Ute Goes El Camino

There is speculation building that Holden is gearing up to full production in order to export the Ute to the United States.


    Holden Ute – Pontiac G8 Ute photochop by Aych Es Vee

The traditional Ute platform in the US has been the Chevrolet El Camino, but it appears that the Ute, if it does appear will be exported as either a Pontiac or a GMC. In brand terms Pontiac is supposed to be a down and dirty Detroit version of the BMW while GMC is a truck division – think SUVs. With Pontiac getting the Holden Commodore as the Pontiac G8 it is possible that the Ute will end up in that brand.

Either way, General Motors North America seems to like the niche products that Holden is putting out. It will be nice to see the Ute on American roads considering it was a Ford Australia invention in 1932.

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Amanda
14 years ago

Everything I know about the El Camino I learnt from country songs.

I wrecked the El Camino
Would have been DWI
So I just walked off and left it
Laying on its side
The troopers found it in the morning
And they said it’s purely luck I wasn’t killed
I probably ought to quit my drinking
But I don’t believe I ever will

derrida derider
derrida derider
14 years ago

But Cam, its selling to a doomed sector – blinged up agricultural machinery (that GMH wants to focus on this sort of crap speaks volumes about why the US car companies are in such deep trouble, BTW).

Not that it’s not worth doing in spite of that – it could turn out to be a nice little earner before it disappears. But it’s hardly a likely basis for long term sustainability of the Oz industry.

Bannerman
14 years ago

GMC, SUV, BMW…..it’s all acronyms and abbreviations. Still, I suppose if we’re to become a fully-fledged client state, it’s only fair they take some of our produce.

millipede
millipede
14 years ago

In brand terms Pontiac is supposed to be a down and dirty Detroit version of the BMW

Good Lord, you must be joking. Pontiac is a downmarket BMW?
Its more like an upmarket Hyundai.

You hear BMW you think precision German engineering, you hear Pontiac
you think crappy American car that will fall apart within three years.

I can’t see the Ute catching on in America. El Caminos were always a bit of an aberration anyway. Now its either monster SUVs like the Hummer or sporty euros
like BMW.

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

America is a pretty big market Millipede, plenty of room for oddball niche products. Interestingly, the El Camino concept has changed pretty drastically since it was first developed. The first El Camino utes were “cowboy cadillacs” – something of an antidote to the light trucks that became the ubiquitous (in the US) F100/F250 style of thing that Americans prefer for actual work. Only later did it morph into a kind of strange muscle car variant, with the cowboy cadillac duties being done by luxury 4wd wagons like the Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer and similar luxury trucks.

Bizarrely, I reckon it will work. The half-arsed marketing of the Monaro as a Camaro/Firebird was pretty much a drop in the bucket – Americans like their muscle very, very american and nobody had the guts to print a huge thunder chicken decal for the bonnet of the Monaro (mores the pity). A ute might pique a particular kind of curiosity that is tired of overly large light trucks with questionable handling and fuel consumption. Geez, Earl drives one in “my name is earl” so it might be high time for a revival. Still, a ute simply isn’t as practical as a light truck for actual work, even in modern guise – the cargo beds just aren’t big enough and you need the 1 tonne versions to carry anything.

Yobbo
Yobbo
14 years ago

They are however, very handy for laying out your swag and catching a few z’s when the beer runs out at the B+S.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

But Cam, its selling to a doomed sector – blinged up agricultural machinery (that GMH wants to focus on this sort of crap speaks volumes about why the US car companies are in such deep trouble, BTW).

But why do you say that? The GM truck division is the the firm’s most profitable. IT’s where they make most of their money. In fact GM is basically a truck marker these days if you take SUV’s into account.

——————

Pontiac is not the US version of BMW. Lincoln comes close in the department and Caddie does for GM.

cam
cam
14 years ago

From here, “Says Lutz: “We want to make Pontiac an affordable, American BMW.””

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

He’s out of his mind, Cam. What’s he smoking. This is the line up for the 2008 year.

http://www.pontiac.com/vehicles/index.jsp

The guy is talking about the wrong badge. The only competitor to BMW in their stable is the Caddie

http://www.gm.com/shop/frame.jsp?c=http://www.cadillac.com/

Pontiac has always been at the lowish end of the food chain in terms of brands. The guy is an idiot and another reason GM ought to get out of the car business and stick with trucks.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

In fact the caddie is actually not a bad line up for this year.

I’d be a little worried about the ute in the US market simply because they are competing against the Ford 150 which goes for about $US19,000 and is the best seller in the range and category from what i recall.

I reckon its a better looking car than the Ute that’s if you like his car/truck thing. You also want it to be capable in the snow and ice too which the Ford 150- is.

My guess is that it won’t sell there very well.

I also can’t undertand why they’re adding more crap to the range as it is not as as though they don’t have enough choice. The stock analysts have been constantly beating them them up for having too many barnds and models. These guys screw everything up. They really are useless.

http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/

derrida derider
derrida derider
14 years ago

I believe the F-150 is actually the biggest selling car in the world – its not just or even mainly for real work use but like the big SUVs or the blinged utes often sells to the genitally challenged. And of course it’s complete crap unless you do happen to be hauling loads on a farm – cart sprung, ladder rail chassis, iron pushrod V8, the lot.

My point is that while you can make some easy dollars preying on a market segment that’s dumb enough to care more about image than quality, it’s very risky as a core strategy. All it takes is an oil price hike, a President who pushes cliamte change or even just a change in fashion and you’ll be stuck with a lot of unsaleable product. It’s easy to go downmarket, much harder (because it takes years to get the skills and culture) to go up.