GM Australia announced recently that the Holden Commodore has become Australia’s highest-selling vehicle for the 15th consecutive year, according to sales figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) in Australia. That’s right. Kind of like the Ford F-150 was the number one selling vehicle in the United States for a couple decades, the Holden Commodore has ruled the highways in the land down under.
The Holden Commodore came to the United States as the 2009 Pontiac G8 – about the only Pontiac “G” vehicle worthy of the Pontiac name. It was a stylish vehicle with a base V-6 that was nothing to write home about but the GT trim level came with a 361-horsepower, 6.0-liter V8 that was a hoot to drive. The GXP version packed a 6.2-liter V8 from Corvette that created 402 horsepower.
But the Pontiac brand was pretty phased out just as the G8 hit our shores and it received no marketing support. Plus, it just came here at an overall bad time in our economy, which further sealed its fate because people just weren’t buying cars, let along large performance sedans.
Yet, the Commodore continues to do well in England’s former penal colony. The figures show 45,956 Commodores were sold throughout 2010, cementing the vehicle’s status as the number one car in the country, a record unbroken since 1996.
“Commodore really resonates with Australians drivers, as it offers outstanding quality and value for money,” Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said. “It’s our intention for Commodore to be the country’s top-selling car for many years to come – we’ll do this by continually improving the vehicle to ensure it remains relevant for Australian motorists – as we did with VE Series II, when we added flex-fuel capability and the Holden-iQ system.”
Across 2010, Holden sold 132,923 vehicles – an increase of 11.2 per cent from the previous year, and ahead of market growth at 10.5 per cent. This resulted in an overall annual market share of 12.8 per cent, second only to Toyota, with 20.7 per cent. Apparently Australia did not feel the new car slowdown experienced here in the U.S.