V-8 performance car to die with Australian production
This is the last year for the Chevrolet SS, a good old-fashioned, rear-drive car with a V-8 and manual transmission, Alan Batey, head of GM North America, confirmed today at the 2017 North American International Auto Show.
The SS is an imported Holden VF Commodore but Holden production will cease in Australia later this year, making the 2017 SS the final edition. There are no plans to replace the niche vehicle, Batey told reporters after an event to introduce the all-new Chevrolet Traverse, a seven-passenger crossover that, by contrast, is in a hot segment.
“We decided in small numbers we’d introduce the SS, because we could at a pretty low cost and it has been really well received,” Batey said of importing the car and selling it as a Chevy in the U.S.
“Obviously it’s unlikely there is anything to follow because of what is going on in Australia,” he said. “It was an optimistic play from our perspective and it’s played out well and been a nice addition to the range. It’s not mainstream. It’s small volume.” In 2016, Chevrolet sold 3,013 SS units, up 4.1 percent from a year prior.
The SS is a remnant of the old Zeta platform so there really is no current platform to build a replacement on, said spokesman Ron Kiino. The four-door American performance car held a unique position in the marketplace, with little competition beyond the Dodge Challenger.
The SS is the vehicle that GM uses in NASCAR and is coming off a good season, Batey said, with Jimmie Johnson winning the championship.