Holden has today announced that it will cut between $250 and $1700 from the price of the Holden Astra, only a month after the brand launched the new model in Australia.
Speaking with media at the Detroit motor show, Holden chairman and managing director, Mark Bernhard, said that the decision was driven by customers.
"The feedback we've had from dealers and customer enquiries, we're taking the opportunity to realign where the pricing is," Bernhard said.
"Part of that will be a price rollback different by trim level relative to the competitive set between $250 and $1700. It now makes it the most compelling vehicle in the small car segment with this pricing."
What went wrong? Why was the pricing too high to start with? Bernhard thinks that it came down to specification and items that weren't entirely necessary.
"It's not a science. There's a lot of art to the way you price a vehicle. You look at the competitors, the product that you've got and certainly the feedback on the product, along with the features relative to competitors," Bernhard said.
"We need to look at the whole portfolio and follow it with right prices, following feedback we've got from the right constituents."
CarAdvice understands that it's the entry-level product that will be most affected in terms of margin, with the brand stripping it of things like the sporty side skirts.
"We'd like to think that we can take some price on this, but we'll see where we can recover from the rest of our portfolio. There are features on the car that may not need to be there," Bernhard said.
"The one that we've looked at is the side skirts on the entry levels. They're coming off, the decision has been made. You'll save $1700 off the vehicles with automatic transmission, that's where the focus has been."
The full range of new pricing (plus on-road costs) is as follows:
- Holden Astra R (MT): -$500 to $21,490
- Holden Astra R (AT): -$1700 to $22,490
- Holden Astra R Plus Safety Pack (MT): -$250 to $22,740
- Holden Astra R Plus Safety Pack (AT): -$1450 to $23,740
- Holden Astra RS (MT): -$250 to $26,24o
- Holden Astra RS (AT): -$1450 to $27,240
- Holden Astra RSV (MT): -$250 to $30,740
- Holden Astra RSV (AT): -$1450 to $31,740
If you're a customer that's already purchased an Astra, there's some good news. Holden will cover the cost difference between your original recommended retail price and the new price.
"We'll protect existing customers, anybody that's purchased a car up to today."
This even applies to customers that secured a deal through their dealer — they will get money back to the value of the new cost difference.
While it's not common for manufacturers to cut pricing immediately after a vehicle launches — Holden has reacted to the market to ensure the vehicle provides value for money and a competitive feature set.