GM’s Australian subsidiary Holden plans to increase its marketing budget 40 percent this year as it launches six new products, with Holden executives expecting 2013 to be a milestone year for the brand.
“We are going to spend 40 per cent more money telling people our story,” said Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux to GoAuto. “We are going to connect with iconic brands like the NRL (National Rugby League) and Collingwood footy club.”
One of the goals of the product offensive is to address Holden’s 9.1 percent sales decline in 2012.
“We are going to show people we are back, bigger and better than before”, Devereux said — partially corroborating the up-beat and bullish inclination of a recent GM Authority source.
Holden’s bigger marketing budget will allocate funds to launch the new VF Commodore, as well as the Trax subcompact crossover, Malibu midsize sedan, and Colorado 7 midsize SUV. Of those four, the Trax will provide Holden with its first entry in the growing small crossover segment, while Malibu will return Holden into the medium car segment where the Toyota Camry has come to reign supreme.
“For Trax and Colorado 7, which we really haven’t started selling yet, it is all about broadening our product portfolio, really upping our game in SUVs,” Devereux said. “Trax is going to be a fantastic vehicle. Small SUVs grew 55 per cent last year, and we didn’t sell any.”
Indeed, Holden’s ability to expand its portfolio beyond its current stable of vehicles will allow the brand to reach a new set of potential customers who may not have considered the Roaring Lion’s products in the past due to a lack of offerings in the aforementioned segments. And while Holden’s product offensive will allow it to broaden its market appeal, it will be its new sponsorship deals that will communicate the product story. The recently-announced three-year multi-million dollar deal with the National Rugby League (NRL) is just one example.
Holden saw its sales decline 9.1 percent in 2012, while its market share slid from 12.5 percent to 10.3 percent. In January of 2013, Mazda overtook Holden to become the second most-popular automotive brand in the region behind Toyota, pushing Holden to third place in Australia.
The GM Authority Take
Like much of GM globally, Holden seems to be in the final stages of putting the finishing touches on unleashing its new and revitalized product portfolio, with some serious marketing firepower to boot. Let’s see how loud the Roaring Lion roars in 2013.