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Commodore sales boom in June

Out they go: Holden Ute sales were up almost 30 per cent in June, compared with the same month last year.

Holden says only stock-shortages prevented it selling even more Commodores in June

3 Jul 2009

GM HOLDEN says it sold more V8s in June than in any month since November 2004 because of the federal government’s 50 per cent tax allowance and its new Active Fuel Management system, which now standard on automatic versions of Holden’s Australian-made V8 models.

A total of 4748 Commodore sales last month gave it a dominant 43.6 per cent share of mainstream large-car segment sales in June – up from 4274 sales and a 36.8 per cent share in June 2008 – and was 11.1 per cent up on the same month last year.

Year-to-date, the Commodore holds a 46.2 per cent share of the large-car segment with 21,587 sales, which is down 7.4 per cent on the 23,323 sold at this stage last year, but represents a larger 46.2 per cent share (up from 40.7 per cent).

Holden sales and marketing director Alan Batey said the Commodore Sportwagon outsold all SUVs in June, while its V8 models achieved 1682 sales after a surge in V8 interest over the past three months.

He said Holden and the entire industry experienced an unexpected sales surge in June, when sales were limited only by limited supply after an unprecedented volume of forward-orders, which he said would prevent a sales downturn this month.

13 center imageLeft: Holden sales, marketing and aftermarket executive director Alan Batey.

“We expected June to be strong, but it was much stronger than anyone would have expected, and gives us fantastic carryover for July,” he said today.

“We would have recorded substantially stronger results had we predicted this. “Availability is tight. Our carryover customer-sold order bank is up 50 per cent versus the same time last year, so we’re going into July with a solid head start.”

Mr Batey said supply was tight across the Commodore range after production cuts to meet slower demand and higher than predicted June sales, with demand for automatic V8 models and utes especially strong.

He said the strong June result was due to a combination of factors, including the government tax allowance, lower fuel prices and AFM.

“It’s fuelled by government incentives, there’s no doubt about that, but none of that hurts. AFM now has momentum and all those things together have a great impact,” he said.

Mr Batey said Holden Ute sales were extremely strong at 1577 in June – up 29.4 per cent on May figures – and that 1093 Captiva sales in the month (up 16.5 per cent on May) would have been significantly stronger given greater supplies.

He pointed out that Holden sold 873 examples of its all-new Cruze small-car in June, which was more than its direct competitor in Ford’s Focus, but added that overall sales were not expected to be as strong in July as they were in June.

“Last week was just unbelievable. Inventories are pretty tight. It will take a few weeks to replenish stocks.

“As we speak we’re going through all of the orders we have on hand and the dealers are doing the same. It’s a good position to be in to have customer-sold order banks as good as we’ve got. (But) We can’t switch the factory to move that quickly, so we’ll work as fast as we can,” he said.

Holden sales are down 16.3 per cent year-to-date, and Mr Batey said that although the brand’s market share grew from 11.2 per cent in June 2008 to 11.8 per cent last month, its year-to-date market share is down one-tenth, from 12.4 to 12.3 per cent.

He said that after starting the year at an annualised rate of 850,000 vehicle sales, the Australian new-car industry grew to a 2009 forecast of 875,000 in May and now stands at more than one million after month-on-month sales growth throughout 2009. But he said actual sales forecasts for 2009 were difficult to make.

“That’s a massive question mark now coming off such a strong month. It won’t continue to be over a million – that one I’m pretty certain on,” he said.

Mr Batey conceded Holden dealers were meeting the market by discounting, but said its stronger sales did not come at the expense of profitability.

“We’re making money, no question about that, but the market has been incredibly competitive and we need to compete with that. It’s been a great time to buy cars, but we’ll see how that rest of the year pans out,” he said.

Read more:

Business boosts June new-car sales

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