AN ASTRA-NOMICAL SAVING
Holden tears up virtually a quarter of the hatch’s retail price — if you ask
Holden has slashed an astonishing $6500 off the Astra hatch — from $26,500 to $19,990 drive-away with auto — but buyers will get the deal only if they negotiate. Holden dealers confirm the record sales result for the Astra in December was boosted by a hidden $4000 bonus on certain models.
To hit Holden’s ambitious annual sales target — dubbed “fast finish” — dealers were required to report cars as sold, even if they didn’t have a customer name on them.
The deal backfired for Holden because it still fell 5000 cars short — and now dealers have too much stock.
Dealers estimate there are more than 1000 Astra hatches in showrooms that have been declared as sold but are unregistered and undelivered.
These are 2017-built examples, even if some dealers refer to them as “demonstrator models” or “undriven demos”.
The bonus means dealers can limbo to as low as $19,990 drive-away for the Astra R Plus hatch auto with a safety pack that includes automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance — several Holden dealer sources have confirmed this and some have even published these prices on their websites.
That’s $6500 off the car’s full retail price and $4000 off the current discount deal on the Holden website, which also includes three years’ free servicing to the end of the month.
“It’s up to the dealer how low they want to go,” says a high ranking dealer.
“If we can get close to $24,000 for the car, which is what it says on the website, then we will obviously try to get that. But in theory it’s possible to deliver one for just under $20,000 on the road. That’s unbelievable.”
There is one caveat: metallic paint adds $550. Dealers were surprised Holden “ripped up” so much money on the R Plus version rather than the base model. “That’s a lot of car, that’s the most metal and tech for the money in the market right now,” another dealer says.
The only other small car to match the Astra on price is the Kia Cerato at $19,990 drive-away with auto for hatch or sedan.
However the base Cerato lacks the Astra’s rear view camera, emergency braking and lane keeping assistance. Most rivals such as the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 start at $23,990 drive-away with auto.
Sharp deals apart, the Astra so far has yet to ignite sales, in part because Holden has kept the $4000 factory bonus hidden from the public.
Customarily, there is between $400 and $1200 profit margin for a dealer to work with in the low $20,000 drive-away range.
“Some deals are so skinny there’s not enough margin in them to include floor mats,” says a dealer, “but if buyers shop around I think they will be amazed what they will get an Astra for. The deal is so good they’ve been snapped up by some of our staff.”
What’s not clear is whether Holden will honour the online deal for a further $500 discount.
In the “build and price” section of the Holden website, a pop-up says: “simply enter your details ... and we’ll email you your discount voucher straight away! Offer applies on top of the best negotiated dealer price.”
If buyers took up that option and Holden honoured the deal, a new Astra would be $19,490 drive-away, or $7000-plus off the full retail price.