Malibu Marks A Midsized Improvement For Holden: Brook Photo:
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Peter Anderson | Oct, 24 2013 | 10 Comments

Holden has delivered on its promise of "more cars in more segments", the company's Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, Phil Brook, told TMR this week at the launch of the updated Colorado range.

Aside from the solid performance of the VF Commodore, Holden has introduced a number of new models this year including Trax and Malibu, with the Barina RS to come in November.

"There's been a really positive reaction to the Trax. We do expect to make a significant dent in the small SUV segment, it's very, very strong. [The small SUV segment] is up 20 per cent on last year, which was a record year."

The midsizer has replaced the dreary and underperforming Epica in Holden's line-up, and Brook says the difference in market and media response has been night-and-day.

"I know that some of you in the media were a bit sceptical, or dubious, about Malibu. There was a lot of questions around its arrival, what role would it play in the portfolio, would it drive like a Holden should," Brook said.

"It really benefited from some Holden engineering and design input. The feedback overall is that you guys, the dealers and the customers have been pleasantly surprised by this car."

Brook also highlighted the introduction of MyLink as standard across the entire Holden range as a driver for customer interest.

All Holdens will sport a minimum 7-inch screen with the MyLink system and Apple's Siri Eyes Free will be rolled out across a number of model ranges.

"Value is something we've pushed hard this year, and with every new model we've focussed on delivering segment-best value for money.”

Brooks' enthusiasm isn't necessarily reflected in the Malibu's market share however, with 224 sales in September putting it in the middle of the field - and still well behind the new Mazda6 (563) and Toyota's fleet-favourite Camry (2223).

In September, the Malibu slotted in behind the 237 sales of Ford's Mondeo (which includes a wagon), Hyundai's i40 (251) and Volkswagen's Passat (270).

It bettered Honda's new Accord (143) however, along with the Subaru Liberty (143) and Kia's Optima (128).

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