Hopeless Holden has no Chance Against the Kia Stinger

Holden is condescendingly wishing Kia the best of luck with its new RWD Stinger GT sport sedan. 

Set to show up in September of this year, both Kia and Holden know the Stinger will arrive in Australia just in time for the locally produced, RWD, V8 Holden Commodore to die. Holden will be replacing the 6.2-liter V8 flagship Commodore with an AWD V6 model; front-drive, 4-cylinder diesel and gasoline options will replace the 3.6-liter V6 of the old car.

MY16 VFII_VFII and VB_HR

According to CarAdvice, Holden’s Australia’s communications chief, Sean Poppitt, said la-dee-da, “good luck to them.”

“Competition is a healthy thing and the car looks pretty good,” he told the publication. “The proof will be in the pudding as to how it drives, particularly when you consider the current VFII is undoubtedly the best Commodore we’ve ever made in terms of being a driver’s car.

“Can the Kia live up to that? It remains to be seen.”

With Holden’s Elizabeth plant set to shutter later this year, the company’s response is slightly disingenuous, the VFII Commodore will never get the chance to compete with the new Stinger in the new car market. “But I think what’s also pretty important to understand is the brand loyalty that exists with those people [Commodore SS buyers] isn’t necessarily just about what the car is, it’s about what it represents and the brand it comes from,” Poppitt continued.

2017_kia_stinger-gt_12

If Holden we continuing with the same tried and true formula, he would have a point, but effectively, the new Insignia-based commodore is just as foreign to shoppers as a RWD Korean sport-saloon. And it’s not just powertrain and driven wheels that buyers care about, interior space will be severely compromised in the new Commie; Holden has already admitted it will be nearly impossible to fit three full-grown men in the back seat of the 2018 Commodore.

“Then really when you look at sales, although V8s have increased in their penetration, it’s still over the last two years more than three-quarters of Commodore sales have been the V6, so really the main buyer is still the V6 buyer,” Poppitt added.

“And we will have a V6 AWD next-generation Commodore on sale from 2018. So I’d be willing to give the Stinger the Pepsi challenge with the next-generation Commodore any time.”

With both Ford and Holden abandoning Australia’s favorite formula, we’ll see if buyers return the favor and abandon Ford and Holden for brands like Kia, who’s more than happy to sell them what they want.

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