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Holden to extend warranty as factory closure assurance

Take care: Holden is ramping up to bring its Complete Care aftersales package before the shuttering of its local manufacturing operations on October 20.

Five-year cover on cards as Holden reassures buyers of future with Complete Care

19 Jun 2017

HOLDEN will launch a new aftersales ownership package called Complete Care before the closure of its local manufacturing operations on October 20 to combat negative perceptions around the future of the brand that will likely feature a longer warranty.

Although the company already offers a lifetime capped-price servicing program – seen as one of the most affordable of its kind in the industry – Holden executive director of marketing Mark Harland told GoAuto that Complete Care will be a more holistic offering of several aftersales aspects and will be heavily promoted.

“We’re going to put something out there that assures Australians that we’re here for the long term,” he said at the national media launch of the Astra sedan in northern New South Wales last week.

“Factory closure is ahead of us, that’s weighing on all of us, to be honest.

(But) thinking that we’re just closing shop on October 20 when we end manufacturing is not something that I want people to have in the back of their mind.

“It’s going to be a hard time as we go through the transition of the factory, but that’s what we’ve got to keep doing, doing things like warranty, service, lifetime capped-price, roadside assistance and… some innovative things going forward.

“We want to start to bring in some messaging around Complete Care, around this ownership package… and bundle it together, because I think that’s important.”

Asked whether he would like to see Holden move from a three-year/100,000km warranty it has offered for over two decades, to more competitive five-year cover, Mr Harland replied: “I would like to.”“I think if we can afford it, I would like to bring it across the range as a part of a... as one element of a Complete Care package,” he continued.

“I would be advocating, as the marketing guy, that if we can afford it, to pull that five-year (warranty) across a range of vehicles.

“I think especially given the factory closure and some of the doubt that people have about Holden in the future post-factory closure, I think if we could have a strong commitment of five year warranties and service, some roadside assistance, that becomes a Complete Care package.

“If we can give people that peace of mind and that trust and build that trust, I think that goes a long way to rebuild the brand.”

Mr Harland said Holden could not yet communicate the details of the package because they had not been finalised, however he confirmed that Complete Care would be taken to market and advertised before the October 20 factory closure date.

“I would like to have that (Complete Care) well in advance of the closure of the factory, because I’d like to start talking about it as something that will provide a peace of mind as we go into kind of that time in September and October, where there will be a lot of doubt out there,” he added.

“Especially as we head towards (factory) closure, to get peace of mind for people, and it goes back to the old (slogan) People Trust Holden. I want to rebuild that because that’s a fundamental part of the brand, the customer experience.

“I’d like to have that peace of mind package for consumers who are considering us, so I’d like to see that.”

Holden has, however, initiated a launch offer of a free five-year extended warranty for Astra sedan customers, as it begins to roll-out a new-generation of products such as the Equinox medium SUV to replace the five-seat Captiva, the NG Commodore to replace the locally made VF Series II, and then the Acadia large SUV to succeed the seven-seat Captiva versions.

The current 12-year-old generation of Captiva, in particular, has previously been prone to a high number of warranty claims and manufacturer recalls.

“Certainly we need to focus on the Astra, the sedan launch and really continuing to increase sales of Astra across the range, hatch and sedan, and really, that’s our main focus,” Mr Harland said.

“The five-year warranty I think will certainly help that. The good, sharp price-point will help that. Then I think the next natural progression is to bring that across additional vehicles prior to going into the closure.”

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