dreadful HK Brougham which relied on a stretched boot to take the battle to the long wheelbase Fairlane highlighted the compromises. Subsequent HT and HG facelifts returned some proportion and detail to the design with reasonable success. Despite the growth in size and compulsory safety features, specifications and equipment still read like the FJ's.

1971 Holden HQ If any Holden model is in a position to challenge Holden's latest claims for the VE Commodore being the most Australian of any Holden without argument, it should be the HQ. After all, it was the first all new clean sheet design like the VE Commodore. It was also the first to owe nothing to the 1948 Holden. It was designed, engineered, developed and manufactured in Australia. It was also an important export project and some were badged as Chevrolets. Unlike the VE, it featured six-cylinder and V8 engines unique to Australia. Most of its transmissions were also Australian and unique to the HQ. Only the biggest V8 option and the heftiest transmissions were imported but they accounted for only a tiny slice of production.

To an outsider, Holden's latest claims for the VE should look ludicrous on comparison with the HQ. What Australians outside Holden didn't see, was the pervasive and almost terminal influence of US appointments that killed the all-Australian Holden Kingswood before doing the same to the LH Torana. This process ultimately sent Holden bankrupt.

Visiting US stylists with their young Australian trainees did a brilliant job of designing the HQ, a car that looked sportier, classier, more modern and smaller than its large car dimensions suggested. Holden's body manufacturing and structural expertise was now second to none in the industry. Despite the absence of rust-proofing, it took more to kill even the basic HQ than virtually any other car on Australian roads. Detroit had generously sent over Howard Field who engineered a new front end and Holden's first multi-link coil spring rear end, not cart springs. With local expertise gathered from successive Bathurst wins, Holden's local engineers were ready in 1971 to add radial tuned suspension for the ultimate ride and handling package of any Australian car.

At this point, another US engineering manager then insisted on taking the whole package back to early 1960s US-style ride float and terminal understeer. The combination of the fresh new styling and heavy criticism of the handling caused HQ sales to falter before they recovered to become the best selling Holden ever. In the meantime, slick new HQ updates were abandoned and the HQ fell victim to a succession of ugly, scaled-down US fronts and the cynical fitting of the prestige Statesman bootlid as a facelift. After visiting US engineers queried how Holden could sell such a poor-handling range, the Radial Tuned Suspension program was hastily implemented under German engineer, Peter Hanenberger, but it was too late to save Holden's last all-Australian family car.

1974 Holden LH Torana Holden's switched-on sales force recognized that a new youth market was not yet ready to follow their parents into a full-sized Holden Kingswood. The first post-war empty nesters were also ready to downsize and there were enough Holden loyalists who would not trade their EH or HR models on a bigger car to support a new model.
__________________
"Just a matter of time i suppose"

"The elevator is broke, So why don't you test it out"

"I'm not trapped in here with all of you, Your all trapped in here with me"
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-17-2006, 09:25 AM
SlickHolden's Avatar
SlickHolden SlickHolden is offline
Furniture
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,833
Australia.
Send a message via MSN to SlickHolden
Quote:
After stretching the British Viva so it could house Holden's six-cylinder engines, Holden launched a clean sheet all-Australian LH Torana in 1974. It was intended to revive the EH in toughness, packaging and size as Holden faced fresh new European and Japanese four-cylinder competition based on the same wheelbase as the EH Holden. Except this time, Detroit forced Holden to lose almost 100mm in wheelbase and killed any potential for the Torana to be a comfortable five or six seat family car. Because it was engineered to offer four, six and V8 engines, it was also much heavier than its four-cylinder opposition yet its cabin was significantly smaller. If that wasn't enough, the HQ's vintage US-handling philosophy was also imposed on the Torana, an even bigger handicap when its opposition was so advanced.

Only the Torana's toughness and racing pedigree kept it alive. By the time it gained Radial Tuned Suspension, it was also too late.
For many Holden people, it was the ultimate insult that Holden lost both the Australian Kingswood and Torana model lines to a basic German 2.0-litre four-cylinder model of the same dimensions that Holden originally specified then lost for the LH Torana. The money that Holden then had to spend to transform the forgettable Opel Rekord into a single sedan variation that could meet Australian demands and survive Australian conditions soon exceeded what it would have cost to transform the complete Kingswood and Torana ranges locally.

