Holden Volt is Frighteningly Expensive in New Zealand


Holden Volt -  Driverless Technology Is In Effect...Pretty Sure That Is The Only Explaination For This Shot

Holden Volt – Driverless Technology Is In Effect…Pretty Sure That Is The Only Explanation For This Shot

The price of the Holden Volt in New Zealand is no mystery.  It’s not advertised and is often avoided when Holden issues its press blasts, but there’s no hiding its price tag from us prying types here at InsideEVs.

Holden Volt Rear

Holden Volt Rear

Before we reveal the price—which as we mentioned is not really a revelation, but more a restating of a already known amount—we’ll offer up some background as to why the Holden Volt’s sticker price is all of a sudden headline grabbing.

Recently, Holden put several journalists in New Zealand behind the wheel of some Volts.  The attempt by Holden was to convince journalists there that the Volt is a compelling vehicle.  Holden had no problem doing exactly that, as most of the published reviews rave on and on over the Volt.  That is, until its price must be mentioned.

No comprehensive review can overlook price and that’s where the Holden Volt gets torn apart.

As one reviewer stated:

“I do like the Volt. It’s frighteningly expensive at $85,000 (unjustifiably so compared with the American price) but a tantalising glimpse of a zero-emissions future…”

Holden New Zealand recently sold its first Volt, which was purchased by an Auckland IT consultant.  At $85,000 (a typical new automobile in New Zealand costs $35,500), we can’t help but wonder if the first Holden Volt sold might be close to the last.

Category: Holden

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12 responses to "Holden Volt is Frighteningly Expensive in New Zealand"
  1. Nelson says:

    The price issue of the Holden New Zealand Volt is easily remedied with a boycott. The power is in the hands of the consumer if they stand as one and demand a fair price for the Volt.


  2. Jason says:

    Good God, have the folks at GM lost their minds ??

    I would like to see how many sell.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      What makes you think GM is trying to gouge the people there? My understanding is the price gets lifted that high because of many tax levies etc. on this imported auto. They’re not trying to make/lose any more/less money on the Volt in Australia than they are in the US.

  3. MrEnergyCzar says:

    Must be some tariff, I thought China was bad…


  4. acevolt says:

    I wonder how many Nissan Leaf’s they have sold. It says on:
    That the leaf is $69,600.

    The Volt does cost $73,453 after being converted to US dollars. A mid grade Ford Focus costs AU$40K

    According to the New Zealand Customs website, there is no duty of vehicles:

  5. Suprise Cat says:

    Sucks when you depend 100% on imports…

  6. Malcolm Scott says:

    The headline of the Volt being frighteningly expensive in NZ is not news, or at least to New Zealanders; as the first line of the article attests. All the NZ road tests I’ve read clearly stated in their view the show stopper price, a wonderful car, but unaffordable (NZ context).

    The news is that despite the value attributes of the car, sales are not good. It’s fair to assume that the sales so far are not supporting the business case.

    For some context, NZ new car pricing suggests; Prius i-tech $66k, Lexus CT200h $55-73k, BMW320i auto $74k, Audi A4 FSI or TDI $72k (S-Line $78k). Many might argue that the Volt is a better driving experience than these, but there is no doubt that this ‘Holden’ is priced in the premium market, perhaps a little too high.

    Factors relevant to the NZ price:
    – Holden Volt configuration equates to a configuration priced in the US at about $43k, not the $39k that some cite, and certainly not the effective price of almost down to $30k that is available in some markets through subsidies that people crystallise their thinking on.
    – NZ exchange rate 0.82
    – Goods and Services Tax 15%

    Factors relevant to Volt sales in NZ:
    – Population 4.4 million
    – 2012 new car registrations 155,000 (Audi 2,700, BMW 3,800)
    – NZ economy is weak with a low GDP growth
    – Official cash rate 2.5%. Car finance loans seem to be around 11 – 13%. Not sure how much less for leases as I can’t find a published rate
    – No rebates or assistance to the buyer or seller
    – NZ electricity rates are rising rapidly (65% hydro, but drought ravaged at the moment)
    – Median income from salaries and wages about $800/wk (only 400,000 of the population earn more than 1,245/wk – compare that with the typical US Volt buyer)

    All this was known to Holden when they did the business case. So NZers are fortunate to have the choice to buy the Volt. Nevertheless it seems strange that few have seen the merit of a car that uses local energy (rather than oil import in a country sensitive to oil markets) and with linear powertrain torque characteristics that would make it a pleasant drive for NZ road conditions.

