It isn’t often I feel sad getting in to a car, but a thick veil of gloom came over me this week when I took the HSV GTS R out for a quick run. This is the very last Australian built HSV, period.
The Zeta platform supported Commodores for the last 2 “generations”. Although the VF Commodore built on the already sterling reputation of the VE, the VF is the last in the line and will sink slowly into the sunset of the OZ auto-making landscape. A change of government brought in a regime preferring coal and miners, to manufacturing, and in particular, auto manufacturing. Subsidies for coal of nearly $10bn a year for a few jobs are naught when considering a few hundred million the car makers asked for. Although many other factors affect our car prices, protecting Australian jobs was allegedly one of them. Still, I mustn’t grumble, because the GTS R awaits.
HSV’s PR manager, Damon Paull, told GayCarBoys that production of locally built HSV cars would cease in December. “I’m thrilled with sales leading up to the wind down. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. When pressed on earlier occasions about upcoming HSV models, Paull was less effusive. “We will have to wait and see,” was the only response.
GTS R nameplate started life on the VS Commodore in 1996, and now offers 3 models, GTS R, GTS R Maloo, and GTS R W1.