Just Commodores Forum Community

It takes just a moment to join our fantastic community

Register

VE secrets revealed

Discussion in 'VE Holden Commodore (2006 - 2013)' started by Ballport1998vt, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. Ballport1998vt

    Ballport1998vt New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    wallan
    Members Ride:
    1998 vt Exec S1 3.8ecotec
    Taken from Drive.com.au

    VE Commodore secrets revealed
    The Sydney Morning Herald
    Friday April 7 2006

    Holden’s Australian icon, the Commodore, will have more foreign parts to keep prices down and European styling flair to broaden its appeal. But will that be enough to entice buyers away from imported cars, asks JOSHUA DOWLING.


    Australia's favourite car - the Holden Commodore - faces its toughest challenge ever when the all-new model goes on sale in August.

    The Commodore may have been the biggest-selling car for the past decade but its sales are at a 12-year low. The rising cost of petrol has recently been getting the blame - and the headlines - but it is merely one factor.

    Over the past 10 years Australians have been falling out of love with the big Aussie sedan and developed more exotic tastes. Imported vehicles have become more affordable thanks to a dramatic reduction in import tariffs and, more recently, a stronger Aussie dollar.

    Ten years ago, imported vehicles accounted for half of all new vehicles sold. Today, they make up more than 70 per cent of new-car sales. A decade ago, imported passenger cars attracted a 25 per cent tariff.

    advertisement

    advertisement
    Today it is just 10 per cent - and the Federal Government is looking to drop the import tariff on passenger cars to 5 per cent in 2010, in line with the tariff on recreational vehicles.

    With this in mind, the next-generation Commodore will have to be a lean machine cheaper to build and free of any excess cost if it is to survive among the hordes of imports.

    It also explains why the next Commodore will be the most multicultural model Holden has ever produced, with more foreign parts than before. Will buyers be able to notice where Holden has cut costs - and corners?

    With previous Commodores, Holden boasted about the local content of its cars. Now it refuses to divulge details. Taillights from Korea, fuel injectors from China, wheels made in Thailand, body-moulding tools made in Japan. And that's just a taste.

    "We don't discuss that level of detail," is the stern response from Holden's spokesman Jason Laird. "We don't discuss local content."

    When pressed, Laird says: "The new car needs to be competitive with every global brand for it to be successful in Australia. What's important is [the Commodore] continues to be Australia's best-selling car and continues to be a major part of the Australian car industry.

    "We have the jobs of our Holden staff to consider and the jobs of the supplier industry to consider. Suppliers need to be globally competitive just as we need to be. That means new technology, new innovation and new ways to do business."

    But Holden has switched from some local suppliers in favour of foreign suppliers who are cheaper. Holden does not apologise for this.

    "This car has to be able to handle the best that Europe and Japan can throw at it. Australia is one of the most competitive car markets in the world," Laird says.

    While some local suppliers have been dropped, Holden says it's worth noting that some new suppliers have set up in Australia and created jobs, although Laird is not specific.

    "The [next Commodore] has to be competitive. If it's not competitive then that puts the whole system at risk."

    Could this be the last Australian-made Commodore? Laird is almost furious at the suggestion.

    "We have no plan other than to have Australia's best-selling car," he says. "For the past three years we've invested $1.8 billion on local operations. Find another company that's done that. Find another project worth that. We've spent the equivalent of four Olympic stadiums in the space of three years. We're not going to sit here and justify our existence when the numbers clearly show we mean business. We've made an enormous investment in the future of the company."

    Holden believes buyers are looking for an excuse to come back to the Commodore. We'll know soon enough.

    As engineers put the finishing touches on the most important Commodore ever made, fleet managers were shown the vehicle at a special preview in Sydney this week.



    Based on information we've gathered from fleet managers who've seen the car and other industry contacts, we've learned that the VE (the new Commodore's model code) is the most radically different Commodore in the 26-year history of the nameplate.

    Holden has designed, engineered and developed the car from scratch. Every model Commodore - from the VB launched in 1978 to the VT of 1997 - started life as a European Opel sedan that was heavily reworked to become an Australian Commodore.

    Since General Motors' European division Opel killed off its large rear-drive sedan (it was originally called the Commodore, then the Senator and then the Omega) three years ago, Holden has been faced with the proposition of developing the car itself.

