Holden sales hit the brakes last month as the brand announced its shock exit from Australia, but its lowest tally since 1948 was not due to a lack of interest from buyers.
Holden reported just 1367 cars as sold in February 2020 as the brand slipped to 15th outright for the first time ever, but the number of people negotiating to buy a new Holden was in fact much higher than this.
In fact, a large number of Holden dealers reported their best sales in more than a decade, signing up customers at double and triple their most recent monthly rates.
The catch: the cars won’t be delivered until this month. The massive discounts of between $7500 and $17,500 were not due to kick in until March 1, meaning Holden will likely have a blinder when the next set of sales figures come out.
“Pretty much every person we signed up since the shutdown (announcement), we pushed to a March delivery so they could get the discount,” said a long-standing metropolitan Holden dealer.
A confidential bulletin sent by Holden to all dealerships – and obtained by CarAdvice – outlined massive savings of between $7500 and $17,500 across the range in the days immediately following the closure announcement.
However, how much of the Holden discount is passed-on to buyers is at the discretion of each dealer.
CarAdvice has spoken to more than a dozen Holden dealers in recent weeks and the discounts vary dramatically from showroom to showroom.
Some dealers are keen to quit their remaining stock as quickly as possible and passing-on most of the savings, while others are not slashing prices dramatically because they are trying to stockpile vehicles so they can continue to trade for as long as possible.
“Buyers are still getting a great price but how low each dealer goes depends on their individual circumstances,” said another Holden dealer.
“Some can’t afford to stop trading soon, so they’re trying to keep their head above water for as long as possible.”
The advice for anyone looking to get a good deal on a runout Holden?
“Shop around,” said a third Holden dealer interviewed by CarAdvice, also speaking on condition of anonymity. “The problem is cars are selling out fast and it’s getting harder to get the model and the colour you want. I think most of the network will be done (sold out) by June.”