Historic Truck Brands
Bodies for local assembly of Chevrolets were built in Australia as early as 1918.
By 1926 the newly created General Motors (Australia) Pty Ltd had established assembly plants in five Australian states to produce Chevrolet and other GM vehicles using bodies supplied by Holden Motor Body Builders.
The merger of General Motors (Australia) Pty Ltd with the troubled Holden Motor Body Builders in 1931 saw the creation of General Motors-Holden and the ongoing production of various GM products including Chevrolet.
Post-war production recommenced in 1946. From 1949 Australian Chevrolets were locally assembled from components imported from Chevrolet in Canada. The last full year of Chevrolet assembly in Australia was 1968.
In Australia we saw very few Chevrolet heavy trucks at that time, because GMH was importing Bedfords from the UK and then Isuzus from Japan.
However, in the USA, Chevrolet and GMC C-60 and C-70 models were released, with petrol V8 or Detroit Diesel 4.53 four-cylinder two-strokes. Later models had 6V53s and Roadranger transmissions were fitted to 6×4 models. In 1970 a COE model was launched and Cummins engines were added options list.
From the early 1970s to the early 1980s the Chevrolet name was used on various light commercials in Australia. The LUV was a rebadged Isuzu KB ute, but the third generation C-series trucks sold in small numbers, mainly because of petrol engine fuel consumption. Many were converted to LPG operation.
From 1998 to 2001 the Chevrolet Suburban wagon, derived from the C-series, was sold in Australia as the Holden Suburban.
In December 2017, GM announced the return of the Chevrolet brand to Australia and New Zealand with the launch of the Silverado 2500HD/3500HD and these vehicles were joined by the 1500 model in 2020.
GM plans to continue to export RHD Chevrolet models to the region under the ‘General Motors Specialty Vehicle’ network.