Speaking with media at the Detroit motor show, Holden chairman and managing director, Mark Bernhard, said that the decision was driven by customers.
“The feedback we’ve had from dealers and customer enquiries, we’re taking the opportunity to realign where the pricing is,” Bernhard said.
The price reductions mean the 1.4-litre turbo-powered Holden Astra R will be more closely aligned on price to entry-level hatchback versions of the Toyota Corolla ($20,190), Mazda3 ($20,490), Hyundai i30 ($21,450) and Volkswagen Golf ($22,840) that account for about 60 percent of all small car sales.
He said the other factor was evidence in the marketplace that brands that sold two models in the small car segment, such as Hyundai with the i30 and the Elantra and Volkswagen with the Golf and Jetta, tended to focus on one model to the detriment of the other.
“So the question we asked ourselves was if companies as large with the resources of Hyundai and VW can’t make two nameplates work and maximise their results in the marketplace, at the end of the day what makes us smarter?