Australian designed and built cars at Detroit Auto ShowBy Alan • Send This To A Friend
One of the cars revealed at the Detroit Auto Show was the Avenir concept car by Buick, a big four-door sedan in the mold of the Australian-built saloons.
While it may provide a hint of what could replace the Commodore once Australian production ends, whatever shape it takes, it will not be built in Australia.
Buick vice-president Duncan Aldred said the task of designing the car was given to the Australian team because of their “particular skill set”.
“It’s a design study, so it’s very much about the exterior and interior designs,” he said.
“There’s a particular skill set that we had in our Australian design team, especially with larger cars, and that’s why the job was given to them.”
When GM announced in 2013 that it was shutting its Australian factories by 2017, the company said it would keep open its Australian design studio.
At the time, there was some skepticism about just how much of a role the Holden design team would play in creating new models for GM to market around the world, ABC reports.
But at the Detroit Auto Show — in the hometown of General Motors — the company showed off two concept cars, designed and built from start to finish in Port Melbourne.
Australian chief designer with GM Frank Rudolph described the design commission as “the best gig you can be given”.
Chevrolet launched a small, glass-roofed electric vehicle called Bolt, which was described as a template for bringing electric cars into the mainstream.
“Especially in the context of the Australian industry, it’s a real strong sign to us that at least for design GM is really a believer in Australian design,” Mr Rudolph said.
“If you were to take a look at it, you wouldn’t see a whole lot of button and knobs and gadgets.
“But that’s the idea. That’s the hard thing, to make the technology so integrated.”
Other concept cars presented together with the Australian designed models include the new Acura NSX, Ford GT, the spectacular Mercedes Benz F015 and Porsche 911 Targa 4.
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