The Sunday Mail
Augustine Moyo Motoring news
THEY say “if cricket is your religion, then Sachin Tendulkar is your god”, but I say if motoring is your religion then car brands are your “church”.
The most heart-breaking news for the year 2014 was passed on to me from General Motors, news that is capable of making any car fanatic shed tears.
Centenarian car maker Chevrolet will be phasing out the legendary Lumina.
It is one thing for a car manufacturer to phase out a model and replace it with a facelift, but it is completely something else for a car manufacturer to actually kill the model.
It is confirmed. It is official.
We will not be seeing any more of the Lumina model, its production is actually coming to an end — for good.
This model is revered and regarded as legendary in performance car circles.
This is a powerful car that will always be regarded as one of the greatest cars ever built by Chevrolet after the Corvette of course.
Originally known as the Holden Commodore, the model has been sold as the Lumina since 1998.
It made its debut onto the motoring scene in 1978 and the last one will roll off the production line by the end of 2016.
The decision to phase out the Lumina from Chevrolet’s model line-up follows plans to shut down General Motors’ Australia plant, which was home to the Lumina.
In Australia, the Lumina was, however, still being sold as the Holden Commodore.
The plant had not been doing very well for some time and had been surviving on an estimated US$500 million subsidy from the Australian government to stay afloat, a trend that had become very unsustainable for the business.
Despite the shutdown of the Australia plant, General Motors will be commissioning four new car manufacturing plants in China next year.
The Lumina has been available on the Zimbabwean market through a General Motors’ authorised dealership in the country.
The Lumina is so brutally powerful and equally fast such that one guy in Bulawayo personalised his Lumina “BULLET”.
Now, that’s, in my view, pride and confidence in the capabilities of the Lumina.
The Lumina is in four model variants, namely the LS, LTZ, S and the SS.
The SS model has been and will always be the Lumina model’s muscle car, claiming its spot comfortably in the league of the Dodge Charger, Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
Those familiar with this prestigious model will know that the Lumina has been available in the 3,6 litre V6 with an option of the four-speed automatic transmission and six-speed automatic transmission; the 5,7 litre V8 and the “beastly” 6-litre V8 with an option of the six- speed automatic transmission and the six- speed manual transmission.
It will be safely stored in our memories as the best of the best of Chevrolet’s models.
It has been available on the market as a five-seater passenger sedan and a two-seater luxury pick-up.
Its sedan is said to be the only rear-wheel-drive mid-size sedan on the market.
Cars come in either rear or front-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drives have advantages over front-wheel drives, but some motoring pundits will argue that the opposite is true.
To settle the debate, this is where the brand with four rings — Audi — comes in with its Quattro, permanent four-wheel-drive technology to mate the advantages of both the rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive.
Whether the Lumina sedan is the only rear-wheel-drive mid-size sedan or not is still debatable. It has not really been conclusive.
One fact that is not debatable is that the Lumina is powerful and fast.
And with over 100 years in existence, Chevrolet has taken a decision that it believes will give it another 100 years in business.
A painful decision taken by the world’s fourth largest car brand, but I guess it is a business decision worth taking. Fare thee well, Lumina.
Rest in peace great legend. Rest in peace great Chevrolet icon. We will miss you indeed. Your shoes will be very difficult to fill by any other Chevrolet offing.