    The Australian outpost of GM is not completely alone, of course, with significant assistance coming from GM engineers around the world and, in particular, the United States (some Holden insiders say there is a little too much input from GM representatives from the US).

    The US involvement in the VE largely stems from the fact that the next generation of Commodore derivatives are expected to be assembled in North America, as well as Elizabeth in South Australia.

    The Statesman could be built and sold in the US as a Buick, which is why the VE has had some significant changes under the skin. For example, to accommodate US requirements the fuel tank has been moved from under the boot to under the rear seat, among other modifications that enable the VE to meet international regulations.

    As part of the grand plan of GM's global product chief, Bob Lutz (he's the bloke who did the deal to sell the Monaro to the Yanks as a Pontiac GTO) Holden is now the centre of excellence for GM's global low-cost rear-drive vehicles. In other words, other than Cadillac and Corvette, Holden is the rear-drive expert for the rest of the GM world.

    The next Commodore will have roughly the same size interior as the current model but its exterior dimensions are said to have grown by about 15cm to accommodate new safety equipment (such as "curtain" airbags) and more stringent side impact regulations.

    As these computer-generated images show, the bulging wheel arches and starchly creased waistline give the VE an upmarket Audi feel. The front wheels have been pushed forward for better road-holding.

    To help fill the massive wheel arches the fleet-pack Executive's standard wheel size has grown from 15-inches to 16-inches and the SS is expected to get 19-inch wheels as standard.

    Expect to see the base car powered by just one version of the 3.6-litre V6 - the high output version - with power said to be up from 190kW (as used in the SV6 and Calais) to 200kW.

    For the 6.0-litre V8, Holden is said to have found another 5kW (bringing it up to 265kW), although it's worth pointing out that the new number is what the engine was quoted in all US documentation as having in the first place. Perhaps Holden deliberately under-called the power of the 6.0-litre fitted to the VZ so that it appeared there was a power gain with the all-new model.

    It is not yet clear whether the 6.0-litre's fuel-saving technology - displacement on demand - will be available from day one on V8-powered VE models. Holden, as with most makers, doesn't play all its cards at once at new-model time, so displacement on demand (which shuts down up to four cylinders under light loads or when cruising downhill) may be held up Holden's sleeve until Series II time, about a year after launch.

    Unfortunately, such fuel-saving technology can't come soon enough for Holden as the VE is said to have piled on the kilos - up by 130kg-140kg more than the VZ - which, if true, would put it on par and perhaps even heavier than its arch rival, the Ford Falcon.

    Weight is such an issue for the VE that, in addition to a standard five-speed automatic gearbox on V6 models, the V8s are expected to get a six-speed auto as standard - both with taller ratios to help open-road fuel economy. The Holden V8's six-speed auto is said to be GM-made while the sporty HSV is said to be getting the world-class, German-made ZF six-speed auto (the same one used in the latest performance Falcons).

    Brakes have also come under scrutiny. To help cope with the VE's extra weight, V8 model Commodores will get 330mm front discs, which are bigger than the premium front discs recently fitted to the VZ 6.0-litre range.

    The V6 models are expected to get the brakes that Holden has just fitted to the SS and other 6.0-litre VZ models, while the larger vented rear discs on those models will become standard fare on the rear of the entire VE range.

    HSV is said to be fitting six-piston AP Racing calipers as standard across its VE range but with larger diameter discs than currently on the VZ. Both Holden and HSV have opted for the biggest brakes possible because it is difficult to tamper with the brakes (such as fitting larger calipers or discs) when the car is equipped with an electronic stability program (ESP).



    Most VE models are expected to have ESP as standard, given that the technology has been largely attributed to reducing the number of crashes and saving lives since it became widely available on new cars sold in Europe. An ESP system detects if the car is going too fast in a corner or in slippery conditions and cuts engine power and applies the brakes accordingly.

    ESP came into the spotlight recently when Holden's head of safety, Laurie Sparke, was caught off-guard when asked by the ABC's 7.30 Report why ESP wasn't an option on the base model Commodore. He didn't have an answer.

    It may be too late for ESP to be added to the base model VE with just four months to go before launch but if it is available on a VE Executive, we can probably thank those few moments of publicly funded television.

