Holden's European-built Commodore and Astra hatchback were discontinued two months before General Motors announced it was winding down its entire Australian operation. This means any cars left in stock could be subject to some significant deals along with the rest of the Holden range in the lead-up to the company's planned June closure.
But what does discontinuing Commodore and Astra mean to current owners or anyone looking to score a deal on either model? Here is a quick guide about what the news means.
Why did Holden discontinue the Commodore and Astra?
Sales of the Opel sourced ZB Commodore plummeted compared to the Aussie built VF model it replaced. A large part of this was due to the backlash against Holden daring to call an overseas model Commodore. But there were other factors including the rise in SUV sales, which have taken their toll on passenger cars, including the Astra.
Holden’s acting chairman and general manager Kristian Aquilina said that the time that dropping passenger cars from the range to concentrate in SUVs is “consistent with customer preferences”.
“So far this year SUVs and utes have increased to 76 percent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing,” Aquilina said.
Holden also cited the low Australian dollar along with an 87 percent drop in large passenger car sales since 2013 as key reasons why the Commodore is no longer available.
“At its peak, the large car segment in Australia accounted for 217,882 sales in 1998. This year (2019) it is projected to come in at about 8,700 units,” Aquilina points out.
READ MORE: Why did Holden die?
As for Astra, it too is a victim of the changing local vehicle market, with Holden explaining that it can’t sustain being competitive in the small-car market with a European-built hatchback.
The Astra wagon and Korean-built Astra sedan were already deleted from the Holden range earlier in 2019.
Can I still buy a Commodore or Astra?
Can I get a good deal on a new Commodore or Astra?
Even before Holden announced it was closing it was keen to clear existing stock so it’s likely there will be some good run-out deals.
At the time Holden announced it was dropping its passenger cars you could already get Astra, Astra R+, and Astra RS driveway for just a few hundred dollars over retail.
If buying a Commodore or Astra, take note of the build year. None will be 2020 models and slow sales of Commodore in particular means some of the MY19 cars still on sale could have been built in 2018.
What will the resale be like for Commodore and Astra?
The Commodore already has a pretty low resale value, ranging from 36 to 38 percent, which means it will be worth about 37 percent of the new retail price after three years.
The Calais-badged variants fare a little better with 40-41 percent. In each case, the upper-spec V6 variants enjoy the slightly higher resale value.
IN DETAIL: Holden Astra Hatchback Range Review
Leanne Harvey from Glass’s Information Services, which guides used car prices, says the discontinuation of each model isn’t expected to make an impact on resale either way.
The Opel built Astra hatchbacks enjoy a more respectable 50 percent resale value, though the base-spec R is currently at 48 percent.
Harvey told WhichCar you’ll only get a bounce in resale value if a company puts out a special final edition variant, like Holden did with the last of the Aussie-built VF Series II Commodores. But that’s unlikely to happen with Holden simply phasing out the current stock of MY19 cars.
IN DETAIL: Holden Commodore Range Review
On the plus side, you’ll be able to score a good used deal on a ZB Commodore, with the low resale reflecting demand rather than quality issues.
Will my Commodore or Astra’s warranty still be valid?
Yes. Holden has sought to reassure existing Commodore and Astra customers their vehicles will continue to be backed by their warranty and roadside assistance commitments, with spare parts supply guaranteed well into the future. This is also the case for all Holden models now the company is closing.
Can I still get my Commodore or Astra serviced at Holden?
You will still be able to get your Commodore serviced at your local Holden dealer until the company winds up. In addition, all MY19 ZB Commodores and MY19 BK Astras ordered or delivered from December 10, 2019 onwards will be subject to a seven-year free scheduled servicing offer.
Most of the 180 Holden dealers in Australia have also sell and service other brands, which means their service departments could still accept maintain your Commodore, Astra or any other Holden model. That said, customers don’t have to service their cars at a Holden dealership to guarantee warranty coverage.
What about Commodore and Astra spare parts?
Like any other discontinued model, spare parts supply for Commodore and Astra will be guaranteed well into the future. The company says it will establish a national aftersales network to support existing customers for at least the next 10 years. All current Holden dealers, meanwhile, will be offered the opportunity to transition to Holden authorised service outlets.
FULL COVERAGE: Holden brand to cease operations