Holden VN Commodore - History - New Zealand

New Zealand

The VN series was assembled in New Zealand between 1988 and 1990. For the first few months of production it was actually assembled alongside its predecessor, the VL. This was due to the VL Commodore being slightly smaller, and offering a 2.0 L inline-six Nissan RB20E (for New Zealand only) or 3.0 L RB30E straight-six motor, also by Nissan.

A unique situation of the New Zealand VN Commodore was its trim levels. Where in Australia, Berlina was of higher spec than Executive; in New Zealand the roles were actually reversed. Commodore Executive was the Australian Berlina spec, while Berlina – had a similar spec to the Australian Executive models - and utilised a 2.0-litre Family II four-cylinder engine.

The Berlina 4-cylinder model was a unique car for New Zealand, as well as other export markets, and was unavailable to Australia. The four-cylinder Berlina was developed in Australia primarily for the New Zealand market, it was equipped with an unemissionised fuel-injected 2.0 L motor (tuned to run on 96 octane fuel), essentially that of the Opel Vectra A mounted north-south, driving the rear wheels. The Berlina was available in both sedan and wagon body styles.

The Calais models were also offered to New Zealand, primarily in V6 form. In fact, due to a cancelled Singapore order, twenty fully equipped VN Calais models were sold in New Zealand - utilizing the Berlina's four-cylinder motor. Additionally, it is believed that there are a few VN Calais wagons in existence in New Zealand.

An indigenous sports model, the Commodore GTS, was also offered to the New Zealand market during 1990. Based on the New Zealand Executive models, the GTS featured a 3.8L V6 engine, manual or automatic transmission, bodykit (similar to that of the VN Commodore SS), alloys and FE2 suspension. It was a limited build, available in either White or Dark Blue.

The VN was the last Commodore to be assembled in New Zealand, after General Motors closed its plant in Trentham in late 1990. Thereafter, GM cars were imported from Australia, duty-free.

Read more about this topic:  Holden VN Commodore, History

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