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Holden Colorado launch limbo
Thailand floods could delay Holden Colorado launch and affect other ute importers
10 Nov 2011
UPDATED: 14/11/2011THE launch date of Holden’s vital new Colorado ute is in limbo due to the Thailand floods.
The arrival date of Isuzu’s D-Max, which is closely related to the Holden workhorse, is also up in the air due to the effects of the floods that have hit large parts of Thailand.
Supplies of other Thai-built one-tonne utes including the Toyota HiLux, Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton have also been disrupted, with many factories temporarily shut down as a result of the natural disaster.
None of the factories supplying workhorses to Australia have been directly hit by the floods, but a number of component suppliers have been affected, creating a shortage of parts.
Most importers have told GoAuto the supply disruptions are minor at this stage, but the shortages could become more serious if the shutdowns continue.
Holden has taken its last shipments of the current model Colorado and is gearing up for the arrival of the new model, which had been expected during the second quarter of next year.
However, the company “doesn’t know” when the new ute will now touch down in Australia and is waiting on the Thai factory management for information.
Left: Holden Colorado concept from AIMS 2011. Below: Next-gen Isuzu D-Max.
“We are talking to them at the moment because we are unsure,” Holden executive director of sales and marketing John Elsworth told GoAuto.
“The problem with the Thai floods is that there are so many second tier and third tier (suppliers) that have been affected and it is very difficult to get information from companies that we don’t have a contractual relationship with.”
Mr Elsworth said that, while the plant is currently closed, it is not clear whether the Colorado launch will be delayed.
“We haven’t got a delay on our current timetable, but if I was a betting man I would say (it will be delayed by) a couple of months.”
The new Isuzu D-Max was also due to be launched in the second quarter of next year, but that could change.
“The factory has been closed for two weeks, so we think there will be a ripple effect,” said Isuzu Ute spokesman Cornelius Ionescu.
“We don’t know what the effect will be, though.”
While Holden is ordering no further stock of the existing Colorado, Isuzu Ute is still expecting a few final batches of the current D-Max.
Ford and Mazda do not expect any significant delays to supplies of BT-50 or Ranger, but its joint-venture factory has been affected by supplier constraints.
Toyota Australia has confirmed supplies of its recently refreshed HiLux will be disrupted, with its Thai plant only back in operation this week.
“There will be some disruption to customers,” said Toyota spokeswoman Laura Hill.
Half the planned October production of HiLux will be pushed back to November and half the November production will be pushed back to December in response to the supply problems.
Mitsubishi Australia hopes its status as a major customer for Triton will put it at the top of the list now that (limited) production has resumed this week.
Nissan expects some Navara stock shortages in Australia due to the shutdown at its plant in Samut Prakan, but it has also returned to limited production this week.
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