Colorado pricing has been announced. But those are the only numbers Holden NZ wants to discuss.
NOT mentioning the war – that is, the ever-ntensifying battle between ute providers - remains the status quo for Holden as it announces pricing for its frontline weapon.
While expressing confidence that its strategy of maintaining status quo pricing for rear-drive models and implementing $1000 increase for four-wheel-drives will enhance consumer interest in the upgraded Colorado one-tonner, which goes on sale tomorrow, the New Zealand distributor is not at all keen to discuss volume projections.
Nor will it disclose if it intends to ramp up supply of the refreshed model to capitalize on a thorough makeover that is said to deliver improvements to design, driveability, safety, refinement, comfort and practicality.
In reaction to inquiry about this, Holden New Zealand communications manager Edward Finn said he would not speculate on these issues or on counts.
“We are quietly confident the new model will be a sales success, but I’m not going to speculate about numbers even before it goes on sale this weekend,” he told MotoringNetwork.
“We have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the new Colorado and are very excited to see how the new model performs in this very competitive segment.
“Anecdotal feedback from our dealers is that there is considerable pent-up demand for new Colorado. We expect it to register a strong start to sales and anticipate this momentum to grow over coming months.”
How much of that turns out to be nothing more than marketing spin remains to be seen.
Holden will certainly be aware that its product, though their top selling vehicle, stands alone among the sector’s front-runners in not having shown any marked increase in sales – even though the sector, overall, continues to evidence record-breaking behaviour.
In fact, while Colorado continues to maintain its long-held position as the third most popular ute choice year-to-date and year-on-year sales registrations data, issued with August new vehicle sales counts, shows it has slightly less market share than it did at this time last year and is also falling further behind the two rivals that have consistently proven more popular for the past three years: Ford’s Ranger, which heads the commercial sector, and the Toyota Hilux.
With 2339 sold to the end of last month, against 2391 to the end of August 2015, it is two percent down year-on-year.
Year to date the Ranger has achieved 5646 units to retain its lead as the top selling commercial model while the Hilux has achieved 4235 sales. They respectively hold 19 percent and 15 percent share of the commercial market, whereas Colorado has eight percent.
Ranger had a boomer August, with 721 units, and has also just updated to meet Euro V emissions requirement and is also adopting the latest Sync infotainment setup.
On current trend it looks set to exceed last year’s 6818 sales count, a ute sector record. Hilux also could be on track to equal or better the 5623 units it achieved last year.
Colorado’s target of 3586 units, however, might not be so easily toppled.
Holden will also be concerned that the distributors for two other competitors that have traditionally snapped at Colorado’s heels – the Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navara – appear to be mounting new campaigns to elevate their products’ status.
To date Triton has 2118 registrations and Navara 2035 but the Mitsubishi has achieved almost 38 percent year-on-year growth over eight months. Isuzu is also on the move, with a 32 percent climb in sales.
Updated Colorado arrives in 24 versions. The cheapest is the 4x2 manual LS at $39,990 and the most expensive is the 4x4 automatic Z71 at $66,990.
In provided comment, Holden NZ managing director Kristian Aquilina claimed the value equation offered by Colorado is better than ever before, with new standard features equating to thousands of dollars of added enhancements.
The MyLink system now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and all versions take automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, seven airbags, and electric power steering.
Premium models add parking aids, collision and lane departure warning, tyre-pressure monitoring, power folding side mirrors, and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
Colorado also gets 77 accessories – 28 of them new – for buyers who want to personalise the vehicle. Many of the add-on parts were initially seen here on the Colorado Xtreme concept vehicle that was brought in for the Fieldays.