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Euro Holdens to arrive mid-year
Motoring
Words: Matt Brogan
Published : Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Holden has today confirmed its threesome of European-sourced models – the Astra, Cascada and Insignia – will go on sale by mid-2015, but not before its revamped Cruze arrives in late January.

"Other models" – likely including the renewed Barina Spark, Volt and Captiva – will come "toward the end of 2015 or early 2016", while a facelifted MY16 Commodore is also expected around September 2015, before production winds up in 2017.

The news comes just weeks after GMH confirmed the current Commodore will be its last rear-wheel drive V8 model to be offered in Oz though Holden today confirmed that the VF-series range will be updated "at least once more" before local manufacturing ceases in three years.

The Opel Insignia, the next generation of which will replace the Commodore, is one of three European-sourced models due to arrive in "late Q2 or early Q3", and initially will be sold alongside the Commodore (large) and Malibu (medium) ranges.

Holden says its growing line-up will also be joined by the Astra GTC and VXR hot hatches, and convertible Cascada, all of which are expected "around the same time" as the larger Insignia VXR.

*Full Article at Link
 

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Interesting phrasing.
The news comes just weeks after GMH confirmed the current Commodore will be its last rear-wheel drive V8 model to be offered in Oz though Holden.....
An imported Chevrolet planned (other than Camaro), or referring to imported Cadillacs?

*Just speculating
 

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will go on sale by mid-2015, but not before its revamped Cruze arrives in late January.
same as "GLOBAL" I wonder or the already shown "CHINESE" model I ask as I have not seen the "NEW" global Cruze do the auto show circuit unless I missed it

and how does Cruze fit in with the Astra? OR will Cruze be "below" and the Astra will be premium?
 

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Selling Opel as Holden didn't work last time
Why should it work now?
It did work. And it worked very well when Holden dealt with Opel directly.

Until the end of 2002 when the Swiss-based GM Europe (aka RenCen's club for "the boys") decided to charge commission for their "services" to support their Corvette/Cadillac lifestyle: a flat fee per car, plus %. So the poverty-pack Vectra suddenly became more expensive than the Commodore, and the Astra price went up and equipment levels went down. And the profitable Barina suddenly started generating losses. In effect the cars became sale proof.

As for the new strategy: isn't the new lineup too confusing to consumers? Can the dealers afford the floor plan with falling sales volume? Eg. Hyundai sell more cars per dealer with less models on offer. How are Holden dealers to make money?
 

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Selling Opel as Holden didn't work last time
Why should it work now?
Holden's problem is, the dollar which was floating in the $US1.10 range a year ago when they announced closure is this week around US80c - and the Reserve Bank is trying to talk it down to US75c. So it's devalued around 30% and tipped to go lower as demand for commodities from China falls away and consumer confidence here is a trainwreck due to the sheer incompetence of the government elected a year back - good move, close local manufacturing just as the dollar drops and commoditiy economies take it in the arse.

So they have a range of budget vehicles from Korea all competing in bearpits and none of them close to top of the segment. The Thai Colorado which is selling decently but around 50% of the Ranger (which is all that is keeping Ford dealers alive) and 25% of the Hilux. Now they are landing expensively sourced Opels which didn't fly at not much margin with a high dollar. It's hard to see the Astra making inroads on the Corolla or 3 or even I30 when it's likely to start at least a couple and probably several $thou more. VW has a $19K loss-leader Golf, plus the Skoda Octavia which will undercut for budget Europhiles. Then there's also Renault, Citroen, Peugoet - the list goes on.

The Insignia is almost a waste of space. Mallbu is just dead in the water. That market segment is shrinking to the point of disappearing. Apart from Camry, local assembly of which will cease some time in the next two years, the best selling is the Mazda 6 and it's on 4-500 a month. That segment is shrinking more than big cars. Other than that, Holden has Captiva and the current model sells well as they are almost giving it away. Then you have the issue of dealers jumping ship. There is no interest in investing in establishing new model lines.

Holden no. 4 and Ford no 5 in the Australian market. Not bad in ten years with expert US management considering around 2004 they were 1 and 3 and a couple years earlier 1 and 2. It can only get worse. If VW hadn't suffered their massive faux pas with the DSGs, they would already be eating both.

Cadillac for Oz? Yeah, right. Even more of a stretch than Europe. Oh, by the way, BMW sales last month were 20% up year on year and Mercedes 30% with their RWD based cars. Mercedes C-class which got COTY from the combined motoring press sold 493 cars - beating all but Camry I think and four times as many as Ford Falcon.

Lexus have admitted they can't compete with the Big 3 German brand, Infiniti is also moribund and the only brand making inroads is Jaguar - but they have good marketing (and a complete range of cars - I can build myself virtually anything with any combination of engine, trans, suspension, interior, brakes you can get in England off their website) and well-establised brand.
 

