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Holden chops Adventra pricing by $4000

Making a splash: Holden hopes Adventra price cuts will stop sales taking a bath.

Holden cuts pricing of the Adventra cross-over as sales fail to hit targets

Holden logo2 Jul 2004

By BRUCE NEWTON

HOLDEN has blinked first in the battle of the big brand cross-overs, cutting $4000 from the price of both Adventra V8 models.

The Commodore-based all-wheel drive now retails for $48,990 in base model CX8 form, and $56,990 for the more luxurious LX8.

The price cut is indicative of a wider sales strategy review within Holden, with the Barina mini car also getting a price reduction this week.

Holden will also reimburse all existing Adventra private customers $4000 as a result of the price change. There has been no cut to specification level.

The Adventra was launched to the press in September 2003 but didn’t make it into dealerships until December and has never managed to get close to its 420 per month sales estimate, its best result 261 sales in March.

By contrast the imported Toyota Kluger has exceeded its 580 sales per month target, hitting a high of 741 sales in March. Kluger sells in three grades between $43,000 and $59,000, all with 3.3-litre V6 power.

13 center imageAnd the newly-launched Ford Territory is also showing signs of being a big hit with more than 1000 sales in May and more expected in its first official month on sale in June (although VFACTS figures will not be released to confirm that until next week).

The Territory is sold in two grades (soon to be three) priced between $38,990 and $53,920, both with 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder power.

The lack of a six-cylinder option is an obvious reason for Adventra’s sales struggle, with the 235kW version of the Gen III V8 routinely racking up 17 and 18L/100km fuel economy averages during testing.

In these days of $1-plus per litre fuel prices that has undoubtedly had an impact.

The Adventra will have to wait until the last quarter of 2004 before its range is supplemented by the new 3.6-litre Global V6 engine, which has recently started production in Melbourne.

“We would expect over a period of time that the V6 would be the volume seller,” said Holden spokesman Jason Laird. “There are some people asking about V6 and that’s why we will ultimately be bringing that in as well.”

But more deep-seated and long term is the car’s fundamental architecture and body design, which can’t be dramatically differentiated from Commodore until after the arrival of the Zeta-based generation in 2006.

While Territory shares mechanicals with Falcon and Kluger with Camry, the look is totally different. The level of change can be seen in the budgets for the two locally-built vehicles the Territory cost $500 million, the Adventra $125 million (including the Cross8 all-wheel drive utility).

At launch Holden expected the Adventra’s V8 power and semi low-riding body style to be strong sales points, but that has not proved to be the case.

“The explanation (for the price cut) is very simple,” said Mr Laird, “The red-hot competitiveness of the all-wheel drive and cross-over market across the board.

“Having a few months of sales under the belt enabled us to make the decision.

"At any point in time you need to look at your products and say ‘are they priced appropriately for the market’ and in this instance we thought it was worth revising the price.

“We need to be responsible and make sure the pricing is in-line with market expectations.”

Mr Laird would not dicuss sales targets but there's no doubt that Holden hopes to get back towards its original sales targets with this price cut.

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