Holden’s European sister brands Opel and Vauxhall launched a new-generation Combo (below) – effectively a rebadged version of the Fiat Doblo – at the end of 2011, but Matthews said Holden had no plans to introduce that vehicle to our market, effectively killing off the 18-year-old nameplate.
Holden first launched the Combo – the second-generation SB-series model based on the third-generation Barina – in Australia in 1996. It was sold until 2002 when it was replaced by the most recent XC-series model.
Combo sales peaked in its first year on the market, when Holden delivered 1285 of its pint-sized delivery vans across the country. Sales consistently exceeded 1000 between 2003 and 2006 following the introduction of the new model, but tapered off in recent years, with 314 sold last year and just 14 in 2013, the last of those in May. Total sales over the life of the Holden Combo currently stand at 13,614.
The original Combo was powered by a 44kW/114Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and was priced from $17,500.
The updated 2002 model brought with it a larger and more powerful 64kW/133Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, though reverted back to a 1.4-litre unit with 66kW and 125Nm in 2004 – the tune it retained for the rest of its life.