After due deliberation, Holden’s newly minted boss Dave Buttner has reportedly ordered the pausing of production on certain new vehicles, relaying that instruction to the respective factories in Russellshiem, Germany and Ramos Arizpe in Mexico responsible for rolling out the Commodore and Equinox upon approval from top GM brass.
Amid slower than expected sales, the company intends to focus on clearing existing stock before importing in new cars to replenish it. With the ceasing of all local production and the launch of imported models under the Holden badge from the General Motors umbrella, it was not all too surprising that they would suffer decreased sales during a period so early into this transition.
On cue, the VFACTS data showed a consistent decline in new Holden vehicle sales over the previous year in spite of competitive driveaway pricing, extended warranty programmes, and other incentives. While true that more Commodores were sold toward the end of its production life late 2017, that decline to 2018 was enough to justify a more direct reaction.
Thusly, with 2019 within shooting distance, it was important for Holden to not be saddled with unsold stock, prompting the production pause for its two most recent models. The Commodore is now a German produced large sedan and wagon that’s largely similar to the Opel Insignia and Chevrolet Malibu.
While the ZB is objectively quite a good car, the sentiment does seem to be against it for replacing the VF, a locally built Aussie favourite.The Equinox has, by comparison, benefited from a more neutral welcome with much less emotional baggage as well as entering a market hungry for practical crossovers and city-going SUVs.
While in conversation with CarAdvice, Buttner described the move as one rooted in pragmatism, saying: "You've got to make sure you don't have too much stock, and you've got to know the right time to balance your stock,”
"There's very few (model year) '17s left, most of the stuff we've got is model-year ’18. And then we've got production already in line for our sales plan for the first four months of next year.” added the Chairman and Managing Director.