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Holden confirms Colorado flood delay

Troubled waters: Holden is crossing its fingers that stocks of the outgoing Colorado will last until flood-delayed supplies of the next-generation model arrive.

New Holden Colorado launch slips out to mid 2012 as Thai plant plays catch-up

Holden logo14 Dec 2011

HOLDEN has confirmed that the launch of its all-new Colorado utility will be delayed by the recent floods in Thailand where parts suppliers have been severely impacted.

Although the vehicle is still expected to arrive in Australian showrooms in the second quarter of 2012, it is now likely to be late in the quarter, probably about June.

The delay means Holden and its dealers could run short of supplies of the outgoing model, as the company has already taken delivery of its final shipment from the Thai factory for six months.

Rival Isuzu Ute is awaiting final word on the arrival of its version of the one-tonner, the D-Max, which shares a common platform with the Colorado but is made in a different factory in Thailand and fitted with a different powertrain this time.

Neither factory was inundated in the worst flooding in Thailand in 50 years, but many parts suppliers in seven industrial estates were, stalling production.

13 center imageLeft: Chevrolet Colorado interior. Below: Isuzu D-Max.

Shipments of all of Australia’s top-selling one-tonne utes were impacted for several weeks through November, although most Thai-made models such as the Toyota HiLux, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton, Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 are slowly getting back to normal.

Holden and Isuzu are both anxious to get their new and dramatically updated vehicles on to the Australian market at the earliest opportunity, to take the fight up to the newly-facelifted HiLux and all-new Ranger and BT-50.

The Chevrolet version of the Colorado had just started rolling from the production line at Rayong in October when rivers broke their banks in industrial areas such as Ayutthaya, outside Bangkok.

Production at Rayong was almost immediately stalled as the supply chain broke down, and as GoAuto has reported, Holden has been closely monitoring the impact on the roll-out of the new Colorado, as GM Thailand plays catch-up.

Holden senior product communications manager Kate Lonsdale said managers had been meeting daily to assess the situation.

She said the latest forecast was for the initial production to arrive in Australia in the second quarter, for a public launch late in quarter.

Ms Lonsdale said Holden was unsure how long current Colorado supplies would hold out, as it depended on sales volumes over the next several months.

“Obviously, we wouldn’t want to have too much of a gap,” she said.

A spokesman for Isuzu Ute, Cornelius Ionescu, said the company was still expecting a second-quarter launch for the D-Max, but was still awaiting confirmation of the exact date.

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GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.