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Holden on to Commodore resale value

Sales success: 325,000 Commodores have been sold in Australia since the VT launch in 1997.

Holden tackles the popularity problem of Commodore with a plan to ensure resale value

11 Sep 2001

HOLDEN and its dealers are developing a certified used car program for the Commodore designed to ensure its resale value is not seriously damaged by its popularity.

The scheme is expected to roll out for 2002 and is regarded by Holden executive marketing and sales director Ross McKenzie as the most important task confronting him at the moment.

One innovative aspect of the scheme could be a "buy back" clause in sales agreements with fleets whereby Commodores are returned to Holden when leases expire.

A staggering 325,000 Commodores have been sold in Australia since the VT generation's launch in September, 1997, with about 70 per cent going to business and government fleets.

And Holden does not see a slackening in demand. At the VX Series II launch two weeks ago it presented Roy Morgan consumer purchase intentions which showed 47 per cent of those intending to buy a large car in the next four years would buy a Commodore.

Ford Falcon was on 25 per cent while Toyota Avalon was rated as the preferred choice by just 3 per cent.

"That's probably the biggest risk I've got - if you call it a risk - is trying to maintain superior resale values when you've got the volume of cars coming back through the system that we're looking at over the next few years," Mr McKenzie said.

"We'll have record numbers coming back off two and three-year leases, so you're really looking at a hell of a lot of cars going through the used car system and high volume alone is enough to drive values down."The BMW Approved Used program is believed to be the closest to what Holden plans to introduce, and that includes a 100- point check and 12-month warranty.

The new Holden program will incorporate its long-standing Network Q extended warranty for used cars.

"We need some sort of factory endorsed used car program to give the car some credentials," Mr McKenzie said.

"The second thing we want to do is try to 'coral' more of the cars that come back.

"If we can put a return clause back to Holden - we might have to pay for the privilege - we reckon that gives us a better flow of late model quality Holdens.

"We'll have that strategy ready to go before Christmas but you might as well call it a 2002 program.

"That to me is the most important thing we have to do right now because otherwise we have the building blocks in place as far as our forward model program is concerned."

What the others offer

FORD: No certified used car program in place at the moment.

MITSUBISHI: Diamond Care Cars. Introduced earlier this year, the scheme sources Magnas and Veradas from selected fleets including Mitsubishi-owned Thrifty Rental Cars. The cars go through a "re-manufactured area" within the Lonsdale plant where carpets, plastic trims, tyres, brake pads, batteries and paintwork are renewed. The cars are offered with a three-year, 100,000km warranty and roadside assistance. They are sold to dealers via the internet.

TOYOTA: A certified pre-owned scheme is in the works. A pilot has beenrunning with 67 dealers and the plan is to eventually roll it out nationwide.

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