News recently of Holden potentially not having a major input to both manufacturing and engineering of the VF Commodore replacement have, quite rightly, raised the hackles of those in the Australian automotive and motorsports industries. “Australia’s own” as many Holden products, including the legendary 48-215 and FJ models, have been known, have been somewhat diversified with globalisation increasing. Ford Australia found, to its detriment, that a large and front wheel drive car, plus, quite frankly, ugly looks, don’t work, with the Taurus and rear wheel drive AU Falcon failing dismally.
Current estimates put Holden as being out of the picture by 2017, at latest, with General Motors in the U.S. then moving towards a globally useful platform and potentially in front wheel drive, leaving the Australian arm to do…..what? The current Camaro is based on the Holden VE chassis whilst this model, in both Commodore and Caprice form, is successfully sold overseas. So why could we not continue to do so?
This leads into the second question; with V8 Supercars finally signing a tv broadcast deal with Channel 7, for just two years instead of five, would we want to see a front wheel drive V8 car in such a series?
V8SA and 7 have been dancing with each other for some time now about this matter, with networks 9 and 10 allegedly and apparently expressing interest. Given their apparent cash strapped situations, it’s hard to see how they could afford to do the broadcast justice. Having said that, 7 doesn’t escape scott free either, with excessive ad breaks, delayed telecasts whilst supposedly live, annoying the hell out of its viewers. Swapping between AFL and Supercar events hasn’t helped; the answer appears to be broadcasting on the networks HD channel, the appalling misogynistic 7Mate. There’s be calls and arguments to say NO, that not everyone has a HD capable tv or set top box. Ballocks to that. The coverage doesn’t attract enough people country wide for that to be an issue and penetration of HD equipment is nearly at saturation point anyway. Supercar followers are so extremely high on the list to have a HD capable tv that it really renders that argument null and void.