The following was written in today's Sydney Morning Herald.
AUSTRALIA'S biggest-selling car, the Holden Commodore, will be exported to the US, it has been unofficially confirmed at the Detroit motor show.
The announcement was not due to be made until the Chicago motor show next month, but the worldwide head of product development at General Motors, Bob Lutz, gave away more than he was supposed to during a news conference.
Just minutes after Holden officials refused to answer questions about the Commodore's export program, Mr Lutz revealed details about the deal.
The Commodore SS, a V8- powered sports sedan, will be sold as a Pontiac from late this year or early next year.
Holden expects to export 30,000 Commodores annually, about half what it sells locally.
"We are seriously planning to import a lot of Commodore SS sedans as Pontiac G8s," Mr Lutz said, adding that Holden could export up to 50,000 Commodores a year if the model was priced correctly.
Mr Lutz said the export of the Holden Monaro as a Pontiac GTO from 2003 to last year (during which 40,000 of the V8 coupes were sold) brought Holden's expertise to the attention of its parent company, General Motors in North America.
"We are yet to officially announce it," Mr Lutz said of the Commodore export deal, once he realised that he had made a faux pas.
He eventually admitted that selling the V8 version of the Commodore in the US was such a logical thing to do as it filled a void in Pontiac's line-up.
"While [the Monaro's] export program may not have fulfilled all of our hopes and dreams in terms of profitability and volume, it did break the ice on global programs."