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Holden’s ‘Add fuel and Go’ plan sparks call that nothing is new

on June 2 2016 | in Highlights, Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

Holden NZ says the response from car buyers to its ‘Add fuel and Go’ sales plan has been “outstanding.”

The deal offers a five-door LS Spark hatchback for $99 a week over a three-year term, an option to buy the car at the end of it, and a cap on the clock of 45,000km.

It includes servicing, warranty, insurance and 24-hour roadside assistance. Best of all, says Holden, no deposit is needed. The first week’s $99 gets the deal done. Just ‘Add fuel and Go.’

It’s aimed specifically at getting younger buyers – first jobbers, for example – into a new car, in this case the entry-level Spark hatchback range, which starts at $16,490.

News outlets describe the scheme as ‘innovative’, ‘bold’, ‘daring’, ‘game-changing’. Indeed, Holden NZ says it’s ‘a New Zealand first’.

Holden Spark gets Apple Car Play

Holden Spark gets Apple Car Play

But whoa! Hold the phone! It is much the same as the ‘Choices’ scheme Toyota NZ has been running out of its Palmerston North head office for years.

The ‘Choices’ plan includes no deposit, fixed payments, servicing, warranty, insurance, roadside assistance, an option to buy the car …

Other carmakers here and overseas offer similar contracts. Peugeot’s three-year deal for over-18s/under-75s in the UK includes no deposit, fixed payments, insurance, warranty, servicing, roadside assistance … and is called ‘Just add Fuel.’

Oops, Holden could be accused of raiding the naming rights pantry here. It is selling its ‘Add fuel and Go’ as a ‘subscription’ rather than a ‘payment’ plan. It’s a marketing sleight of hand.

“Kiwis are familiar with subscription-based services such as mobile phones and pay TV, and this is simply an extension of this,” said Holden NZ managing director Kristian Aquilina. “We believe this is the first time it’s been done in New Zealand with a car.”

The ‘subscription’ package is available on every Holden vehicle. That is, of course, if it suits the buyer. It might not – a lease deal for business users serves a similar purpose and has GST and other tax advantages.

The Spark comes with a maximum five-star crash-safety rating. Technology includes MyLink infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto mobile phone, Siri Eyes Free and smartphone voice recognition.

  • There is no indication that Spark gets a telematics bundle similar to that offered by Peugeot UK in its ‘Just add Fuel’ plan. Peugeot advises buyers: “ A discreet telematics device will be sent to you shortly after your new car is delivered. Once you’ve installed it in your vehicle, it will record and send data on your driving – your speed, acceleration, deceleration, and general driving style. This information can then be accessed via an online portal, through which you can learn and grow as a driver.”

What do we have here? A mobile version of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth?


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