The Holden Commodore Ute has had more false starts in the United States than Elizabeth Taylor has had marriages, but rising gas prices might give General Motors an impetus to import the Ute as a pickup alternative at a time when high gas prices are making large trucks economically unfeasible.
Mark Reuss, GM’s head of North American operations, said that the Ute may be an important product if fuel prices compel pickup buyers to downsize from full-size trucks to more efficient but equally versatile vehicles. ‘I’ve lived in Australia and I’ve seen where fuel prices are $5 a gallon and lots of tradesmen will use a ute with a tray on the back to do lots of different things, and they don’t need the bandwidth of a big pick-up truck,’ he told Australia’s Drive.
Reuss also said that no decision would come until the next generation Commodore in 2014, and that the pickup truck market in the States was still strong enough to continue with current offerings. General Motors planned to offer the Ute as a Pontiac vehicle, but those plans were shuttered in the wake of the 2009 recession.