Holden achieved strong sales in the second half of 2013 to secure its position as the number two automotive brand in Australia, selling almost one in ten new cars in the market, according to recently released Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) sales data.

Holden Executive Director Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing Philip Brook said significant growth in Holden SUV sales and resurgent sales in Commodore, following the release of the VF in June 2013, drove strong results in the second half of the year.

“Continued record sales of our SUV range and a resurgent Commodore drove Holden’s very strong performance in the second half of 2013, with our sales volumes up 17.4 percent in the second half of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012,” Brook said. “Holden’s second-half-year 17.4 percent sales growth came in a market that actually contracted by 2% in that half compared to the same period in 2012.”

Despite this, significant challenges persisted across the automotive sector in 2013, including the historically high Australian dollar, the cost of local production, and a small domestic market that is one of the most fragmented in the world, according to the automaker. Across the sector, new vehicle sales grew by only 2.2 percent in 2013, with Holden selling 112,059 vehicles, down 2.3 percent on the previous year.

“Sales of Holden SUVs – Trax, Captiva 5, Captiva 7, Colorado 7 – increased 24.2 percent in 2013, compared to 2012, outstripping market growth of 8.5 percent,” Brook said. “Colorado performed strongly, with 33.3 percent growth in sales, compared to 2012 – well ahead of the market growth of 5.3 percent. The sales data also shows Australians love the new VF Commodore. Our subdued first half of the year reflected the run-out of the VE Commodore at that time. Following the release of the VF, Commodore sales volumes grew by 19 percent in the second half of the year. In December, Commodore sales increased 15.9% compared to December 2012. December was a strong month for Holden across the board, with overall sales volumes up 4.8 percent, compared to December 2012 in a market that was up by 1.4 percent.”

Brook said Holden led sales of locally manufactured cars through 2013, accounting for 48.3 percent of the locally built cars sold in Australia in 2013.

Last year, it was announced that Holden will cease production in Australia at the end of 2017, becoming a full-line importer and national sales company for parent U.S.-headquartered GM.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet