Manufacturing News

GM shows off two Australian-designed cars at Detroit Auto Show

General Motors has showcased two new concept cars, which were designed and built in Port Melbourne, at the Detroit Auto Show.

One was a small futuristic, glass-roofed electric vehicle called the ChevroletBolt (pictured) which is expected to cost much less than most currently-available electric cars. 

The other was the Avenir concept car by Buick which, while a concept car, has a good chance of being produced because of Chinese demand for large cars.

As reports, the Bolt is intended to bring electric cars into the mainstream.

It was unveiled by former Holden boss Alan Batey, who is now in charge of the Chevrolet brand globally.

Comparing the car to the Tesla, he said, “Tesla’s average transaction price is $100,000. They’re for the rich and famous, this is for the people. I haven’t seen Tesla with anything like this in the market with this (price).”

“We’re going to gauge the reaction from today … but we’re pretty convinced this is the right vehicle at the right time. We would not have today come here and talked about 200 miles (range) and $30,000 if we didn’t really didn’t know how to make that happen.”

Chief Holden designer Richard Ferlazzo headed the design project.

“We’ve never had two concept cars at an international motor show before,” said Ferlazzo. “It’s a very big deal for us, a great compliment for Holden.”

According to, the Buick Avenir concept car was designed in collaboration with GM North America.

Construction of the concept took place at GM Australia’s Fabrication Studio. The team overcame the time zone challenge with precise communications and in-house craftsmanship.

Paul Clarke, Manager for Creative Hard Modelling, was responsible for managing the build.

“This project has been particularly special as it is the first time the team here in Australia have built a Buick concept for an International motor show. To have a concept on display in Detroit is very exciting and a great thing for Australian design,” Clarke said in a GM statement.

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