Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days


Holden sales fell by a drastic 29 per cent in March compared to the same month last year, rounding out an extremely disappointing quarter-one (Q1) in 2018.

GM’s local subsidiary, now in its first calendar year as a full-range importer rather than local manufacturer, has seen sales tumble 23 per cent over the Q1 period.

Holden’s reduced national dealer network is clearly battling to keep volume at a feasible level, just six months after it shuttered the Adelaide factory.

To give this some context, Holden finished in 10th spot on the charts in March, just a nose ahead of Kia. It’s the brand’s lowest finish since 1948. For Q1 Holden sits 7th.

The result for March also meant Holden’s market share was a paltry 4.8 percent, while its Q1 share was 5.3 per cent.

This put the Lion brand behind Volkswagen, Honda, Nissan, Ford, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Toyota. Mazda almost doubled Holden’s volume.

Holden’s total Q1 sales are 15,524. This time last year its cumulative annual tally was 20,119. The year before that it was 22,519. 10 years ago, in 2008, Holden’s Q1 figure was 33,850.

Holden’s sales leader is the Colorado, on 3916 units, down 16 per cent in a market segment that’s actually growing well above the overall market average.

One bright spot is the Astra, capitalising on greatly reduced prices to yield 2727 sales, up 78 per cent. However, its market share is less than one-third of the Toyota Corolla’s and Mazda 3’s.

Holden has also sold 2598 Commodores (down 54 per cent), though many of these are runout VF IIs made in Australia rather than the vital new ZB model imported from Europe.

Figures show that Holden has sold 1972 vehicles this year that were made in Australia. We know that 253 of these are Utes and Caprices, meaning about 1700 are locally made Commodores, two-thirds of the Commodore total.

It’s sold 1661 Captivas (down by 43 per cent) and 1420 Traxs (down 34 per cent) despite the SUV boom. The new Equinox, which competes in the market’s most important segment, has managed a mere 1075 sales. By comparison Mazda has sold 6604 CX-5s and Nissan 5794 X-Trails.

Making up the numbers over Q1 are the Barina (926, up 37 per cent, but low in margins), Trailblazer (632, down 16 per cent) and Spark (313, up 13 per cent).

While staying diplomatic, Holden’s communications director, Anna Betts, admitted the results were disappointing.

“We anticipated a slower start to the year but it’s always our aim to sell more vehicles and our current market share is obviously not where we want it to be,” she said.

“Nevertheless this is a period of considerable transformation for us as a business and a brand. This past quarter – our first since the end of local manufacturing – has included establishing a completely brand new nameplate in Equinox, and re-launching an Australian icon in the all-new Commodore.

“From Trax to Trailblazer, we now have almost the entire SUV market covered… When [seven-seat] Acadia joins our showrooms later this year, we’ll have an even stronger product line-up.

“We remain passionate about Holden’s future and confident our sales results will improve.”


Q1, 2018 sales:

Brand Sales Share % Change %
Toyota 52,465 18 +8.1
Mazda 29,749 10.2 -2.3
Hyundai 23,568 8.1 +5.2
Mitsubishi 21,215 7.3 +15.2
Ford 18,391 6.3 -0.2
Nissan 15,761 5.4 +4.7
Holden 15,524 5.3 -22.8
Honda 15,129 5.2 +54.8
Kia 14,279 4.9 +10.9
Volkswagen 13,787 4.7 +0.4

March, 2018 sales:

Brand March ‘18 sales March ‘17 sales
Toyota 18,878 19,652
Mazda 9723 10,472
Mitsubishi 8810 7619
Hyundai 8443 8700
Ford 6687 6852
Nissan 6191 5620
Honda 5586 3106
Subaru 5195 5006
Holden 5116 7211
Volkswagen 5137 5122
Kia 5084 4684
Mercedes-Benz 3786 3945
Isuzu Ute 2580 2074
BMW 2229 2220
Suzuki 1913 1792

MORE: New car sales news coverage

Any questions? Ask below and we’ll answer them as soon as possible. 




SHARE THIS ARTICLE