Holden has announced it will cease to exist later this year.
That will signal extremely enticing offers from dealers as they look to clear stock of nameplates like the Commodore, Astra, Colorado and Acadia. This is the end of the road for the brand, so dealers will have to clear stock no matter what - and in a hurry.
So does buying a soon-to-be-discontinued car leave buyers exposed to a vehicle that will no longer have parts available in the event of faults?
Read next: What does Holden's axing mean for customers?
Despite ceasing Australian operations, General Motors' – the parent company of Holden who are behind the closure – commitment to the long-term viability of Holden products is encouraging for prospective customers.
Australian consumer law requires that a brand supports its products for a "reasonable period" with no specific time frame mentioned. This isn't much help but GM has stated that it will extend warranty and service support for 10 years.
It has insisted that 200 Holden staff will remain on the job to supply after-sales care for current owners of Holden products, but also those who are willing to buy a car from Holden now that the brand is gone.
For example, when Holden discontinued the Cruze, former Holden director of communications Sean Poppitt stated “Holden adheres to an industry best-practice 10-year commitment to stocking crucial parts and beyond that we have a long-term commitment all our customers.”
The story remains much the same now that the entire brand is being discontinued. “Holden will honour all existing warranties and guarantees, as well as all free scheduled servicing offers,” reads a statement in the wake of the closure.
What is unclear as yet is how this is all going to work. Holden's decision comes as a shock to not only the Australian public, but also its own dealerships who Holden hasn't organised a plan with yet. It is worth noting though that customers won't have to service their cars at a Holden dealership to retain a warranty coverage.
For buyers unconcerned about owning a car that is no longer in production, or that has been replaced by a newer-generation model, there’s peace of mind to back those enticing run-out deals. This also applies with other brands as well as Holden.
It’s important to get as good a deal as possible, though, to help compensate for almost immediate decreases in value. That point should be kept in mind when buying too, the fact that these cars are being discontinued means that resale will likely take a nosedive. So make sure you go into the purchase of a Holden with long-term ownership in mind in order to get the best value out of the deal.
“You probably get about a five to 10 percent drop once after they stop selling the model new,” says Nick Adamidis, marketing and sales manager for Glass’s Information Services - a leading used car price guide. “And that’s probably because you don’t get that flow-on effect of advertising for the vehicle, which automatically gives interest to new vehicle, keeps it front of mind among decision makers.”
On that, Holden will begin to pull its millions of dollars worth of advertising from digital, television and billboard marketing campaigns, with the brand fading into insignificance relatively quickly.
So for the time being, there will be great deals on Holden products until stocks run out - and rest assured you'll be looked after with after-sales support. We'll update this article when we get further information on how Holden will go about the servicing of its defunct models; whether they get another brand to take over their servicing or standalone service centres will step in to take on Holden owners.