HOLDEN has slumped to its worst ever sales result in a calendar year just as it is gearing up to shut down local manufacturing and shift to an import-only brand by 2018.
For the first time ever, the quintessential Australian car maker that started proudly in 1948 finished outside the top three brands in the sales race, with just 94,308 cars sold and its lowest ever market share of just 8.0 percent – less than one-tenth of a market it once dominated with one in every two sales.
Despite the much publicised drop in large car sales, the Commodore was easily Holden’s top seller, accounting for more than one-in-four sales from the brand.
Commodore sales dropped 6.9 percent, but the nu,bers remained strong enough to ensure it was the seventh most popular car among a sea of fast-growing SUVs and utes.
However, that drop in sales was enough to see the Commodore trumped by the rival Toyota Camry, a car that will prove a bigger competitor from 2018 when the first imported Commodore (below) will be closer to it in size, and come with a choice of four-cylinder engines. It is the first time the Camry has outsold the Commodore.
Elsewhere in the Holden range there was red ink, with sales dropping for the Commodore Ute, Barina, Caprice, Cascada, Colorado, Cruze and the recently dumped Malibu.
The Trax small SUV – which gets updated in the next couple of months – provided some good news, increasing sales 25.6 percent in what is a booming SUV segment, while the Insignia, Astra and Colorado 7/Trailblazer also posted modest growth.
Holden will close its Elizabeth production line late in 2017, ending an illustrious 69 years of local manufacturing that has created some of the country’s most famous automotive nameplates, including Monaro, Kingswood, Torana and Commodore.
Holden responded to our request for comment, pointing towards a strong final month of sales as a highlight of what it said was a "difficult" year.
"2016 has been a challenging year. Despite difficult conditions, Holden has shown growth in key market segments and we finished the year strongly with a third placing in December sales," a spokesperson said.
"We have the plans, the people and the product to ensure Holden is successful long into the future, and continue to deliver on our 2015 commitment to launch 24 new vehicles by the end of 2020."
How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at email@example.com.
Get your monthly fix of news, reviews and stories on the greatest cars and minds in the automotive world.
Hyundai Kona Electric ‘Standard Range’ coming to Australia
Hyundai will bring a more affordable variant of its popular Kona Electric to Australia, at the cost of a reduced driving range
Hyundai Santa Cruz production gets underway in US
Korea’s Ford Maverick challenger will be in American showrooms in just a few short months
Volkswagen Golf Mk8 pricing and specs revealed
Revised and refreshed Golf hits the market to take on Asian rivals