    Other than safety items such as ESP and curtain airbags, equipment levels are expected to remain the same as the VZ for each model (apparently buyers will initially be lured by the all-new body shape).

    In a last-minute cost-cutting attempt consideration was given to taking some equipment out of the cars. But the former head of sales and marketing, Ross McKenzie, apparently put a stop to that and said at a board meeting: "I don't care how you save the money but you're not taking a single feature out of the car."

    Which is why there will be more foreign parts in the Commodore than ever before.

    "There's no point building the world's best car if no-one buys it," says one Holden insider. "How many people would pay $40,000 for an Executive? Exactly."

    That said, prices across the VE range are expected to increase by between 1 and 3 per cent. Holden creeps up the price with every model change, so a full model change will most certainly lead to a price rise. Holden needs to recoup its significant investment cost, said to be close to $1 billion - the biggest investment on a Commodore.

    The VE was, at one point, supposed to be on sale in February-March this year. The former boss of Holden, Peter Hanenberger, brought the VE program forward six months because he was worried about the impact the heavily revised Falcon would have on VZ sales. (It would have proven to be a prudent move, as the VZ is struggling, with sales nearly 20 per cent below what they were a year ago.)

    But Holden engineers struggled to meet this deadline, especially now that every major decision must be approved by the high-ups at GM in the US. So, the new American boss of Holden, Denny Mooney, pushed the VE back to its original release date of August-September 2006.

    Holden engineers have used every extra minute they've been given, with the VE undergoing several changes in the last 12 months of its gestation. In addition to one last attempt at weight-saving, Holden has worked on improving quality in every department, from interior plastics to exterior panel fit.

    The VE is said to have world-class panel gaps, after Denny Mooney took a trip to Japan to visit the company that makes most of the tooling used to assemble the VE.

    Holden knows that the VE must be a car that will delight the senses, which is why there will be a strong emphasis on design, quality and European feel.

    The only problem is: the bigger, heavier and (likely) thirstier Commodore will arrive in a market that has turned its back on big Aussie sedans, the meat-and-three-veg of the automotive world. Given that our palates have changed, the new Commodore will need something more than special sauce.

    Related article: New Statesman coming sooner than expected
     

    Attached Files:

    luvmycommodore likes this.
  2. MikeVXSS

    MikeVXSS !!!GO TIMMY GO!!!

    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Bunbury, W.A
    Members Ride:
    VX SS 5.7
    like the frog at a libary. REDIT
     
  3. nEb.

    nEb. New Member

    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Members Ride:
    04' VY II Acclaim
    i like the look of the SS ... very r34ish though ... not happy jan, still. it is in the early days
     
  4. VLishes

    VLishes BaZMeG

    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Members Ride:
    VS Calais SII
    Could the VE be the 380 for Mitsubishi?
     
  5. vicarious

    vicarious New Member

    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Location:
    SA
    Members Ride:
    VE2 SV6 SPORTWAGON
    if it gets any more square it be a volvo
     
  6. VS Omega

    VS Omega New Member

    Messages:
    3,213
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Members Ride:
    VS Commodore Omega
    I've heard a few..

    - There will be no SV8 in the range
    - The will be two versions of the SS
    - The lower spec'd SS model will resemble the current SV8 (barebones V8 muscle)
    - The higher spec'd SS will be more current SS like (more luxury), with a new badge
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2006
  7. HSVenforcer

    HSVenforcer Geek

    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Members Ride:
    VZ Berlina
    i loved the look of commodores right up until this abomination. Eww, yuck and eek!!

    I think i will hang onto the VL for quite a while longer. Actually come to think of it, my VL would probably be cheaper on fuel, cheaper to service and maintain, less plastic and more pleasing to the eye.

    *hint hint!! to holden*
     
  8. bns-sticky

    bns-sticky Guest

    Here is some info for yas all. Found out today while talking to a fellow at Holden in Adelaide.

    Dont even think of replacing the stereo, the cars computer is in it or part of. Take the stereo out and car no go. This is the same with the newest model Falcon which I have done a AutoTech course about cos we have added them to our fleet. A few guys here would know which one I mean. The whole idea is to make it that for any little problem you must return to the dealer.

