Having announced the updated VF Commodore (to much fanfare) four months ahead of its arrival to dealer showrooms in June, Holden might find itself in a pickle: customers already know about the much-improved VF, but the last-gen VE is still in production and available on dealer lots. In effect, the dilemma is representative of most other future- and last-gen product overlaps that usually occure when new vehicles (or any products) are announced, only to arrive months later in dealer showrooms. So in an effort to move the outgoing VE models ahead of the arrival of the VF, the Roaring Lion brand is planning to have some hot deals on the VE.
Interestingly, the timing of Holden’s VF announcement was not ideal, according to the GM subsidiary’s Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux, who said that Holden would have preferred to announce and launch the VF at a time closer to the vehicle’s availability in mid-2013. The plans, however, were thwarted by Chevy’s intent to announce the SS Performance Sedan at the Daytona 500, which was an opportunity “too good” to pass up. The SS Performance Sedan is widely expected to be a left-hand drive variant of the Holden VF Sport range, with Chevy badging.
For his part, Mr. Devereux doesn’t foresee any problems selling the VE stock.
“Yes, we have a lot of VEs to sell, but I don’t think that telling the VF design story will hurt,” he told Australia’s GoAuto. “We have a really good value story to tell on VE. It still a fantastic car in the market place. Yes, it is in the seventh year of its product life.
And according to Holden executive director of sales and marketing Philip Brook, all “the usual run-out things” are in store for the VE taking place over the next few months… even special editions”. In addition, the plant manufactures the export version of the Caprice full-size sedan for North American police use (Chevrolet Caprice PPV).
Mr. Brook also said that the GM-Holden Elizabeth plant in South Australia will have some downtime to prepare for the VF; a production pause at a plant usually reduces the chance of excess stock. The shutdown is said to take place during Easter, and Mr. Devereux said that the time will allow to the plant to lay the foundation for building two new models due in 2016. These vehicles are expected to be the next-generation Cruze (on the D2XX platform) and its derivatives (such as the next-gen global Equinox/Captiva compact crossover), along with the next-generation VJ Commodore that will likely ride on GM’s RWD Alpha platform.
So, who’s up for buying a VE Commy on the cheap?