Nothing removed whatsoever. They actually built the first batch of base R's with side skirts in error(this was communicated to us prior to launch).
The dealer group has been scathing of the pricing strategy since before launch and they've finally done something about it (probably because they've retailed less than 100 units since launch).
With the Auto, they've basically just pulled the pricing back to reality. I said a few weeks away that if they didn't do something about pricing quickly they'd be throwing $3-4k per car at them just to move any sort of volume. They should have imported the Cruze Hatch from Korea, the Astra is just too expensive!
I thought Holden was trying to move to be more of a premium range and hence the price rises across the range. It's clearly going to be a long hard slog.
“We’d like to think that we can take some price on this, but we’ll see where we can recover from the rest of our portfolio. There are features on the car that may not need to be there,” Bernhard said.
“The one that we’ve looked at is the side skirts on the entry levels. They’re coming off, the decision has been made. You’ll save $1700 off the vehicles with automatic transmission, that’s where the focus has been.”
Maybe they had decided all along, but in our launch document they made reference to the fact that the initial batch of cars were built with side skirts in error and that going forward they won't be fitted with them. We've got cars on the yard with and without them already (i.e. they made this decision well before the time they decided to play with the pricing).
Holden has to remember that they've positioned themselves for years as a 'value' brand, not some upmarket brand. Volume and upmarket don't seem to go hand in hand. So they either push the prices up and go 'upmarket' and lose substantial volume or they keep the prices low and continue to be a value brand. They should have realised before they released this car that they are going to be in some pain for a number of years to come, due to past decisions and to either suck it up or give up. The decision to close the factory is going to have a massive effect on brand loyalty and presence in the market. Buyers have simply struck Holden off their list. It's going to take some seriously good cars and good prices in order to keep the customer's we've got and to attract new customers to the brand.
As a matter of interest, what is the plan from Holden between VF and NG releases? NG is schedule to arrive in Feb 2018 and VF shuts down later this year which leaves a bit of a gap.
Will there be a stock pile of VF's to see them through to the NG release or will there just be a big empty patch where neither Commodore is available to buy?
As has already been mentioned, Holden can't cash their chips on brand loyalty anymore. They'll have to ante up the same way Kia, Hyundai, [to a lesser extent but unlimited kms is a freeby] Subaru and VW have: a fatter warranty (3 years 100,000km just doesn't cut it anymore).
I have told people to go out and look at them and test drive them because I can't comment on how they drive since Holden won't supply me cars any more to review, some people have baulked at looking at them when comparing specs to other cars.
Warranty was another people have scoffed at when Kia is offering 7yrs and Hyundai 5yrs, It's hard to compete with some cars coming out of SK as they seem to be well equip including things that some companies either don't provide or charge extra for.
I feel sorry for people like timandhayley who are actually trying to sell Holdens at the moment, no one is going to buy Holden as a premium brand, brand loyalty which has had people coming back time and time again is out the window and there is a serious lack of quality product in Holdens range to entice people that have never considered buying a Holden before in the show rooms.
SUVs are booming and Holden have basically nothing that can compete with the other offerings that are out there,
I am really salty over the end of manufacturing, but I can't be a Holden fan all my life and not really hope that they can eventually build up to where they before but there are lots of obstacles for them to climb and at the moment they seem to be getting bigger every day they don't have the product to compete with the rest of the market.
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