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Astra-nomical Holden price cut

Value boost: The new Astra has been slow off the mark and Holden has dropped the price to get sales moving.

Holden lowers Astra hatchback price up to $1700 only months after launch

10 Jan 2017

SLOW sales have forced Holden to cut up to $1700 from the recommended retail price of its new Astra hatch, with the announcement coming as all industry eyes were focused on the North American International Auto Show.

When the Astra was launched with great fanfare in November last year, Holden management was bullishly optimistic about its prospects, but the price reduction suggests it has not hit targets.

Holden general manager of product marketing Ben Lasry said in a presentation at its Australian launch that the company was “totally confident that the Astra will propel Holden right to the top of the pointy small-car segment”.

To return to the top of the new car sales charts the Astra would need sell more than 30,000 units per year, or about 2500 per month. The new Astra sold 155 units in December.

At the entry level, the Astra R is now $500 cheaper at $21,490 before on-road costs, while the greatest reduction applies to the automatic version with $1700 chopped for a new price of $22,490.

Safety Pack equipped cars are $250 cheaper or $1450 when fitted with the auto, while the mid range Astra RS also starts at $250 more affordable with a $26,240 price or $1450 less for the auto – now $27,240.

At the top of the pack, the Astra RSV has the same reductions of $250 and $1450 applied to it for a new price of $30,740 for the manual and $31,740 for the automatic.

Competing against cars such as the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30 and the Mazda3 is a tough proposition at the best of times, and may be even harder for Holden as it transitions to full-line importer with a string of new models.

At the Astra launch Holden’s executive director - sales, Peter Keley, said said the 30-year heritage of the Astra nameplate in Australia would ensure strong demand for the Polish-built hatchback.

In regard to the price cut Mr Keley said, “This is what it takes to win in our fiercely competitive market”.

It remains to be seen whether the introduction of established nameplates will be part of a successful strategy in the longer term.

Most of the price reduction is focused on the automatic transmission-equipped versions of the Astra, though there will be some reduction of specification on entry level models including the removal of side skirts.

In a sound effort by Holden to keep the faith with existing customers, all those who purchased an Astra at the launch price will be reimbursed the difference. The new Astra price list is below and was effective from January 9.

2017 Holden Astra pricing*
R (a)$22,490-$1700
R Safety Pack$22,740-$250
R Safety Pack (a)$23,740-$1450
RS (a)$27,240-$1450
RSV (a)$31,740-$1450
*Excludes on-road costs

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