March 2020 New Car Sales Drop Anew: Holden Finishes Strong as Most Brands Struggle

Manufacturers News

Apr 10th, 2020

March 2020 New Car Sales Drop Anew: Holden Finishes Strong as Most Brands Struggle

As COVID-19 continues to reshape the economy, and people are becoming more concerned about their jobs (and especially losing jobs), it's not at all surprising to see auto sales taking a steep dive.  

What’s pleasantly surprising, though, is how Holden has been raking massive sales for March 2020. For the first time in its last two forgettable years, the Australian icon shows up strong once again, even if only to say goodbye for the last time. 

Holden Ranks High in March Sales Figures

After GM announced in mid-February to close Holden for good by the end of this year, sales of the last remaining units started to pick up and took a significant leap in March. It registered a 30% increase in sales, while the rest registered either minimal increases or significant decreases in sales compared to previous months.

The interpretation, of course, is that Holden had been performing so bad since November 2018 that decent sales this month show as a surge in the sales curve. Still, it’s a fitting exit for the top-seller that Holden once was and Australia’s way of showing its fondness to its homegrown brand. 

FCAI Reports Total Sales Figures for March

The FCAI reported a total of 81,690 new vehicles sold for March, reflecting negative growth of 17.9% from last year's figures. It’s worth noting, however, that compared to February 2020 with sales of 79,940, the March sales shows an appreciable increase of 1,750 vehicles sold. 

We’re pointing this out since lockdown measures started to be implemented in March. It might show that, with the importance of social distancing, people are finding private cars to be the best option to do essential travel and essential activities. If so, sales figures in April would have to confirm this assumption – we’ll see!

Meantime, for March, Toyota retained the top rank in the bestselling brands' list with 17,583 sales – that’s over 10 thousand units more than any other brand! And Toyota had been the market leader for many months now, with Toyota HiLux and its stable-mates Toyota Rav4 and Toyota Corolla leading the favourites list. Mazda trails far behind with 6,819 and Mitsubishi with 6,002. Kia with 5,654 surpasses Hyundai for the first time which sold 5,306 cars.

Holden Ranks 6th in Sales

Besting Ford, Nissan, Honda, and Volkswagen, Holden tops the midfield. The Aussie marque sold 4,992 for the month, with Holden Colorado taking the lion's share of 2,391 units sold. For March 2020, the Colorado dislodged long-time bestsellers, including Hyundai i30, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Landcruiser, Mitsubishi Triton and Kia Cerato.

While we don’t take Holden’s sudden rise in popularity as a long-lasting trend, we see it being sustained through the next few months. We can see it selling like pancakes for the rest of the year, not only due to outpouring sentiments but also for Holden's quality and importance in the industry. What's more, the models are selling out with massive discounts thrown in, too.

Final Clearance Sale

Sources have it that Holden cars are now on sale for down to half their original showroom drive-away price, with discounts ranging from $7,500 to $17,500. You get to enjoy the most discounts from the Colorados, and since it’s a buyer’s last chance to get a new Colorado, we do understand why it ranks as the sixth bestseller for March. In fact, we see this trend repeated in the next few months and until stock lasts.

Two other models with a huge chunk off their price tags are the Acadia and the Equinox. You may still snatch the last of the Commodores, too, but with more conservative discounts. Holden's year-end target might be advanced at the rate the dealers are clearing stock and the price they're selling these models for. So don’t wait till the showrooms are empty! 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it would be best to inquire first from Holden dealerships located near you. You may check out the Carpart directory for the dealer's contact details.

Farewell, Holden

This is farewell. The ‘lion rolling stone’ stands proudly as ever, loved as ever.


By Jeannette Salanga (JMSL)