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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hands off our Monaro!
November 26, 2004

Americans like our coupe so much they want to build it themselves, reports JOSHUA DOWLING.

Holden is on the verge of losing assembly of the Monaro to the US. The new model, due in 2007, is expected to be built in one of several under-used General Motors factories in America.

If assembly of the Monaro is moved from Australia it will be a cruel blow for the coupe that was built after visitors to the 1998 Sydney motor show lobbied Holden to bring the car to life.

Once it was built, the Monaro was so highly regarded by GM's global product chief Bob Lutz that he fast-tracked the Monaro's export to the US as a Pontiac GTO. But now, because the GTO outsells the Monaro by almost five to one, the Americans want to take control of the Commodore-based coupe's assembly. Pontiac has sold 9487 GTOs in the US in the first 10 months of 2004. Holden has sold 2149 Monaros in the same period.

A Holden insider says customers don't care where a car is made as long as the quality is good. However, General Motors - and US car makers in general - are regularly out-classed in independent quality surveys.

Holden spokesman Jason Laird says GM executives in Australia and the US are still in discussion about the Monaro's future production plans. "It's by no means a done deal and there is still a lot of debate on this issue," Laird says.

"There is an argument that the car should be made in the country that sells the most [coupes]. What's most important to us is that Holden will still be able to offer a coupe to Australians. The spiritual home for the coupe is still very much Australia and Australians will still be involved in the engineering of the car."

The news of the Monaro's US assembly plans comes as Pontiac announced it would cut the number of GTOs it orders from Australia. The GTO was meant to be a big boost for the struggling Pontiac brand but sales have not met expectations.

Despite the 2005 GTO's major power upgrade (in the form of a 6.0-litre V8 engine from the new Corvette) and a more aggressive appearance (thanks to new bonnet scoops), Pontiac sales forecasts are still pessimistic.

Respected US industry journal Automotive News reported this week that Pontiac will cut GTO production by about 30 per cent next year.

Automotive News says that Larry Pryg, marketing manager for Pontiac's premium mid-sized cars, acknowledges Pontiac did not conduct enough initial market research on the GTO and misallocated inventory.

The magazine quotes Pryg as saying that the next generation GTO (which will share most if its components and body panels with the next generation Monaro) will "start from scratch with something for US tastes. We are going to stretch, but there will only be a few retro cues."
 

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Sounds like GM took a car at the end of its life cycle and shipped it to the US. Only 2149 sold in Australia, and they are discounting them like crazy here.

Yet the article makes it sound like they are hard to find here. I think GM miscalculated a lot with the GTO. What is Australia loosing? A production line that would have made a whopping 2149 cars a year? Im sure the workers on furlogh would rather it be made somewhere else. Too bad the quality if made in the US will be disappointing. I regret buying an American made Aurora instead of a Japanese made RL two years ago when I had to replace my Legend coupe with a four door.
 

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Before you think 2149 vehicles is too little, Australia has a population of less than 18 million - far less than the 295 million consumers in the US. So relatively speaking the Morano Coupe is selling 2 or 3 times better than the GTO is in the US. The Australian production facility is running at maximum capacity. I'm glad GM gave us the opportunity to by this quality sports coupe.
 

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Xman said:
Before you think 2149 vehicles is too little, Australia has a population of less than 18 million - far less than the 295 million consumers in the US. So relatively speaking the Morano Coupe is selling 2 or 3 times better than the GTO is in the US. The Australian production facility is running at maximum capacity. I'm glad GM gave us the opportunity to by this quality sports coupe.

Didnt look at it that way. Guess thats why the quality is so much better, and why mitsubishi was building so many cars that came here over there.
 

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2004 GTO said:
We can only hope they don't build it here. The quality will go out the window like the rest of GM's lineup. :shutme
Amen, brothah.

That's all we need...for the UAW to get a hold of it.

Shudder.
 

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Groucho said:
Amen, brothah.

That's all we need...for the UAW to get a hold of it.

Shudder.
I dont think it's the UAW, I think it is the lousy customer service, and the penny pinching on annoying little things
 

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Tom said:
I dont think it's the UAW, I think it is the lousy customer service, and the penny pinching on annoying little things

I disagree on the culpability of the Union, but OK. You do bring up one of my biggest fears, though...that a domestic-built Monaro will have to cull from the same lousy mid-range GM parts bin when it comes to stuff like switchgear etc. The only domestic-built car I've been in that seems to have good, high-quality switches and knobs was the CTS-V. I've heard the stuff in the C6 'Vette is a step up from the normal stuff as well.

The crap they stick in the other cars of the current Pontic line-up is flat-out embarrasing.
 

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Groucho said:
I disagree on the culpability of the Union, but OK. You do bring up one of my biggest fears, though...that a domestic-built Monaro will have to cull from the same lousy mid-range GM parts bin when it comes to stuff like switchgear etc. The only domestic-built car I've been in that seems to have good, high-quality switches and knobs was the CTS-V. I've heard the stuff in the C6 'Vette is a step up from the normal stuff as well.

The crap they stick in the other cars of the current Pontic line-up is flat-out embarrasing.
I'm inclined to agree with you with respect to some of the older lines of US built cars, but I've got to say the incessant competitive beating US manufacturers have taken over the last 20+ years have led to better quality autos (as it should). I've owned cars from Germany, Japan, and US manufacturers & I've had my biggest problems with the Japanese cars I've owned. I've found the fit & finish quality levels to be very comparable & take a look at the new G6 - very impressive finish & a very nice driving car - I think it has nicer "feel" (both driving & interior appointments) than my dad's Honda Accord - embarrassingly well done!
 
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