Holden dealers are likely to clear their showrooms well ahead of the brand’s exit at the end of this year.
- shares

Buyers looking to snap up a new-car bargain – driven by discounts of up to $17,500 – are running out of time and choice as Holden dealers sell out of stock faster than expected.

An investigation by CarAdvice has found most Holden dealers are keen to clear their remaining stock as quickly as possible, and some are now likely to run out of vehicles “within weeks”, while a small number of outlets are trying to stockpile and keep trading for a few months.

Sales at most leading Holden showrooms have tripled over the past week, leaving them with fewer than one or two dozen vehicles to clear.

“It’s like the 1990s again,” said a Holden dealer located in metropolitan Melbourne. “If we could have sold cars at this rate before, we wouldn’t need to shut down.”

In their most recent prime, successful Holden dealers sold between 100 and 150 new cars per month, but many had trickled to between 20 and 50 sales per month over the past two years.

Since the announcement of Holden’s closure, however, some dealers have cleared a month’s worth of cars in just one week.

Some lease companies and car-buying services are now finding it hard to locate vehicles and, in many cases, are being knocked back altogether.

Not every Holden dealer is almost sold out, however.

A small number of Holden dealers – usually those with standalone dealerships and not part of a multi-franchise site – are trying to continue trading for as long as possible, not discounting as much, and are stock piling vehicles in an attempt to keep selling cars for the next few months.

“The dealers who have another (car) brand ready to move in are trying to clear their Holden showrooms as quickly as possible,” said another major Holden dealer. “I don’t know why you’d want to hang on to it, to be honest, it’s gone.”

Another dealer warned that showrooms who were trying to stockpile and continue trading for as long as possible may end up getting stuck with cars if they don’t pass-on the savings.

As reported last week by CarAdvice, Holden head office issued a bulletin to dealers advising there would be discounts of between $7500 and $17,500 across the range from March 1. It sparked a stampede at Holden showrooms across the country. However, it is up to the discretion of each dealer how much of the discount they pass-on to the customer.

It seems the majority of Holden showrooms are passing on most of the savings because the bonus money is in addition to the dealer’s profit margin.

“It’s a win-win, to be honest,” said the Melbourne Holden dealer. “The customer is getting a great deal and we are able to keep our (profit) margin in the car. At this rate I reckon most (Holden showrooms) will be sold out within weeks, not months.”