Holden Planned An SUV But GM Said No

It has been revealed that Holden wanted to develop a rival to the Ford Territory but that GM failed to give the project the green light.

Speaking with former employees at the company, Motoring learned that Holden was keen to develop an SUV on its Zeta platform, an architecture which failed to go global as initially expected.

According to former Holden advanced vehicle design chief Mark Sheridan, the locally-developed Holden SUV could have saved local car manufacturing in Australia.

“There was an SUV and that was probably one of the defining moments around global Zeta and it was probably one of the defining moments around Holden’s success in Australia.

“Ford made a really good decision around Territory … We looked at cars exactly like that way back on Zeta and the GM leadership at the time said no. They said ‘we can do these better and more efficiently because they are the types of cars we do, off North American architectures rather than the Zeta architecture,” Sheridan revealed.

If the Holden SUV ever saw the light of day, it would have had rear- and all-wheel drive capabilities and was actually the subject of a design study by company designer Ondrej Koromhaz.

At one stage, General Motors believed the Zeta architecture could underpin 15 different models around the world. In the end, these plans never came to fruition and the only global model to use Zeta underpinnings was the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.


  • Zandit75

    Yep, and in it’s place we were served the Craptiva shown in the attached photos.

    • RS6 Performance Wagon Lover

      Another Adventra would have been a better option.

      • Zandit75

        Nope, it was not all it could have been either. Extremely thirsty, especially in V6 form.

    • Benjamin B.

      Which was a Chevrolet which was itself a rebadged Daewoo

    • Benjamin B.

      Rebadging inception

  • no25

    GM planned an SUV and GM said no to an SUV to one of GM’s many, many brands.

    EDIT: yes, i purposely said GM multiple times to emphasize a point.

  • LeStori

    What would you expect from GM. It is a poorly run company, recently bankrupt. The biggest mistake ever made in the Australian car industry was putting our eggs in the USA car maker market. Now we have no car industry.

    • Zandit75

      Blame the Aussie politicians and unions for killing the Australian car industry. Sure the US brands had their part in it, but it wasn’t solely their blame. The Mitsubishi closure was the start of the domino collapse.

      • sam77

        Mitsubishi closed many many years earlier. The blame can really be put on GM USA and their greed for Aussie taxpayer subsidies. US has unions too and to be honest unions had little to do with the failure of the industry. The GM management was very poor and arrogant and their inexperience filtered down to the subsidiaries. There are not many US companies that are well run and do not rely on government charity to survive (Apple and Microsoft being the exceptions). GM. Ford, Boeing but some examples.

  • LeStori

    What would you expect. Australia made a serious blunder putting the car industry in American Hands. GM was so badly run it went bankrupt in 2009.

  • Benjamin B.

    “Computer says no…” GM corporate governance is the reason Holden (and Chevrolet in America) is now selling Daewoos.

    • Steve-O

      No Daewoo designed models are being sold anymore. All current designs are GM Chev

      • Benjamin B.

        Daewoo platforms and parts

        • Steve-O

          All models assembled currently in Korea are Chev models. Last Daewoo model was Captiva.

          • Benjamin B.

            Many GM vehicles are assembled in Korea and many vehicles assembled elsewhere use Korean parts. GM depends greatly on Korea.

      • Benjamin B.

        Chevy Trax and other models are even built in Korea

        • Steve-O

          Yes and….

  • Bash

    BTW, the Captiva is nothing but a Daewoo. just saying

    • Tumbi Mtika


      • Bash

        Nailed it. 😀

  • Classic Bob

    Yep, “Defining moments” are something GM, as well as a few other automakers could learn from..

  • Tumbi Mtika

    I hate you, GM.

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    I hate GM
    But even with that
    The Aussie car making are now in the dust
    Also Ford closed moreover Toyota which is second to none in Aussie car market

  • SirVeil

    Looks like a Chevy Captiva

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