Naturally, it’s a manual.
It’s a sad day in the world of sport sedans. We knew this day was coming, but that doesn’t make it less painful. Today the last Chevrolet SS sedan rolled off the line in Elizabeth, South Australia.
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And boy, is the last one a beauty. It’s black with the aging, but lovely LS3 6.2-liter V-8 that comes with every SS and a six-speed manual transmission. Upon the request of whoever ordered it (likely someone from GM) it was signed by the Holden crew who built it.
Ordering for the SS ended in February and there’s no plan for a next generation or a successor. Like most Holden captive imports that GM has brought to the States, it was never intended to be a high-volume seller. Outside of NASCAR, Chevy didn’t really advertise the SS.
We only got a grand total of 12,953 SS sedans in the US and 7,305 Caprice PPV police cars which, like the SS, is based on the Holden Commodore. That’s less than half as many of the 41,000 Pontiac G8s (based on the previous generation Commodore) we got in its 3-model-year run.
To add insult to injury, the Australian plant where the Commodore and SS were built is being shut down this October. That makes it very unlikely that we’ll ever get a Holden-based GM product in the US ever again.
It’s hard to pin the death of the SS on any one factor. You can’t really blame sales numbers because it was such a low-volume car and I believe GM when they say it was never intended to be a big seller. But if that’s the case, then why bother bringing it over here at all?