Australian Ford Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
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21 June 2002
IT’S OFFICIAL: MONARO HEADING TO UNITED STATES
Holden today confirmed that Monaro would be exported to the United States next year to take its place among General Motors’ flagship high performance vehicles.
The decision means Holden cars will be sent to America in volume for the first time since General Motors-Holden’s was established in Australia in 1931.
Monaro will be sold in America as the Pontiac GTO starting late 2003 as a 2004 model, reviving the nameplate of an equally legendary performance car in the United States.
GM’s Chairman for North America and Vice-Chairman for product development, Bob Lutz, announced the export program overnight to automotive media in Detroit, Michigan.
Mr Lutz and Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Peter Hanenberger, met earlier today to discuss the contract which was approved by the Holden Board of Directors earlier this month.
General Motors has committed to 18,000 GTOs a year featuring the 5.7-litre Gen III V8 engine shared by Monaro and Chevrolet Corvette and offering six-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions.
A show car version of the GTO will be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show and North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January.
Full production will commence at the Holden plant in Elizabeth, South Australia, in September 2003.
Various modifications to Monaro were required to meet or exceed mandatory US legal requirements, environmental conditions and design cues for Pontiac.
The Pontiac GTO was renowned as America’s first performance car and was in production from 1964 to 1974. GTO stood for Grand Turismo Omologato, an Italian term that originally identified grand touring coupes qualified for road racing. Enthusiasts have given various names for the car including the Goat, Great One, GeeTO or the Tiger.