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HSV to price W427 above $150K

In demand: HSV says it has "far in excess of" 200 buyers for the W427.

HSV winds up forecast pricing on its 7.0 V8-powered W427 supercar to over $150K

13 May 2008

THE price of the Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) W427 supercar has increased steeply before it has even gone on sale.

HSV estimated a price of “$130,000-plus” for the 7.0-litre super-sedan when it was unveiled at the Melbourne International Motor Show in March.

Now, HSV management has revised pricing for the car, which is expected to become a collector’s item, saying it will cost somewhere between $150,000 and $170,000.

HSV managing director Scott Grant admitted to GoAuto this week that the company wanted to measure what type of price potential customers would pay, given that demand appears strong.

“We are throwing out a price and testing the market acceptance for that point,” Mr Grant said, adding that HSV also had to ensure the W427 project was profitable.

“These programs have to make sense from a business point of view. We have got a substantial investment in that program. It is not going to be a high-volume car, it is going to be quite a unique car, and I think there is a place for that car in the market,” he said.

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“What price we will launch it at will also depend on what our final costs are across all components, assembly, manufacturing-type inputs – (these) are not in at this time, so we are not able to lock in a price position.” While the final price may change slightly due to costs incurred by HSV, the increase is not due to any significant component price rises but more of a case of supply and demand.

HSV and its dealers have received more than 1500 expressions of interest for the W427 and had indicated it would only build just 200 models at a rate of six a month.

This week, Mr Grant admitted the final production figure could be greater than 200.

“We keep a little open-ended in that we wanted to gauge the amount of interest in the marketplace and I mentioned that we have a number of 1500 (of expressions of interest)... some of those will be media, car enthusiasts, competitors, kids at school all those types of things, but the reality is that we are gauging the size of that market and that will decide ultimately what sort of commitment we make from a marketing point of view.

“But at the moment our preliminary information indicates we can build six a week in a manageable situation at that gives us 80 or 90 a year and the same amount into next year, so 200 is the current plan,” he said.

Collectors will be concerned that HSV reduces the exclusivity of the car by expanding the production run beyond the initial 200 stated at the unveiling.

When reminded that exactly such a case occurred with the ‘limited run’ VT II GTS 300, Mr Grant said the company was not about to make the same mistake again.

“We have had that experience that you have just alluded to, we have learnt from that experience and that is not how we want to treat people,” he said. “We are saying 200 today, by the time we get to the June announcement to dealers and to customers the number will be absolutely firm and the price will be absolutely firm.” If the number is capped at around 200, it is likely HSV will have an issue deciding which dealers get the cars.

“At the end of the day we are down to what we believe is far in excess of 200 people who are legitimately interested in that car,” Mr Grant said. “How to allocate cars through our dealers to our customers is quite a headache – it is a nice headache but is still a headache.” The 7.0-litre V8 engine, which is hand-built in the US, is unlikely to become a full-time member of the HSV range.

A supercharged 6.2-litre V8 called the LS9, which is just being introduced in the US powering the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, is more likely to be a long-term engine in the HSV range, but Mr Grant was not prepared to confirm any plans for that powerplant.

“That particular engine has had a lot of publicity, a lot of speculation, but there is no plan and there is no program to introduce that at this time, but having said that we always consider those types of things,” he said.

Read more:

Exclusive new HSV W427 is hot to trot

HSV power play not over yet

Melbourne show: HSV's wild W427 ride

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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