    Un-related but in the new Falcons if you hit a gutter to hard or a big pot hole you will trip a switch which will turn off the fuel pump. This was designed for if you run off the road which 9 times out 10 is rrough and switch off fuel thus stopping you.

    All these new models with FORD and HOLDEN are making it REALLY hard. Both myself and my father are always sniffing around for info on these and its amazing what you find out when you get through to some of the not so high guys but are high guys and what they let slip. Silly silly fellas, oh and one hot sounding shelia.
     
  9. SSV8pilot

    SSV8pilot New Member

    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Members Ride:
    SSV- Manual Redhot
    That doesn't surprise me one bit. Typically when I have bought my commodores I have upgraded the speakers, plugged in an amp, a sub woofer in the boot. On my VY SS I used the existing head unit.

    So long as we can do the same on the new units I'm not too fussed - but please make sure they have RCA input capability (however I suspect not).

    Also presume crappy 15w paper korean speakers will be used again.
     
  10. bns-sticky

    bns-sticky Guest

    Um, i cant tell ya about the commo s yet but I might just cos i want to know now have alook at the falcons one tomorrow.
     
  11. TehFastyOne

    TehFastyOne New Member

    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Location:
    Darwin, NT
    Members Ride:
    VE SS V Utility
    NAhh Korean speakers have moved up in the world. They're plastic now... with an extra 5w!!!

    Fark that car is ugly.

    I've said it so many times, car manufacturers, especially Holden make an unattractive car. Not in terms of looks but every other feature of the vehicle. With petrol getting to $1.40 here in the 'burbs of Melbourne, you can f..k the V8 off unless you've got the money, which most of us don't!

    Granted, I own a Holden, a VU model. Only because Ford had to be shot for the AU, which was a car that needed to be shot as well. At the time, the VU V6 had decent fuel economy for me and did the job as a ute.

    Now in 2006, I'll be in the car market soon again because I'd like to step up to a newer model. However after seeing 'preview' shots of the VE, I'm really wondering whether anyone at Holden has a f..king clue?

    I will hold my final reservations about the vehicle when it is unveiled but if I'm at the motor show when they lift the curtain up and as the presenter shuts up and the only result is one person in the back corner clapping, I'll just put my head in my hand.

    Not just Holden, but Ford too have to realise that the rear-wheel large car market has no future if their engineers are going to rely on the same methods as before. It's okay to make the car look more exotic perhaps but if you're going to add more power, add more weight, add more petrol consumption... typically add more BS to the car, it ain't going to bite with the consumer who is battling trying to pay off speeding fines, supporting a family, fighting harder to keep a job (FU China!), spending less time at the petrol station because of crude oil prices, etc...

    The consumer is the reason why the VZ commodore is failing miserably (and you marketing guys think you know it all!) The consumer is the one that has to cut their losses and turn to an alternative solution to a bigger problem. That's why, the consumer, in this day of age now are more attracted to cars that consume less petrol, still have the same amount of power, less weight and have more safety features.

    In regards to power of vehicles... what is the valid reason of making a base model commodore 200kw??? For the 'trying to compensate for something' factor? Australians are so over the 'Bigger dick wars' in pretty much everything... except racing but that's different. For one thing, I reckon that's going to discourage a lot of consumers. The drawbacks to a more powerful car is that, assuming most drivers on the roads are stupid.. which is true, is that speeding fines will be more prevelant, families will have P platers that won't be able to drive the 'family car' and honestly... what use is there paying another 3% for the extra power when a 5hitbox Smart car can go the absolute speed limit in Australia quite easily. Unless we have the Australian version of the Autobahn (fingers crossed for Eastlink) and unless you buy a car for street dragging and picking up da chicks sick mate and doing other unsavoury things, then there is no reason for cars to be more powerful than they are now.

    Again, the majority of drivers are either under experienced or stupid or both. Giving more high powered vehicles out there is just feeding a problem you haven't realised yet.

    Interesting that Holden is now getting parts supplied by more foreign countries than ever before. Oh and we all know how good the quality is when parts come from countries that have a poor record amongst consumers.

