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Holden sales halve in April

By Tim Robson, 05 May 2020 Car News

holden dealer 2020

A slow month prolongs the agony for Holden as it pushes out final new cars to market

Holden has recorded new low sales levels as the impact of the COVID-19 slowdown runs headlong into the company’s withdrawal from Australia.

Just 1501 Holdens were sold in April, after almost 3500 cars moved out of dealerships in the month previous.

With car dealerships falling under ‘essential services’, the slowdown is partly due to the implosion across the retail sector as Australians shelter in place at home and forsake their cars for the couch.

The figures make for sobering reading – not least because Holden sold 10,501 in the same month last year. Commodore stock is essentially depleted, with just 30 ZBs finding homes in April (down from 629 sales in March), while the run on the Trax has dwindled from the highs of March.

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The seven-seat Trailblazer SUV has slowed as well with just 99 units sold, while its sibling, the Colorado, was the strongest seller of the range, moving more than half of the brand’s volume for the month.

It’s obvious now that – aside from the 4x4 Colorado – pickings are slim across the 185-strong Holden dealer group for those people looking to buy a cheap Holden on runout.

“It would be a matter of picking the eyes out of what’s left,” our industry insider told WhichCar.

“Where a couple of months ago a dealer may have been willing to swap a spec or colour with another, it’s not really worth it any more. It will only be the real odd ones left in the corners of the lot now.”

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Standalone Holden dealerships are likely to be the only place to pick and choose, as multi-brand dealerships look to fill empty space with other brands.

“A few are already converting Holden space into another brand,” he said.

Holden to shed 30 dealers as shutdown looms

As well, many dealerships (and not just Holden ones) may have held back on sales in April in an effort to ensure their businesses qualified for the federal government’s JobKeeper scheme, which requires a fall in turnover of 30 per cent.

Even so, with another slow month ahead, Holden sales figures will make for more painful reading.

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