THE TAPS have been turned back on for some of Holden’s biggest models, with orders recommencing following an unprecedented halt in production in 2018 designed to clear excess (and ageing) stock.
Speaking at a media event to promote Holden’s SUV lineup – Trax, Equinox, Acadia, and Trailblazer – Holden chairman and managing director Dave Buttner said supply was back in step with demand, prompting a return to normal on importing cars.
“We have orders back in the system,” said Buttner, adding that there were still a handful of cars to sort out.
“We’ve significantly reduced the Equinox and Commodore stock we had to manageable levels.
“We’ve still got some stock to move and we’ll work our way through that in an orderly manner.”
Buttner said it was “primarily Commodore and Equinox” that were overstocked, prompting the temporary move to cancel upcoming orders, something the new chief did shortly after assuming his position in August 2018.
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“Last year it got pretty high,” Buttner said of the overstocking issues, predominantly with Commodore and Equinox but also Astra. “We reduced it by 55 percent between August the 1st and by the 31st of December.”
Typically car companies introduce heavy discounts or incentives to clear excess stock, something that affects resale values and can negatively impact brand reputation.
Overstocking can also be solved by dealers registering cars as demonstrators, again with the view to being sold at a discount.
In January the Commodore posted its worst ever monthly sales of just 403 units, 10 of which were among the last of the locally-manufactured cars built some 14 months earlier.
That sales level is about one-third of the rival Toyota Camry – and around one-twentieth the rate of the Commodore’s peak sales in the late 1990s.