November 09, 2006

Horse 660 - What Is It? It's Epica, What Is It?

You want it all but you can't have it
It's in your face but you can't grab it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?...
... it's Epica. So?

Back in Horse 358 and in Horse 364, I warned you about Holden ditching the Astra in favour of Daewoo's Lacetti. Already the Corsa has been hacked out with the Barina nameplate now affixed on the Daewoo Kalos - the car with a 1 star NCAP rating. Guess what? True to form, Holden is shoving out the Vectra in favour of the Daewoo Magnus to be called the Holden Epica.

Even Chevrolet in the USA won't touch this car, they chose the restyle the Vectra Vectra to become the Malibu. See below.

Basically the story is as follows. Holden own 51% of Daewoo and are probably looking to turn the company around by exploiting its cheap prices. On the other hand, sales of the Barina (Kalos) have lost major ground to Toyota's Yaris and even against sales of the more expensive outgoing Barina (Corsa).
The general buying public aren't hoodwinked by a badge. A Daewoo is still a Daewoo and the reason that they sell at all is purely on price. Pitching the Epica against the Camry is a bad move, since pre-sales of the Camry 4 already rival that of Commodore which itself is struggling.

The days of the big Aussie six ruling the roost have now passed thanks to rising petrol prices, but a drop in quality doesn't really justify the drop in price. The Focus and Corolla are perhaps the prime contenders in the future and I don't think Holden quite see this yet. Their billion-dollar-baby should have been replaced with a 3.6L version of the car that they're now axing in the Vectra. I fear Detroit is calling the shots here; let's face it, in their homeland, they lost the plot there too.

Admittedly the Vectra didn't sell a whole heap because people saw it as being too close to the Commodore. The Epica as it's replacement still doesn't address this problem merely because of price. I think for Holden it will appear as an anonymous car and be as unloved as the Piazza was.

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