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HSV slashes W427 production

Exclusive: HSV says it will build just 200 examples of the W427.

HSV’s pricey limited-edition anniversary model suddenly becomes even more limited

18 Dec 2008

HOLDEN Special Vehicles has slashed production of its most expensive and powerful model, the $155,500 W427, and will now build less than half the number previously expected.

While company owner Tom Walkinshaw said six months ago that production would be capped at 427 units, HSV this week announced that it would now only build 200 examples of the 375kW 7.0-litre muscle car.

However, HSV managing director Phil Harding insists that the reduced production run – which will mean the W427’s dedicated line at Clayton will stop in late 2009 rather than a year later – is not an indication of slow demand.

The ‘hand-built’ W427 was the most adventurous program undertaken by HSV and was produced to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. It was promoted as a solid investment that would one day be considered a bargain.

However, it has been dogged by a series of non-engineering problems, including a price blow-out, the sudden departure of HSV boss Scott Grant immediately after its launch, mixed press reviews, reports of high depreciation levels and now the reduction in production numbers.

Even star driver Mark Skaife, who was involved in the W427’s development and helped launch it to the media in July, has retired from driving and is said to have fallen out with the Walkinshaw group.

“The W427 program has been a great success, ahead of target and ahead of plan,” insisted Mr Harding this week in a prepared statement.

“We have been delighted with the response to bring to market this unique piece of Australian performance car history.”

Mr Harding said that HSV was responding to customer feedback that its most powerful model should be more exclusive.

He said that HSV will close the W427 order book in June.

“When we began this program we said we would build no more than 427 W427s in a build-to-order process,” he said.

“The feedback I have received as I travel around the country is that our customers want to be part of an even more exclusive club.

“Existing W427 customers have told us they want to keep their purchase as exclusive as possible and some potential customers have asked us for clarification on exactly how many W427 Supercars we intend to build. The confirmation of a total build number of 200 does this.

“Current owners will receive a boost from the added exclusivity this announcement brings, whilst those considering a W427 purchase will need to act quickly before they are all sold out.”

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