That car was launched as the VB Commodore, a model that ultimately cost Holden its commercials, its mainstream family and fleet car market and long wheelbase prestige niche. By the mid-1980s, the process had left Holden drowning in a sea of red ink. Why Holden would not want to link its vital new VE Commodore with such a period of upheaval should now be evident. Holden's clever two-tiered Torana and Commodore family car range also died with the Commodore, a combination that some argue is more relevant today than ever. Because the VE effectively returns Holden to the autonomy it enjoyed in 1971 without the heavy-handed interference, you get a sense of why the VE launch is such an emotional and defining moment for those Holden employees who survived the worst of this period.

Come back to CarPoint later this week for Part II: How Australian was each Commodore and how is the VE different?
.....
__________________
"Just a matter of time i suppose"

"The elevator is broke, So why don't you test it out"

"I'm not trapped in here with all of you, Your all trapped in here with me"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-17-2006, 10:14 PM
adrenaline's Avatar
adrenaline adrenaline is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,827
Living the good life in Antarctica.
The most homegrown development project ever!!...with the least amount of homegrown parts!!
__________________
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-18-2006, 12:46 AM
SlickHolden's Avatar
SlickHolden SlickHolden is offline
Furniture
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,833
Australia.
Send a message via MSN to SlickHolden
I think Dick smith proved how easy it is to fool them. And this is at least a full open book.
__________________
"Just a matter of time i suppose"

"The elevator is broke, So why don't you test it out"

"I'm not trapped in here with all of you, Your all trapped in here with me"
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-20-2006, 07:35 PM
SlickHolden's Avatar
SlickHolden SlickHolden is offline
Furniture
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,833
Australia.
Send a message via MSN to SlickHolden
Commodore is as Australian as VE-gemite

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mell...2571B1000853B9

Quote:
All Aussie: The VE Commodore owes nothing to any existing overseas General Motors vehicle.

The VE is a "clean sheet" and all-Australian design

By TERRY MARTIN 20 July 2006


GM HOLDEN maintains the VE Commodore is the most Australian car it has ever built after developing the vehicle architecture and designing and engineering the car from a "clean sheet".

Acknowledging that about a third of the car’s components, including big-ticket and big-budget items such as engines and transmissions, are sourced overseas, GM Holden managing director Denny Mooney said: "This car was 100 per cent designed here when historically we’ve evolved from some other set of General Motors’ hardware. And this is really the first time we’ve been able to do what I call, you know, kind of a ‘clean sheet of paper’ car."

"This was not a ‘take an existing General Motors set of hardware and kind of evolve it’ (exercise). This is the team here really benchmarking cars inside of General Motors, benchmarking cars outside. And the only other rear-wheel drive car that we really do at General Motors, or have done in recent times, is Cadillacs," he said.

"With this, the guys pretty much said: ‘Okay, we can’t make the Cadillac architecture work here for a variety of reasons, there’s nothing else in General Motors, so we’re going to have to do something new.

"If you look at our local content … two-thirds of what we buy … is purchased in Australia, by dollar value. We have a lot more local content than what is played out to be, and it frustrates me. You know, some of the suppliers, frankly, that have lost some of the business for VE, have been replaced by suppliers that are also in Australia."

Lead VE architect Mike Simcoe, the chief designer for all North American GM cars who left Holden (post VE design freeze) in September 2004, added that the car was "the first genuinely complete Australian Holden".

"There is no component in the car – that’s from engineering, production, manufacturing and design – that is borrowed from another car in the corporation," he said. "This architecture, which is the underpinnings of the car, is local to Australia. That’s why it started – because there was no alternative."

Mr Simcoe said Holden started the search for a VE replacement "platform" 10 years ago and soon discovered that a European donor rear-drive platform (which was the case with the 1997 VT Commodore) would be unavailable and that one from the US would be unsuitable. As a result, it developed the so-called Zeta architecture.

"With this, we could start from the ground up and could do largely what we want – so anything that we saw as an issue with the current architecture, the current space, the current efficiency, was fixed with this car," he said.

BMW 5 Series - The benchmark for GM Holden


LEAD VE designer Mike Simcoe has revealed to GoAuto that the BMW 5 Series was the car Holden has set out to emulate with its VE Commodore.

“Right from day one, the 5 Series BMW was talked about,” he said. “We’re not supposed to use competitors’ names and all that sort of stuff but, realistically, that’s what it was all about.

“This (car) had to punch above its weight – and we had to do that. We had to benchmark those sorts of cars to get something that was relevant, globally.

