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Small car wars: Holden to sell next gen Astra, Cruze and $13,990 Spark

Joshua Dowling

THERE will be even more choice for buyers of small cars next year as Holden prepares to claw back lost sales with a rush of new models, including three fresh rivals starting from just $13,990.

Holden will launch a fresh attack on the budget end of the city-car class in February with a sharply priced new generation Spark, loaded with a rear-view camera and Apple CarPlay.

Bright spark ... The Chevrolet Spark will become Holden's new budget-priced city car in 2016. Picture: Supplied

Bright spark … The Chevrolet Spark will become Holden’s new budget-priced city car in 2016. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

In the $20,000 price bracket, Holden will import two small cars from opposite sides of the world to replace the locally-made Cruze sedan and hatch, which are due to go out of production in late 2016, about a year before the Adelaide factory closes.

The next generation Astra hatch from Europe will join an all-new Cruze sedan from South Korea in Holden showrooms in late 2016 and early 2017 respectively.

Red hot ... The 2016 Holden Astra is due on sale late next year. Picture: Supplied

Red hot … The 2016 Holden Astra is due on sale late next year. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

A senior Holden executive inadvertently confirmed the decision during a briefing with media in Melbourne on Wednesday. Until now, Holden had only confirmed the new Astra was coming.

“We will sell more Cruze with the next generation (than we do currently),” said sales and marketing director Peter Keley. “We will sell more small cars in the future than we do today.”

The mass rollout is part of Holden’s plan to introduce 24 new models by 2020 to fill the void left by the homegrown Commodore, which currently accounts for one in four sales.

White out ... The Holden Cruze is likely to be phased out of production at the Elizabeth plant in South Australia. Picture: Supplied.

White out … The Holden Cruze is likely to be phased out of production at the Elizabeth plant in South Australia. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

Although the Commodore will be replaced by an imported model, there will be not be a V8, instantly wiping out more than one-third of the Commodore’s sale volume.

Commodore V6 sales will also subside when the imported model arrives because there will no longer be any pressure to discount cars to rental fleets to keep a local factory running.

So Holden is boosting its line-up of small cars, SUVs and utes to make up for the loss of the homegrown Commodore.