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‘Freer’ Camaro supply to buoy HSV sales

MY19 Chevrolet Camaro underpins HSV’s sales plans this year as new Silverado looms

7 Jun 2019

HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) says that while demand for its enhanced Colorado SportsCat is weaker than expected, increased supply of its locally remanufactured Camaro for MY19 should help lift the company’s overall sales this year.
Speaking to GoAuto last week at the MY19 Camaro national media launch in Melbourne, HSV managing director Tim Jackson said “about 50 or 60” examples of the muscle car’s MY18 2SS variant are still waiting to be sold in HSV dealerships.
“By the time we started MY19 (in early March with the automatic 2SS), there was probably about 160 to 180 unsold,” he said. 
“We’ve worked through those, and as MY19 comes in we’ve been gradually winding down.”
As reported, 550 units were allocated for the initial Camaro production run that has now finished, with Mr Jackson saying supply of the MY19 range is “freer” than MY18.
“We’re managing it more against the demand side than the access side,” he said. “Without ZL1, we’re seeing the run rates of 2SS at about 1000 (units) a year – maybe a little bit less.
“We think that might jump up with ZL1, but we think there will be a little bit of cannibalisation, as well … (but) we’re still very much – as an overall program – around about 1000.”
Mr Jackson said 2SS is expected to account for 65 per cent of sales, while ZL1 should take the remaining 35 per cent share.
The automatic-only MY18 2SS is priced from $85,990 plus on-road costs, while its MY19 counterpart commands a $3200 premium. The latter is, however, available with a manual transmission for $2200 less.
Alternatively, ZL1 kicks off at $159,990 and $162,190 in manual and automatic form respectively.
Last month, Chevrolet revealed a follow-up 2SS facelift with a tweaked front fascia that addressed customer feedback as part of the MY20 Camaro update.
Mr Jackson would not commit to firm timing for its arrival Down Under, but it is being evaluated.
“Every now and again we’ll get something thrown at us that is a certification issue and that typically happens every model year,” he said.
“Typically, by the time it rolls through, we’ll be anywhere between six and 12 months after, purely depending on the level of certification (required) and change in that product.”
Similarly, when asked when HSV will start remanufacturing the new-generation Silverado given production of the current model is reportedly ending in the second half of this year, Mr Jackson could not be drawn to a specific point.
“We will most likely run out of stock towards the end of the year,” he said. “We’re just trying to balance off all the projects we’ve got at the moment, but we’ve still got to get the next incarnation of that approved.
“It will be our intent that there will be a bit of a gap in production for a period of time, but we’ll have it coming down the track.”
Mr Jackson added that development is yet to begin for the next Silverado, although the range is likely to continue to consist of 2500 and 3500 variants.
“We’ve got a little bit of demand for 3500,” he said. “(The split is) really heavily 2500 at the moment, so for every 3500, we might do 20 2500s.
“But the conversion process is the same. There’s very little additional development cost for 3500, so we offer it, but it’s small numbers.”
The 2500 ranges in cost from $114,990 to $139,990, while 3500 is available with one variant that starts at $147,990.
Sales-wise, Mr Jackson said Silverado is “largely hitting all our expectations” nearly a year on from its launch in 2500 form in late July last year, with HSV still on pace to sell 500-600 units in 2019.
As reported, HSV’s new business model continues to consist of two product streams: remanufactured and enhanced, with the latter represented by the Colorado SportsCat.
However, sales of the rugged dual-cab pick-up are “a little bit under what we planned”, according to Mr Jackson.
“We planned 1000 (units) a year. It probably runs at about 800, 850,” he said. “So in terms of it as a product, it’s very viable and it’s a very important first step into that category.
“We see a lot of scope to grow and develop that product as we go over the next few years.”
Mr Jackson would not specify whether a powertrain upgrade was on the cards for the SportsCat, given HSV has a storied history of increasing the performance of regular Holden models.
The full-time Colorado SportsCat range starts from $60,790, with the flagship SportsCat variant starting $6000 further upstream.

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