“You couldn’t keep doing things the way that perhaps the public had accepted them in the past. Two things had changed – the public had already gone past that, and there was more and more of the good European, good international stuff available in the market. So they’ve got to compare, even if they (buyers) couldn’t afford necessarily some of that European stuff they were still looking at it – and that became the benchmark. So it’s how do you do an affordable car with (top) levels of quality, levels of fit and finish and I guess structure and stuff.

“The value of this car (VE) is that it is good enough to be a real alternative to some of the high-end product – the high-end Japanese and high-end European – and by the way, you can actually afford it.”
__________________
"Just a matter of time i suppose"

"The elevator is broke, So why don't you test it out"

"I'm not trapped in here with all of you, Your all trapped in here with me"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-20-2006, 07:39 PM
SlickHolden's Avatar
SlickHolden SlickHolden is offline
Furniture
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,833
Australia.
Send a message via MSN to SlickHolden
Four star car

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mell...2571B1000A90B9

Quote:
Holden admits that the VE Commodore can only be a 'good four-star car'

By TERRY MARTIN 20 July 2006


THE new VE Commodore is the safest car Holden has ever built, but it will not lift its current four-star ranking under the independent NCAP crash-test regime.

GM Holden executive director of engineering Tony Hyde has revealed to GoAuto that the VE sedan will achieve a "good four-star" result. "You can’t call it a five-star car. It will be a ‘good four-star’ car," he said.

"From our point of view, it is (the safest car we have ever built). People will argue from an NCAP point of view, but we think from an all-round primary safety and then secondary safety point of view, it is the best car we’ve done.

"And it’s been built for when accidents happen most and not necessarily some other peoples’ ideas of that – that’s their position and we have ours."

As announced earlier, ESP stability control will be fitted standard across the range. However, side and curtain airbags will be restricted, as a standard item, to the SS V, Calais and Calais V model variants. That means owners of the baseline Omega, mid-series Berlina, sports SV6 and even the SS will be required to spend extra for these.

When will Holden make them standard? The response from GM Holden managing director Denny Mooney was: "When most of our customers say that they want them standard. We still have some customers that don’t want to option up to side airbags."

Questioned further, Mr Mooney admitted that Holden’s decision to introduce ESP standard was not in direct response to customer pleas.

"I happen to think we’re a little bit ahead of what customers are going to really ask for. I don’t think customers really know the importance of ESP," he said. "I like ESP better than airbags because I frankly don’t want to get into the point where an airbag deploys, and I think that stability control is accident avoidance. I mean, how many airbags are you going to put on a car? I mean, I don’t want to hit anything.

"I don’t think consumers understand yet how important stability control is, but the data is starting to come out … and as more and more cars are equipped with stability control, and then more data comes out, they’ll get more statistical data on how many of those cars are in collisions versus how many aren’t. The data will start, I think, to become overwhelming, pretty compelling.

"I made the final decision (on ESP) but, once again, I guess I’ve had a lot of experience with ESP. There’s always some disagreement when you’re doing a product program, especially when you’ve got to add costs to a car, because you’re trying to get price points that are affordable for everybody. You know you could put all of this stuff on every car – and then your base car gets out of the affordability range."

He also pointed to the strategic location, and greater use, of super-high-strength steel across the vehicle and claimed that the car met all new side-impact requirements.

"I’m confident there won’t be many safer cars on the road than this car right here," he said. "We’re very confident of the crashworthiness of this car. Trust me."

At a glance: VE safety

Holden expects a four-star NCAP result
Curtain airbags optional on Omega, Berlina, SV6, SS
Side airbags optional on above models
ESP fitted standard to all cars
Ultra-stiff body structure
Expanded use of high-strength steel
__________________
"Just a matter of time i suppose"

"The elevator is broke, So why don't you test it out"

"I'm not trapped in here with all of you, Your all trapped in here with me"
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Korean Holdens fpv_gtho General Automotive 26 06-21-2009 06:01 AM
Holden VZ Monaro CV8-Z Hi-res porlamfer Multimedia 10 07-26-2005 04:40 PM
Goodbye Holden.......Hellow GM-Holden...again fpv_gtho General Automotive 5 05-19-2005 12:02 PM
Holden gains global role: fpv_gtho General Automotive 30 01-30-2005 10:59 PM
V8 Supercars: Round 8 Oran Park, NSW fpv_gtho Racing forums 9 09-07-2004 12:33 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:46 AM.

 

© 1998 - 2019 Ultimatecarpage.com