Holden Astra sedan, Sportwagon axed

The Lion Brand has axed the best-selling Astra variant and its slow-selling wagon sibling, leaving the Polish-built hatch to fight the Mazda 3, Volkswagen Golf and Hyundai i30 alone.
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Holden has removed the best-selling Astra variant, the sedan, from its line-up, with no clear successor in sight.

The slow-selling Sportwagon has also been dropped from the range, although both cars will still appear online and in showrooms while remaining stock is shifted.

Speaking with CarAdvice, a Holden spokesperson said the company has been managing stock closely and dealers "weren't exactly overburdened" with cars at last check, so we'd suggest neither model will be available for long.

Supply issues are to blame for the sedan's downfall. Having originally sourced the car from a now-shuttered plant in South Korea, Holden's only alternative was removed in March, when GM's factory in Ohio, USA, stopped producing the Chevrolet Cruze on which the Astra sedan is based.

Year-to-date the entire Astra range is sitting on 2876 sales, down 21.1 per cent on the same point in 2018. Holden says the sedan accounted for more than 46 per cent of those deliveries, while the hatch represented 42 per cent.

The spokesperson admitted losing the sedan leaves a "gap in the range", but couldn't confirm if a replacement to take on the Mazda 3, Kia Cerato, Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic is imminent.

Aside from the Chevrolet Cruze on which the Astra sedan was based, no compact sedan in the General Motors stable is likely to work in Australia. Buick doesn't offer a right-hand drive sedan, and the smallest Cadillac (the CT4) is pitched as a premium alternative to the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.

Cadillac also only builds cars in left-hand drive, and has repeatedly been ruled out for our market.

Meanwhile, the Astra wagon accounted for just 11.2 per cent of sales to the end of May, or just 257 cars, and was fighting with long-roofed versions of the Volkswagen Golf, Peugeot 308 and Ford Focus for a sliver of a very small pie.

Holden has been gradually trimming its model range over the last 12-18 months, dropping the Spark and long-running Barina badge in 2018.