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After 69 years of production and more than 7.6 million vehicles assembled, Holden ended manufacturing in Australia in October last year, when the final Commodore Redline rolled off the assembly lines at the Elizabeth plant. That doesn’t mean the brand is not selling vehicles on the continent anymore, but a mix of old products and only three SUVs/crossovers in the portfolio puts the marque far behind its main competitors Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, and Ford. In May this year, Holden managed to shift just 5,129 cars (versus 6,917 in May last year), while Toyota sold 19,571 vehicles.

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So, obviously, something needs to change and the company’s marketing division has come up with the idea to offer customers a $500 (approximately $370 U.S. dollars) gift card if they test drive a Holden model, but decide to buy a car from a rivalling brand. As weird as it sounds, the Test Drive Challenge program encourages private clients to try a Holden vehicle before putting their money on a new car.

“It’s a bold move but one we do with confidence,” Kristian Aquilina, Holden’s marketing director, told “We know this is the best range of cars we’ve offered and in terms of safety, technology, customer service, value and that famous Holden driving spirit, we can’t be beaten.”

Basically, if you are looking for, say, a new pickup in Australia and test drive the Holden Colorado, but end up buying a Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux, Holden will give you a $500 gift card by August 31. To get the bonus, you must buy a vehicle from the same class as the tested Holden.

“Holden is evolving, no question,” Aquilina added. “The new vehicle lineup is fantastic and we challenge new car buyers to experience how good they are and form their own opinion. We’re so confident in them, we’re willing to put $500 down if they go on to buy something else.”


Gallery: Holden ends Australian production

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