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Holden sticks to its guns with ZB Commodore

Holden is still confident it can shift Australian opinion on the imported Commodore.

Despite dwindling sales performance and negative public perception, recently appointed Holden boss Dave Buttner says it is far too soon to write off the imported Commodore.

Mr Buttner rejected the notion that the struggling nameplate is on its way out, suggesting Holden's new business plan will help revive the brand's vehicle portfolio.

"We can't deny the changing face of the marketplace," he said. "It's far too early for me to comment on the future portfolio, but (is Commodore) a focus? It's a huge focus.

"In my first 60 days in the role, I wanted to understand where peoples' heads are at in relation to the brand, and we've started to develop the mid- to long-term strategic plan.

"And currently a lot of people have got a lot of ideas in terms of what our volume should be in the future, but to me the volume will only be driven by having a really robust business plan – a strategic plan that underpins everything that we do – and we've started that work.

"Of course, part of that discussion will be a portfolio that meets the needs of the Australian consumer into the future. And I certainly don't want to go discounting any product until we finish this work that we need to do."

Year-to-date, sales of the Commodore are down 57.6 per cent to just 7295 compared to 2017, even including the last remnants of locally-produced VFII units.

Overall Holden sales are down too, dropping 27.1 per cent this year, the company posting its worst sales record of all time in September at just 4651 units.

Mr Buttner said he sees a shift in tone from negative to more positive comments towards the German-sourced Commodore, from the media and consumers.

"My sense is that, for a certain part of the Commodore faithful, it will be difficult to move on," he said.

"When you consider that 30 per cent of the buyers were V8 buyers, they're probably the ones that may find it the hardest to move on.

"But people are starting to understand the quality and the value of the product... slowly I'm sensing the tonality of the comments change, and the comments of journalists change as they spend more time with the vehicle and experience the vehicle.

"Initially a few articles were mainly negative, but I'm starting to see some positive articles come out now. And that certainly helps the brand. When people start speaking positively about your product, people may be more (open to it)."

Is it possible for Holden to restore the Commodore nameplate to its former glory? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.