General Motors has recently trademarked the El Camino nameplate.

General Motors has filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to protect the El Camino name, a new report indicates.

Although GM has not commented on the matter, industry insiders speculate that Chevrolet is working with Australia's Holden to bring the historic nameplate back into showrooms.

If launched, the 21st century El Camino will be based on the Holden Ute, a relatively small rear-wheel drive pickup that is similar in appearance to the El Camino. Like the Holden Commodore, which will be sold in the United States as the much-awaited four-door SS, the El Camino will be built in Australia and exported to the United States in limited quantities.

A free trade agreement signed between the U.S. and Australia means that Holden will be able to get around the 25 percent Chicken Tax that has been slapped on every foreign-built commercial vehicle since 1963.

Holden has neither confirmed nor denied the report.

"We haven't made a decision on the next generation Ute or its presence in export markets outside Australia," said company spokesman Sean Poppitt.

If the rumor proves true, the El Camino will hit dealerships across the U.S. shortly after the SS, meaning that it is at least two years away.