Holden flexes design muscle with Chevrolet Bolt EV concept
AUSTRALIAN automotive manufacturing may be about to end, but new global doors are opening for our designers and engineers.
Ford is expanding its development team in Australia, demonstrated by its work on the new Everest SUV which will be launched this year, while Holden put its skills on display at the Detroit motor show this week.
First to go on show was the Buick Avenir, a slick large sedan, which was produced at Holden's headquarters in Port Melbourne - now referred to as GM Australia.
The Avenir was joined by the Chevrolet Bolt EV concept, which is being labelled an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle.
To help maximise range and reduce kerb weight, the Bolt EV uses lightweight materials including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fibre and woven mesh.
Using a smartphone app, your phone can become the key fob for operating the vehicle.
It also has automatic park-and-retrieval technology, which enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt EV concept to park itself. It can then be summoned to return to the owner's location when required.
GM Australia design director Richard Ferlazzo said the Chevrolet Bolt EV signaled a significant commitment to electrification by the brand but also demonstrated GM's commitment to the Australian Design Centre.
"Bolt EV clearly reflects GM's collaborative approach to global design programs. Our design centre is no longer focused on cars only driven on Australian roads," Mr Ferlazzo said.
"We are a global design centre and as such we have the talent and capability to lead, collaborate and support global programs for international markets such as this.
"The products revealed at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit clearly demonstrate our role within GM Design today and showcases the breath of talent we have here in Australia, enabling us to work on different vehicles for different brands in different countries.
"We have a strong, hard-earned reputation as a mature and highly experienced design centre and it's fantastic to see the result of the team's hard work on a global stage such as Detroit."