General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz announced at the Paris auto show last week that the automaker will build at least one car based on its new global rear/all-wheel-drive architecture.
Originally, plans to use the Zeta platform, developed by GM’s Australian arm Holden and currently used in its Commodore sedan, as a basis for cars sold in North America had been shelved, but the increasing popularity of rear-wheel-drive thanks to offerings from Chrysler and Dodge caused the company to reconsider. Currently, the upcoming Camaro is the only Zeta-based car that is confirmed for the North American market, though there rumors going around about other cars such as the Holden Commodore will be used as the next Pontiac Grand Prix. The next-generation Chevrolet Impala, which in many ways is the Grand Prix’ sister car, is also rumored to be Zeta-based.
Lutz also announced that the platform will be used to build a luxury car in China called the Buick Royaume. The Chinese market has been a bright spot for GM, where its Buick brand sees incredible popularity.
Our take? Anyone that follows GM has been aware of the trials and tribulations of the Zeta platform and its future in the North American market. The confirmation of future Zeta-based cars is good news and will allow GM to further differentiate its products from the competition and further leverage its performance pedigree. Combined with the increasing quality of GM’s cars as of late, things seem to be looking up for the company.