Jo Stogiannis is the Director of GMSV, or General Motors Special Vehicles. She has an extensive background with Holden that has her starting on the ground floor in a customer service role before moving through areas such as Export and CRM, Customer Relations Management. She has also worked in the Holden Fleet Management area.
Jo’s role with GMSV has been to oversee the transition from Holden to what will be, initially having GMSV itself positioning, for the time being, as a niche market filler.
When asked about the current sales situation thanks to Covid, Jo agrees that the impact of Covid has made a solid impact on how dealerships have had to manage their own customer management methods; from the meet and greet through to test drives and the buying process. However she feels strongly that the extra disposable income people have had in some areas is changing back to buying new vehicles.
What GMSV is offering thus far, is a pair of vehicles. The vehicles are the Silverado 1500 (a light duty intent) and Silverado 2500 (a heavy duty aimed vehicle) for release later this year, plus the Corvette which is on track for a 2021 release. Corvette will be manufactured in right hand drive out of the factory.
Melbourne based Walkinshaw group, a long term associate of Holden, and by default, GM, are the contracted company to take the Silverados which are manufactured in left hand drive, brought to Australia, and converted to right hand drive for sales here in Australia and to New Zealand as well.
Jo says the markets for the two different vehicles will reflect the end market users, with “the grey nomads” utilising the towing capacities each will offer, plus areas such as tradesmen and small to medium sized businesses.
EVs are a possibility however Jo says the immediate focus is on establishing the brand with the Silverados and Corvette later in 2021. Other vehicles such as the Cadillac Blackhawks recently unveiled are, as Ed Finn, the PR manager, said, speculation only as to if GMSV offers them. As it stands for the next couple of years at least, is the establishment of GMSV as a niche but laying the groundwork for the future growth.
(We thank GMSV’s Jo Stogiannis and Ed Finn for the valuable time and assistance.)