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William Maley

Holden Halts Production of Commodore and Equinox

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2018 has not been kind to Holden. Sales have been stagnant and the brand saw its worst monthly sales of 3,927 cars in July. Market share has also been dropping to below five percent during the year. Now, the brand has halted production of the Commodore and Equinox in an effort to reduce a massive stockpile of vehicles.

According to Wheels, Holden ordered way too many vehicles before it ceased local manufacturing in late 2017. But the past year has proven to be difficult with sales dropping and causing vehicles to sit in paddocks and holding yards, gathering dust.

“The sales were going like that,” said Holden chairman Dave Buttner, motioning to the ground. “… and the tap hadn’t been turned off, so the production’s still coming towards us - and that horrified me as an old [product] planner.”

How bad is it? Holden has only sold 3,621 Equinoxes through the first nine months of 2018. Competitors sell a similar amount in a timeframe of six weeks.

“You have to be able to turn production down, but the idea is that you don’t have to do that often. This is a fairly unique situation where we allowed the stock to keep coming towards us. Being an old manufacturing guy I’m fully cognoscente of the burden that puts on a manufacturing plant," said Buttner.

“We’ve had good cooperation from the plants but it wouldn’t be something I’d like to repeat on a regular basis because from a credibility point of view you don’t build it by doing that.”

Holden has asked the Opel factory in Germany (now owned by PSA Group) to not build anymore Commodores until next year. It is unclear if Holden asked the same for the timeframe to the GM factory that builds the Equinox.

How is Holden planning to reduce the massive backlog of vehicles? Motoring.com.au says it will not be through a fire sale.

“I’m confident we can finish the year strongly. There is not going to be any fire sale. Or any increase in demonstrators. If we do that then we’ll get what we deserve. We want to start next year with a clean slate, start rebuilding and get on with the job,” Buttner told the outlet.

We wouldn't be surprised if Holden does provide some offers to help move models.

Source: Wheels, Motoring


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OUCH, does not sound happy in the land of the shrimp on the barbie.

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4 hours ago, dfelt said:

OUCH, does not sound happy in the land of the shrimp on the barbie.

The situation sounds dour.  It's obviously Australia's Regal eqiivalent. 

Well, it doesn't sound happy because driving down the wrong side of the street must stress them out.  It would me.

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I wonder if it alienated some previous loyal Commodore buyers.  Going from a home grown RWD V6/V8 model with a lot of performance variants to a German built 4 cyl FWD sedan would be a big culture shock. 

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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That’s pretty much it. Their rebadge of the Insignia as a frickin’ Commodore was perhaps the stupidest thing they could have done.

 

They would have even preserved the name of the Commodore if they had just let the model die out peacefully instead of this horrible nameplate transfer.

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They are pretty forgettable vehicles, not surprising that the public forgot to buy them.

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Aussies know what's up.  Seems like parent GM has no clue of what they've done to their Australian customers.

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14 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

I wonder if it alienated some previous loyal Commodore buyers.  Going from a home grown RWD V6/V8 model with a lot of performance variants to a German built 4 cyl FWD sedan would be a big culture shock. 

I'm sure that's part of it, but we also need to take into consideration the growing demand for crossovers and utes in the country as well. Here's a chart from CarAdvice breaking down segment sales in September

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 10.47.36 AM.png

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7 hours ago, ocnblu said:

Aussies know what's up.  Seems like parent GM has no clue of what they've done to their Australian customers.

GM has a clue, just too slow to respond to the SUV craze and get Holden a product line that would make the customers happy. Modern day Trailblazer SS AWD I am sure would sell big time to them. Modern Day GMC Typhoon would also sell there I bet.

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Commodore was an infinitely better car when it was RWD with gonzo horsepower availability.  Dearth of Equinoxes sold contradicts trend toward CUV/SUV market dominance.  I feel like real Aussies would prefer a Colorado 5 or whatever the Trailblazer is called down under.

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Holden also has the Trax, Captiva, Acadia, and Trailblazer...so they have plenty of CUVs/SUVs along w/ the Equinox. 

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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38 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

Holden also has the Trax, Captiva, Acadia, and Trailblazer...so they have plenty of CUVs/SUVs along w/ the Equinox. 

They just need true SS V8 versions as they seem to be lacking in the performance department.

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10 hours ago, dfelt said:

They just need true SS V8 versions as they seem to be lacking in the performance department.

Yeah, but they don't have any platforms for that, their lineup is just generic FWD/AWD appliances in Holden OZ now.   End of the road for V8 performance in OZ, wonder what will become of HSV.   I thought they were going to import the Camaro and Corvette, but that seems to have gone nowhere. 

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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4 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

Yeah, but they don't have any platforms for that, their lineup is just generic FWD/AWD appliances in Holden OZ now.   End of the road for V8 performance in OZ, wonder what will become of HSV.   I thought they were going to import the Camaro and Corvette, but that seems to have gone nowhere. 

I don't have any indication on Corvette. But I did some quick research into Camaro, and it looks like HSV has started selling them within the past couple of weeks or so. But it is quite expensive, $85,990 AUD for Camaro vs. $66,000 AUD for Mustang. Of course, the reason for the almost $20,000 difference in price is HSV is doing the conversion once the Camaros arrive in Australia. Ford builds RHD Mustangs in Flat Rock (I think) and just ships them down to Australia.

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48 minutes ago, William Maley said:

I don't have any indication on Corvette. But I did some quick research into Camaro, and it looks like HSV has started selling them within the past couple of weeks or so. But it is quite expensive, $85,990 AUD for Camaro vs. $66,000 AUD for Mustang. Of course, the reason for the almost $20,000 difference in price is HSV is doing the conversion once the Camaros arrive in Australia. Ford builds RHD Mustangs in Flat Rock (I think) and just ships them down to Australia.

Can anyone say VERY LIMITED SALES! :nono:

GM should now better by now. Is GM also converting them in UK for that market or building them here and shipping? Very weird.

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7 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Can anyone say VERY LIMITED SALES! :nono:

GM should now better by now. Is GM also converting them in UK for that market or building them here and shipping? Very weird.

GM is shipping Camaros to Europe in left-hand drive form only

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5 hours ago, William Maley said:

GM is shipping Camaros to Europe in left-hand drive form only

Given how slowly the Camaro is selling here sending them to another continent seems rational.

6 hours ago, William Maley said:

I don't have any indication on Corvette. But I did some quick research into Camaro, and it looks like HSV has started selling them within the past couple of weeks or so. But it is quite expensive, $85,990 AUD for Camaro vs. $66,000 AUD for Mustang. Of course, the reason for the almost $20,000 difference in price is HSV is doing the conversion once the Camaros arrive in Australia. Ford builds RHD Mustangs in Flat Rock (I think) and just ships them down to Australia.

Meanwhile GM does well in the Chinese market while Ford Falters.

I will happily allow the blue oval boys to dominate the tiny Australian pony car market while GM goes nuts in a market with a billion people.

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