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Holden happy with Colorado, Spark sales

Sparking up: The Spark will grow sales thanks to positive reviews and word-of-mouth, according to Holden’s sales chief.

Slow start for Spark but Colorado sales on the up for Holden

11 Nov 2016

GM HOLDEN executives are happy with the sales of its latest batch of new models, particularly the updated Colorado pick-up, with recent marketing campaigns increasing awareness of the brand and its models.

One of the more successful Holden models in terms of sales is the Colorado pick-up that is enjoying a lift following the launch of the heavily revised version in September.

Sales of the 4x4 variant are up by 7.2 per cent year-on-year to 14,036 and it is closing in on the Mitsubishi Triton 4x4, which has recorded 14,869 sales – a drop of 17 per cent compared to the same period last year.

While 4x4 sales are up, the 4x2 Colorado has dropped by 21 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Holden executive director of sales Peter Keley said that the recent ‘Truck Swap’ ad campaign that focused on a real tradie who was offered to swap out of his older Toyota HiLux into a new Colorado had had been positively received and that the company was pleased with initial sales of the new model.

“What we are delivering with Colorado is exactly what we wanted to do,” he told GoAuto at the recent Astra media launch in Canberra this week.

“We have got a very healthy sales mix. The (flagship) LTZ Z71 models are really living up to expectations. We are seeing customers coming in in Rangers and HiLuxes and trading them in so we are very happy with Colorado.” Mr Keley said given the volumes in the light-commercial pick-up segment, there was still room for more growth for the Colorado.

“There is (room for growth), especially with commercial vehicles. People are buying more in a sequenced pattern, it might be the end of a lease, or in a rural sense it could be harvest times. People are coming in and test driving the vehicle and walking away very impressed.” Despite the popularity of larger pick-ups imported from the United States and re-configured to right-hand drive for Australia, such as the Ram 2500 and 3500, Mr Keley poured cold water on the prospect of introducing a model such as the Chevrolet Silverado to sit above the Colorado.

“It is a niche opportunity. We look at many things but we don’t have anything to announce at this stage.” Mr Keley also ruled out introducing any GM-sourced light-commercial vans from either the United States or Europe.

The car that Mr Keley said kicked off Holden’s new-model onslaught, the new-generation Spark micro car, has also been a success for the company since it launched in March this year.

“The Spark was a fantastic start to the story of Holden’s product revolution,” he said. “People would not expect Holden to have a class-leading vehicle in that segment and we have demonstrated that we can and we do.” So far this year Holden has sold 1467 Sparks, which is an increase of 12.3 per cent over the same period last year, and it is now the second best selling model in the declining micro-car segment behind the Mitsubishi Mirage which has found 2357 homes in 2016.

Mr Keley added that while awareness of the model has been slow to grow, the positive reviews will ultimately help the car find an audience.

“Because Holden is not the first name that comes off people’s tongues in that segment, it is taking a while for the volumes to come to it. Are we happy with what it has done for us? Absolutely.

“It has got people writing about Holden producing great vehicles. Are sales up on last year? Yes they are. We are selling more of them, it’s a better car and that will continue to grow our brand reputation. Every person who drives it or owns it becomes an ambassador for the Holden brand.”

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