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Lion brand warms up with much improved turbocharged Cruze SRi-V

22 May 2013

IT’S never a good idea to start a car review with a lesson in economics, but in the case of Holden’s Cruze hatch and sedan – there is also a wagon, but it is imported, not built here like the other two – it’s a necessary evil.

Look around the world, and there’s a few countries with one leg clearly in the toilet.
Meanwhile, Australia is doing so well that everyone else around the world wants to have a piece of the action.

They buy Aussie dollars, and the laws of supply and demand say the price of Australia’s currency goes up in line with its popularity.

In the meantime, car-making rival Japan is engaging in a curious practice known as “quantitative easing”: In short, the country’s reserve bank is printing as much yen as it can at the behest of its industrial giants, flooding the market and driving down the yen’s value against stronger currencies – including ours.

In short, it is now much cheaper to build a car in Japan and sell it in Australia than it is to build and sell one here, putting Holden – making its products using high-value Australian bananas – at a competitive disadvantage.

What we now have is an epic fight, with a more feature-rich, lower priced Cruze slugging it out with a raft of cheap, Asian-built competitors chasing buyers in one of the most cut-throat segments of the Australian new-car market.

Global economics aside, has Holden’s warm-over of the Cruze done enough to fend off its cost-competitive rivals?,

, Click the Our Opinion button to read on…

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 April 2013 to 1 December 2014

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