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The Insignia is almost a waste of space. Mallbu is just dead in the water. That market segment is shrinking to the point of disappearing.
In October and November over half of Malibus sold were actually internal sales - discounted CVO lease cars. There are still a few Holden employees around, so Malibu can expect around 100 total monthly sales. However, the headcount will eventually drop to below 400, so you're looking at a total of ~1100 CVO "sales" a year (down from ~10,000 only 6 years ago).

I don't expect any significant Insignia volume either - just think about the Insignia VXR target audience: it's tiny. Rental companies? Nope. Company fleets? Nope, Holden fired most of their fleet department staff. Retirees? Nope, they buy Camrys. Ex-Commodore SS buyers? Maybe, but why would they pay more for less, plus 20-week lead time for factory orders? I bet there will be dealers with no Insignia stock and no test drives.

So I guess ~40 retail sales a month, expanding to ~500 a month when the next gen Insignia arrives.

I'm really not surprised both BMW and, especially, Mercedes are doing well - look at their prices/lease deals now compared to 10 years ago.
 

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And what about the huge price factors: Built in Europe and shipped to Australia?
Or is Holden planning on switching their assembly lines to epsilon and delta?
The shipping costs needn't be a deal breaker - there's so many Pure Car Carriers (PCCs) going from Japan/Korea to Europe, all full but coming back empty that there must be so good business opportunities there to have the Opels shipped to Perth.

Like others, I don't see the point of having Cruze/Astra and Malibu/Insignia in the same small market - small, in the sense that GM's corporate wisdom! has decided that the Australian market is too small to build it's own models - I don't agree with that decision but it's where you're at right now.
 

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The shipping costs needn't be a deal breaker - there's so many Pure Car Carriers (PCCs) going from Japan/Korea to Europe, all full but coming back empty that there must be so good business opportunities there to have the Opels shipped to Perth.
GM pays peanuts for shipping. They have bi-annual volume agreements with shipping companies, they pay mainly for capacity, plus a fee for each car based on a pricing formula. It costs less to ship a car from a European port to Melbourne than to move a car by road transport from Brisbane to Melbourne.

Like others, I don't see the point of having Cruze/Astra and Malibu/Insignia in the same small market - small, in the sense that GM's corporate wisdom! has decided that the Australian market is too small to build it's own models - I don't agree with that decision but it's where you're at right now.
But the spreadsheet and powerpoint both indicate that it makes sense. ;-)

On a serious note, many decisions made at Holden over the past few years don't make much sense due to lack of corporate/tribal wisdom. Thanks to the revolving door policy over the past few years most talent have moved on. Mazda, Hyundai/Kia, Chrysler/Fiat, and to a lesser degree VW have all greatly benefited by hiring very experienced ex-Holden staff. No serious Australian car industry veterans want to work at Holden anymore, so Holden are hiring b-players and quickly promoting their co-op students to full time positions. No industry knowledge required, as long as they can churn out fresh powerpoints and can contribute to Holden's Facebook and twitter.

Have a look the most recent Holden job ads in the press - regularly looking for experienced area managers. Until very recently the main pre-requisite for such job was 2 years minimum in Holden distribution department, dealing with Holden dealers. People just don't want to work for Holden anymore. Other car companies are growing and offering generous salaries and bonuses while Holden is offering wage and budget freezes, plus a long list of excuses.

Holden are really running out of options, they are throwing s**t against the wall to see what sticks.

Sorry to say this, but Holden is a goner. From 2017 just a meaningless brand.
 

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GM's corporate wisdom! has decided that the Australian market is too small to build it's own models.
Detroit did the same thing about 70 years ago when Laurence Hartnett was sent from Vauxhall to close Holden's down, but on arrival was shocked to see how innovative and in some ways ahead of Detroit in car body building techniques, so he went straight to Alfred P Sloan to get him to change his mind and the rest is history.

Case of deja vu, and how little has changed in how Detroit (still) has no clue!

Again, we need another Laurence Hartnett and Peter Hanenberger to stand up to the clueless at the Ren Center.
 
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Detroit did the same thing about 70 years ago when Laurence Hartnett was sent from Vauxhall to close Holden's down, but on arrival was shocked to see how innovative and in some ways ahead of Detroit in car body building techniques, so he went straight to Alfred P Sloan to get him to change his mind and the rest is history.

Case of deja vu, and how little has changed in how Detroit (still) has no clue!

Again, we need another Laurence Hartnett and Peter Hanenberger to stand up to the clueless at the Ren Center.
That ship has sailed.


...and was probably made by Hyundai Heavy Industries
 
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