Holden has slashed thousands of dollars from prices across its Astra small car line-up in a bid to stimulate sales of the Cruze replacement.
And in a goodwill gesture, Holden will compensate existing Holden-badged Astra owners with a refund equivalent to the difference between the old and new pricing.
Under the pricing revisions, Holden has slashed $1700 from automatic versions of the Astra R, reducing it to $22,490 and making it only $1000 more expensive than the six-speed manual version that has fallen by only $500.
The mid-spec Holden Astra RS manual has a more modest price cut, going from $26,490 to $26,240, but the automatic variant is now priced at $27,240 instead of $28,690.
The range-topping Astra RS-V is now priced from $30,740 as a manual ($250 cheaper) or $31,740 as an automatic ($1450 cheaper).
Holden says owners who have already bought an Astra will offered a refund equal to the difference between the old and new pricing.
However not many will be eligible for a refund. Since Astra’s launch in November, Holden has sold just 448 of the hatches. That’s just eight percent of the number of Hyundai i30s sold during the same period, and 15 percent of Volkswagen Golf sales.
Holden managing director Mark Bernhard acknowledged that the Astra’s pricing structure hadn’t resonated with buyers looking for a small car.
“We felt we’d priced it at the right point,” he said. “Looking at the feedback that we’ve got from various constituents it did warrant a relook.”
However, Bernhard stopped short of saying the Astra’s price-tag at launch was too ambitious.
“I don’t think we got the pricing wrong,” he said. “It’s not a science, there’s a lot of art in the way you price a vehicle; you look at the competitors, you look at the product that you’ve got … you look at the features that you’ve got … you look at how that product fits in with your overall portfolio.”
Holden has not tweaked equipment levels or specifications in response to the price cuts.