Hot cars aren’t dead yet

HSV is pow­er­ing through the big sedan sales slide

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

buy­ers, who are in no dan­ger of own­ing an or­phan.

‘‘ Big cars are not dead,’’ Hard­ing says. ‘‘ Ours aren’t, that’s for sure.

‘‘ I’mtalk­ing it up— but I’m talk­ing facts.’’

Hard­ing has been push­ing the up­side of the HSV story for more than a year, re­ject­ing claims that his cars have been dragged down by the Fal­con slide. This de­cline has spread to some de­gree to Holden and the main­stream Com­modores.

‘‘ The large car seg­ment is made up from a ba­sic Fal­con through to us,’’ Hard­ing says. ‘‘ I don’t like be­ing in­cluded in that group. We’ve carved out our own niche.’’

Hard­ing ad­mits HSV is down from its peak but says the longterm busi­ness case is built on the cur­rent sales vol­ume.

He re­fuses to an­swer any ques­tions about HSV’s plans for the VF Com­modore, which will be ready for the road in mid-2013, or any­thing that would stretch the brand beyond Com­modore.

There has been de­vel­op­ment work on a hot HSV ver­sion of the Cruze but noth­ing that’s re­motely ready yet for pro­duc­tion or sales.

But Hard­ing will, re­luc­tantly, talk about the lat­est fig­ures: ‘‘ Club­sport is our best seller. Equal sec­ond are Maloo and the GTS.’’

And he wants to put the pic­ture into clearer fo­cus. ‘‘ If you look at the sedan mar­ket, it’s be­tween 70,000 and 100,000 cars a year,’’ he says. ‘‘ We have about 19 per cent re­tail share. That prob­a­bly makes us a great rev­enue source for the govern­ment.’’

Most im­por­tantly, Hard­ing says HSV is trad­ing solidly in the black and gen­er­at­ing the money nec­es­sary for its fu­ture pro­grams in­clud­ing its work on the VF.

‘‘ I wouldn’t be in it if it wasn’t prof­itable,’’ he says.

Busi­ness as usual: HSV says it has carved it­sown­niche in the large car mar­ket

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