The new Holden VF Commodore.
The new Holden VF Commodore. Chris Norman

New Holden Commodore aimed to Evoke new sales

HOLDEN will offer significantly more technology for less money with its VF Commodore in a move designed to make the locally-produced large car more competitive and arrest its slide down the sales charts.

The company has revealed full specifications and pricing on the Commodore's critical upgrade ahead of its official showroom arrival in early June, confirming a simplified, but feature-packed, model line-up with, as reported by Drive earlier this week, drastic price reductions of up to $9800.

However, that's unlikely to translate into significant showroom savings given the heavy discounts applied to Commodores. It's more about being more realistic about pricing and reducing those discounts.

Metallic paint also now adds $550 to the price.

The biggest change to the range is the deletion of both the Omega and Berlina nameplates with a new entry-level model, dubbed Evoke, which is fitted with more standard equipment and improved fuel economy than both models it replaces. With a recommended retail price of $34,990 - a $5000 saving over the Omega - it is the cheapest the Commodore has been since March 2008.

The rest of the line-up continues with a familiar walk up, starting with the Commodore SV6 and rising through luxury-focused Calais and Calais V to the V8-only SS and SS-V variants. Designed to maintain the Commodore's stranglehold on the enthusiastic V8 market, Holden has also made its track-ready Redline package a permanent model.

The most expensive Commodore is the flagship V8-powered Calais V, which now costs $52,990 - $9000 cheaper than its predecessor.

Holden's executive director of sales and marketing, Philip Brook, admitted the company was launching the VF Commodore with a "wow pricing strategy that we think will make buying a Commodore a very easy decision and bring people back to the large car segment".

Company spokesman, Craig Cheetham, added that the realignment of Commodore models and pricing is indicative of the drastic shift in fleet sales which have moved away from traditional large cars over the last decade and a strategy aimed at making the Commodore appeal to family buyers again.

"The main reason [for the simplified range] is that Omega traditionally had the reputation of being a fleet vehicle and Berlina was your entry level retail car," he said.

"The model range has changed in such a way that the Evoke offers more than either of those cars did. We're not moving away from fleets per se, but it's certainly not the only avenue of sales we're looking at."

He also admitted that, following record low demand for Commodore over the last five years, it was critical for Holden to increase sales with the VF to maintain a viable local manufacturing presence in Australia.

"In order to keep our factory operating, we need to sell a decent number of cars, and to do that we need to take action to react to what's happening in the market," he added.

"If you look at the way the car market has changed in the past couple of years, we are being very realistic about our expectations for VF and where it will be in the market, and the type of customer who will buy it.

"So what we're doing is offering more for less and that will give us more appeal with retail [customers]."

Holden has released pricing and specification on sedan and Sportwagon variants with details on the VF Commodore Ute models to be announced soon.

 

Recommended retail prices, excluding dealer delivery and government charges:

 Model

 VE

 VF pricing

 Rollback

 Evoke (auto only)

 $39,990 (Omega)

 $34,990 

 - $5,000

 SV6 (manual)

 $42,790

 $35,990

 -$6,800

 SS (manual)

 $47,790

 $41,990

 -$5,800

 SS-V (manual)

 $55,290

 $45,490

 -$9,800

 SS-V Redline (manual)

 $57,790

 $51,490

 -$6,300

 Calais (auto only)

 $48,290

 $39,990

 -$8,300

 Calais V V6 (auto only)

 $56,790 

 $46,990

 -$9,800

 Calais V V8 (auto only)

 $61,990

 $52,990

 -$9,000

Sportwagon body style adds $2,000 including GST (auto transmission only)
Automatic transmission adds $2,200 including GST (Sports models only)

Prestige paint adds $550 including GST


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