Plight of the Commodore

I like my wagons… You know, I joke about the current Holden Commodore models being the rarest of all Commodores (especially to HSV owners), and I do look out for them. I might see one or two a week - and they've been available for a year... A far cry from past times.

I don't mind the current model - they're good looking cars, especially the Tourer (wagon), with some nice detailing and good proportions - and the fit and finish are superior to any Commodore before.

Aside from the Holden brand being deeply out of fashion, I think I may have found one factor for sales being miniscule. Commodores and Falcons were always the worst depreciating cars you could buy – yes, significantly worse than brands like Alfa Romeo, Saab, Jaguar and Citroen which uninformed people always like to claim were the worst… The new model Commodore takes things to a new low.

This is important to corporate and fleet buyers. Red Book, the car value bible that dealers rely on for valuing trade-ins, estimates that after 5 years, a Calais Tourer retains just 17% of its value. Seventeen percent! That means a $54,000 car is worth under $10K after 5 years. And if it was loaded up with extra cost options, the seller gets not a cent for that additional ‘investment’.

By way of comparison, a similarly priced (and vastly inferior) Toyota Prado retains 51 percent over 5 years.

Glass’s Guide suggests a Commodore will retain 36% of its value in 3 years 

A Mazda 6 wagon would be expected to retain 48% in 3 years and a Mercedes-Benz C-Class wagon 57%. Even a Jaguar XF wagon, Skoda Superb wagon or a Renault Megane wagon out-punch the Commodore Tourer in the retained value stakes. Ford fans can be proud to state a Mondeo wagon outguns the Holden in retained value too, at 50 percent after 3 years, about the industry average.

It’s enough to ensure any business buyer would not count a Commodore as a possible purchase and maybe, aside from Holden being on the nose in the marketplace, might be a factor influencing private buyers…

PS: With GM announcing in February the end of Holden, values will drop even more...