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HSV outlines 2019 sales ambitions

Cool cat: HSV is predicting the SportsCat pick-up to outsell the updated Chevrolet Camaro coupe in 2019.

Updated Camaro, increased profile of SportsCat to propel HSV sales success in 2019

1 Mar 2019

HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) is predicting a strong sales performance in 2019 on the back of the arrival of its model-year 2019 Camaro sportscar and increased popularity and awareness of its Colorado-based SportsCat pick-up.
Speaking exclusively to GoAuto, HSV marketing general manager Damon Paull said the brand was hoping to sell approximately 2500 units in 2019, across its three-model portfolio.
“It’s probably best to talk to you in our volume estimates on an annual basis, and most of our business model plans are anything between 500 and 1000 units a year across all models – per model,” he said.
“We see potential of up to 1000 a year with the Camaro range, probably 500-750 with the Silverado range in the near term, SportsCat upwards of 1000 per year.”
The Camaro, which arrived in Australia in September, sold around 550 units by the end of 2018, however the updated MY19 model, which also broke cover last year, has just been announced by HSV to be coming to Australia beginning in March.
While the MY18 Camaro was sold Down Under only in 6.2-litre V8 2SS guise, the highlight of the MY19 update for Aussie fans is the addition of the top-spec ZL1 bruiser, which employs a supercharged V8 capable of pumping out roughly 480kW/860Nm.
The decision to bring the MY19 model to Australia was previously up in the air due to the potential cost of modifying the re-engineering program, which cost more than $10 million for the MY18 program and will incur an extra cost with the changes to the MY19.
Mr Paull would not be drawn on how much the MY19 conversion will cost HSV in research and development costs, but many re-manufacturing processes are similar to the MY18.
However he said the initial reaction from customers made the company confident it could make selling the updated model financially viable.
“Most definitely,” he said. “The feedback we’ve had from the market suggests to us this is an ongoing, viable model with fantastic potential.”
Despite sitting well upmarket of the 2SS at $159,990 plus on-roads for the six-speed manual and $162,190 for the ten-speed auto, Mr Paull anticipated demand for the ZL1 to be high.
“ZL1 availability will be super tight, and we’re talking around 300 vehicles (for 2019),” he said. “In total we’ve done 550 (2SS Camaros) in model year 18.”
He anticipated the 2SS will still be more popular for sales, given more will be made available.
“I think simply by virtue of availability, we’re going to sell more 2SS’ than ZL1’s, because we can simply build more. 
“We expect the same level of enthusiasm for the 2SS that we’ve experienced with the models that we’ve built so far.”
HSV’s best-selling model in 2019 is expected to be the Colorado-based SportsCat pick-up, with Mr Paull saying the brand has been happy with its sales performance since launching at the start of last year.
“It’s meeting all of our expectations, (it was) our company’s first foray into the pick-up 4x4 market,” he said. 
“We think the product certainly has strong attraction for those looking for a vehicle that’s not only super-confident off-road, but provides un-truck-like handling characteristics on-road. So we’re really happy with where we’re sitting at the moment.”
When asked if there is more room for the SportCat to grow, Mr Paull said getting the vehicle in the minds of more buyers will in turn help increase sales.
“Certainly in terms of the sales that we’ve achieved so far, we’re certainly on an upward curve as we establish product awareness and product familiarity, and the more vehicles that we get on the road are our best advertisement,” he said.
The rest of its sales will come from the converted Silverado full-size pick-up, which ranges in price from the tradie-oriented 2500WT at $114,990 plus on-roads, up to the heavy-duty 3500HD at $147,990, which completed the range when it arrived locally late last year.
When the Silverado range launched in July, all 700 examples of its 2018 stock allocation were quickly snapped up by local dealers as the full-size pick-up segment grows in popularity Down Under.
HSV’s right-hand-drive conversion facility also re-engineers the Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 which are then sold locally through importer and distributor Ateco Automotive, which recorded 723 combined sales in 2018.

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