I must have seen a dozen tenth-generation Toyota Corollas and Aurises since their launch in New Zealand last month. Good on Toyota for getting the marketing right and as much as I dislike Toyotas, I have to admit that these folks deliver what the public wants. First rule of marketing.
By the same token, I have seen a grand total of two Daewoo Toscas (Holden Epica), if you do not count the car yards, in the last two months. One in Wellington, one in Auckland. Hang on, one of them was in a car yard.
Will Holden New Zealand learn, as it did with the JB Camira? After a year, General Motors New Zealand Ltd. switched from Australia to Japan for the 1984 Camira, bringing in Isuzu Florian Aska kits and rebadging them with a more Aussie-sounding brand.
With the CD345 Ford Mondeo due to arrive and trounce the Tosca, Holden’s only option in the New Zealand market, where mid-sized sedans and wagons are still beloved, will be the Opel Vectra D. Opel Vectra C Caravans were never sold here, and Holden handed that market on to a platter to Ford’s CD132 Mondeo and the Toyota Avensis.
Now it has a chance to get it right—maybe even sell the Vectra as a premium mid-sized car, just as it does with the Daewoo Lacetti and the Opel Astra in the compact sector, both with Holden badges presently. It might work, because I still believe the Daewoo Tosca to be, relative to its higher-tech and older rivals, a danger to the New Zealand public.
We aren’t as price-sensitive as Holden thought over here, especially when it comes to such an important purchase. Brand and product quality rate more than selling Holdens at dirt-cheap Korean prices.
Remember, in the remake of the French ﬁlm Taxi, Queen Latifah refused to get in to a Daewoo until her driver opened the door for her, because she didn’t want to touch the brand. Regardless of the VE Commodore’s excellence (and there are a lot of them in New Zealand), the Daewoo touch is a dangerous one to have in an age of accessible luxury. Posted by Jack Yan, 06:52
Hi Jack, Have seen loads of Epica's on the wharf, my Sunday bike ride goes past there, but like you few on the road. Are they in storage somewhere?!
I don’t know if you remember the Metal Mountain exposés that Car used to do back in 1981 and 1982, showing thousands of vehicles in very poor conditions in airﬁelds and other storage facilities across the UK. I wonder if that is happening to the Tosca: sure, its only a two-month-old car so I doubt anything that bad is happening, but they must be somewhere since Holden was so bullish about its chances and would have imported a whole heapwhat you see on the wharf is proof that there are many coming in from Korea.
If you look at the 2007 Vectra Cs that were sold, I would be surprised if any of them actually left the factory after 2005 since they are all pre-facelift. (Ive nothing to back up this hunch, so this is just a guess.)
I do remember, only just biffed some "Cars" from that era in a recent garage cleanout. I've seen loads of cars stored in semi-open yards in Mt Wellington (near the old domain) but not sure how long they are sitting there.
I guess they would have been there since March or April, assuming the original on-sale date of May.Post a Comment
I saw my third Tosca today. I almost hit it. The driver pulled out from the intersection without looking both ways. He was also rather elderly: the sort of person who may have bought a Hyundai Sonata 20 years ago, but wont touch one now because it is too cool.
With the greatest respect to our elderly, I do not think this is what Holden expected from its Camry-eater. Sure, this is the only time I have seen a Tosca on the road and with a driver, but if sales results reveal that the cars are being sold to an older age group than the Vectra C, then I wont be particularly surprised.
The Sonata will walk all over the Tosca, just as it does back in Korea. Honda, Toyota and Ford dealers are smiling, and Nissan dealers are wishing they had a four-door Primera sedan so they can step on the Daewoo, too.
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