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Holden keeps the pressure up

Executive choice: The Equipe adds a claimed $3500 in extra gear to the base model Commodore.

More value, more gear in latest Commodore and Calais limited editions

8 May 2001

FRESH from delivering Ford another belting in the monthly VFACTS sales figures, Holden has released special editions of the Commodore and Calais to keep the pressure on.

"Value packs" such as the Commodore Equipe and Calais International have become a vital ingredient in Holden's marketing strategy that has kept its family sedan at the head of the new car sales charts for more than three years.

The Equipe replaces the Lumina as Holden's Commodore special edition offering. Ford also jumped into the fray recently with the SR Falcon.

"We have found over the last couple of years doing more and more packs that we have not only grown the retail market for large cars, our share of that is now about 50 per cent," said Holden large car marketing manager John Elsworth.

The Equipe is a familiar formula, taking the base model Executive with automatic transmission and fitting a variety of cosmetic and specification extras which add a claimed $3500 worth of extras to the sedan and wagon for an actual price climb of $1370.

The sedan adds 15-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured side mouldings with a chrome insert, a chrome exhaust extension, air-conditioning, four power windows, cruise control, CD audio system and new seat and door trim fabric. The wagon also adds a roof rack.

Standard equipment on Executive already includes anti-lock braking, in-dash single CD player and steering wheel sound controls.

The Commodore Equipe sedan retails for $31,590 - compared to $30,220 for the Executive auto. The wagon retails for $33,420, compared to $32,050 in Executive form.

On sale now, Holden plans to build 5000 Equipes.

Just 350 Calais Internationals will be built. All are equipped with the 5.7-litre Gen III V8 mated to Holden's four-speed automatic transmission.

New equipment added to the Calais includes "unique" metallic blue paint, 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with 235/45 low-profile tyres, Howe leather trim and some interior styling touches.

This adds to an already extensive specification list which includes dual-zone climate control, 10-disc CD changer, eight-way seat adjustment, traction control, anti-lock brakes and front and side airbags.

The 350 Internationals to be built are retailing for $52,990, an increase of $1370 over the standard Calais V8. Mr Elsworth estimates the extras to be worth around $2500.

Holden has also announced limited run of Holden by Design Commodore Equipe sedans which are fitted 17-inch alloy wheels, front spoiler, side and rear skirts and a sports rear wing. Just 200 will be built and they will retail for $35,245.

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