THE Holden Commodore and Astra are no more, as the General Motors owned brand today announced it will shift to a modified portfolio, dedicated exclusively to SUVs and light commercial vehicles.
Holden interim chairman and managing director, Kristian Aquilina, said the focus of the portfolio was consistent with customer preferences, with the Acadia, Trailblazer, Equinox and Trax rounding out a comprehensive SUV portfolio.
The Colorado will be its sole offering in the light commercial vehicle, or ute/pickup segment, with the ZB Commodore and BK Astra to be retired in 2020.
“Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments,” he said. “So far this year SUVs and Utes have increased to 76 percent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing.”
At its peak, the large car segment in Australia accounted for 217,882 sales in 1998. This year it is projected to come in at about 8,700 units. Meanwhile the SUV market is approaching half a million units, and utes and pickups have sold more than 200,000 units.
The new Holden boss paid tribute to the Commodore nameplate and its place in the Australian automotive industry over time.
“The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage,” he said.
“The large sedan was the cornerstone of Australian and New Zealand roads for decades. But now with more choice than ever before, customers are displaying a strong preference for the high driving position, functionality and versatility of SUVs and utes.”
Sales and deliveries of Commodore and Astra will continue through 2020, albeit with diminishing model availability as part of an orderly run out. Holden will continue to back warranty and roadside assistance commitments for both model ranges.
In addition, all 2019 ZB Commodores and 2019 BK Astras ordered or delivered from today on-wards will be subject to Holden’s market leading seven-year free scheduled servicing offer.
All arrangements for accessing warranty, servicing and spare parts for Holden’s entire model line-up via the Holden’s national dealer network remain the same.
Holden will launch the 2020 Equinox in the first quarter of next year, followed by a significant 2021 upgrade to the Colorado. It will also lodge production orders for the highly anticipated mid-engine right-hand-drive Corvette next year.