Life­time ser­vice cap for all Hold­ens

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDI­TOR joshua.dowl­ing@news.com.au

HOLDEN is about to in­tro­duce the largest capped-price ser­vic­ing scheme in Australia, set­ting the rou­tine main­te­nance cost for ev­ery car sold since the very first model un­veiled by then Prime Min­is­ter Ben Chi­fley in 1948.

The new scheme cov­ers more than 2.5 mil­lion Hold­ens on the road na­tion­ally and is be­lieved to the first of its type in the world, dat­ing back 67 years.

There‘s a catch: the capped­price ser­vic­ing scheme for his­tor­i­cal Hold­ens can be dearer than more mod­ern cars.

The Holden price list says a rou­tine ser­vice on such clas­sics as the orig­i­nal FX Holden from 1948, the EH Holden from 1964, and the HQ Kingswood from 1972 costs $299, which is dearer than the orig­i­nal 1978 Holden Com­modore ($199) and the lat­est 2015 Holden Com­modore ($239).

Own­ers of clas­sic Hold­ens may con­tinue to ser­vice their own cars; savvy DIY-ers can do an oil and fil­ter change for about $50, or a spark plug change for about $20 (as they are much cheaper than spark plugs on mod­ern cars).

Holden af­ter­sales boss Michael Fi­laz­zola says: “While some own­ers of clas­sic Hold­ens may choose to work on their cars them­selves, our life­time capped-price ser­vic­ing pro­gram gives ev­ery owner of any Holden price cer­tainty and trans­parency at ev­ery Holden deal­er­ship in Australia. Once cus­tomers buy a Holden, of any age, new or used, we have them cov­ered.”

Toy­ota pi­o­neered capped­price ser­vic­ing in 2007, but now all Top 10 brands (and some Euro­pean mar­ques) have since fol­lowed suit.

How­ever, the only other car brands to of­fer capped prices for the ser­vic­ing of his­tor­i­cal mod­els are Hyundai (which in Septem­ber 2014 an­nounced cars sold since 1986 would be cov­ered un­der the scheme) and Ford (which has menu pric­ing for ev­ery car since 2007).

The over­haul is part of Holden’s plan to bring cus­tomers back to deal­er­ships, as ser­vice be­comes the new bat­tle­ground for the big car brands.

Ear­lier this month, Ford an­nounced it would of­fer free loan cars to its ser­vice cus­tomers as part of a six­month trial pro­gram.

Holden is look­ing to find new ways to re­tain cus­tomers and win re­peat busi­ness as its sales slow in the lead-up to the clo­sure of its en­gine plant and car as­sem­bly line by the end of 2017.

Last year Holden sales fell to their low­est in 21 years, but the com­pany has an­nounced a fight­back plan with an on­slaught of new mod­els in the com­ing years.

The com­pany says there will be 24 new model launches in the next five years, although most of those are tipped to ar­rive af­ter the 2017 fac­tory clo­sures.

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