    You've done what most other stupid business does and that's in order to save yourself a buck, you've opted to go for something more cheaper (hence, most of the time, lesser quality) and again, the consumer is the one that gets it up the a55. Well that's great, I bet you never thought that when the consumer has to fork out more money at the garage to keep the car running (especially when cars are so much more electronic now) they most likely won't have the money to buy the next model car from you down the track or even better, they'll just buy from another brand.

    Beware Holden, when you think you have an idea that's going to sell, make sure you can hit the ground running when it comes to consumers needs.

    Anyways that's my 2 cents.

    zZzZzZz
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2006
  12. Baritji

    Baritji Guest

    That ute looks like a pile of ****. Hopefully it will look nothing like that! 'Sporty look' my arse. Looks like a poor mans version of a volvo. If it looks anything like that.. its an XR8 ute for me!
     
  13. Clinster

    Clinster New Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Location:
    SA Nth/Est
    Members Ride:
    VSII Berlina
    Instead of playing 'power wars' with a base model 200kw V6 and the 265kw V8 engine, why dont Holdens try and improve the fuel efficiency of the engine because i think thats what things are boiling down to. Fuel efficiency!
    You are always goin to get your hardcore Holden Commodore buyers but that wont be enough to come out in front.
     
  14. Dave398

    Dave398 New Member

    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Perth
    Members Ride:
    VE SSV Ute Nickel Silver
    Mate I agree with alot of what you said but if you bothered to research you would notice the VE is going to weigh alot more than the VZ, so 200kw isnt going to make the VE a tyre frying beast.
     
  15. andrewmac

    andrewmac Member

    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    Members Ride:
    S2 VE SS
    By rasing the power of the motor they are reducing fuel consumption in a way.
    If they left the power figure in the VE at the 175 (172 or whatever) the motor would be more strained in pulling the extra bulk of the VE around thus increasing fuel usage.From what ive read the VE will be at leat 150 Kg's heavier than the Z.
    Look at the VT it was alot heavier than the VS had the same power output but the fuel usage went up 0.5L/100KM.
    It is probably easier and cheaper for holden to raise the power a bit instead of finding everyway possible to reduce fuel consumption.
    This method may not be as responsible however they also need to think about there bottom line.
    As for the V8's if you buy one and expect it to have good fuel economy then you bought the wrong car, most ppl will buy these cars for the power and it would be stupid of holden not to deliver the goods in that respect.But they are looking at DoD so they are also thinking bout the economy.
    I agree that fuel is a much bigger factor now than a few years back but car companys need to deliver an overall package otherwise we will all be driving smart cars.
     
  16. Clinster

    Clinster New Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Location:
    SA Nth/Est
    Members Ride:
    VSII Berlina
    Yeah good point.
    Re DoD: i guess they cant put all of the goodies on the first car otherwise they wont have any selling points on the next car they eventually do put it on.
    I think ive read they are a few other things not included on the aussie version alloytec that is on the usa versions.
    I wonder if they (Holden) will ever put DoD on the V6's??
     
  17. Pub247

    Pub247 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,372
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne S.E.
    Members Ride:
    Ford Fairmont
    i don't understand why oz car companies build large capacity engines that use lots of petrol when they could make smaller motors with the same power and better economy. lets face it toyota are taking over the world and they probably build better cars nowadays. GM can't make a profit and toyota make 15% increase.
     
  18. andrewmac

    andrewmac Member

    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    Members Ride:
    S2 VE SS
    What smaller motor is as powerful or more powerful than the aussie 6cyl's?
    Toyota use a a 3 litre engine and it only outputs 145KW.
    Plus the reason they make them more powerful is because there rear wheel drive not front wheel like the camrys, and more power is lost in the transfer from the motor to the rear wheels as opposed to the front wheels.
     
  19. nic1234

    nic1234 Guest

    can i ask something me and m8 wont to no y there not goin to be a sv8 ?
     
  20. fourstar82

    fourstar82 Head Chef Honcho

    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Kilsyth, Melbourne
    Members Ride:
    VYII 25th Anniversary, 2007 VE Calais
    Word on the grapevine is that there will be two types of SS. One will be the poverty pack, like the current SV8, and the second will be a 'luxury pack', which is the equivilent of the current SS. Both will have the same amount of power and tourque, its the interior that makes the difference.
     

Share This Page