    However, it’s clear from sales success in Canada, UK, rest of Europe (except The Netherlands – special market conditions), US outside of California (special market conditions), and Australia, GM has a Volt pricing challenge to overcome.

    Outside the performance and brand value of the Corvette name, can the normal GM brands support a premium product and associated pricing?

    The Volt urgently needs to be reengineered for cost reduction and diversity of configurations, re business cased, and priced for the masses. The ELR fills the space for the premium product/market. 2015 model year seems a long way away for a car that to most of us has been in our thoughts for many long years.

    It will be fascinating to see how GM positions the Spark EV – compliance or transformational success?


    PS. For those not aware, the NZ car market is a little unusual. There is no longer a local assembly industry to be supported by any protecting tariff. There are distortions to new registration sales owing to grey (gray) imports of second hand vehicles from Japan and elsewhere. At least one major brand owns all its dealerships. Competing independent new car dealerships have a tough time surviving.

    From Wikipedia:
    “…and in 1998, New Zealand became one of the few countries in the world to remove all import tariffs on motor vehicles.

    Nevertheless, a great many used vehicles are imported, 94.6 per cent of which come from Japan. Most of the rest are German, such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen.[10] There are a smaller number of United States makes such as Chevrolet and Chrysler, which were built in right hand drive for the Japanese market.[11] Although in heavy decline from 2005[citation needed], used-vehicle import totals are higher than those of vehicles first registered in New Zealand. In 2006, 123,390 ex-overseas vehicles were registered, compared to 76,804 brand new vehicles.”

    Happy to be corrected by someone across the local ditch who is more certain of the facts.

    1. Bill Howland says:


      What is your new electricity rate in NZ? Also, why couldn’t someone get a plain Holden Volt in Sydney and export it?

  7. Future Leaf Driver says:

    The price is due to the Driver-less technology which the North American model does not feature. 😉

    Can you even guess what the ELR would less for there? Probably over $100 K!!!

  8. Martin T says:

    Gee I thought we had it bad in Australia – no support from Government, GMH markup.
    NZ many do they realize how many sheep a NZ sheep famer would have to sell to buy a NZ Volt – eeek.

    Even their Dairy famers are so tight it was always money losing proposition regarding overhauling pumps for them in NZ.
    The NZ are the traditional LONG Trouser pockets short arm types – to survive over there.

    Marketing decision ?


  9. vdiv says:

    It is time to start smuggling Volts into NZ.

  10. tom says:

    Looked at importing a car from England, as the pricing was way better there and after expenses, estimated the car would $ 10, 000 NZ less land and GST paid in NZ.

    Asked about warranty implications with Holden dealerships, and effectively got told that due the high cost of Warranty repairs and equipement to fault find, the warranty would not be available as a seperate purchase like it can be done overseas.

    Based on them saying that non warranty repairs were going to be very expensive, and it would not be wise to import one from England, we gave up on buying a Volt, and looked at a Toyota Prius C instead.

    In comparing fuel burn and Kms we normally travel, the Prius C won out as it is so economical both for fuel and for buying.

    We could buy two cars for the same price as the Volt here in NZ, and while not fully electric, based on the electric only price per Km of the Volt, @ 20 cents per KW, and roughly 80 Km per 11 Kw charge, so say $ 2.20 cents per 80 Km or 2. 75 cents per Km the Volt would be cheaper to run but with maintainance costs most likely more expensive.

    Compared to say buying one Prius C and travelling say for 5 years, and say 500 Km per week, this would be 130, 000 km.

    Cost of car would be about $ 37, 000.
    Cost of fuel over 5 years would be about @ 2.20 per litre based on 5 Km per litre = 26, 000 litres, or $ 57, 200.

    Total for five years would be $ 94, 200.

    For the Volt at $ 85, 000 and assuming all on electricity only, at 130, 000 km x 2.75 cents = $ 3,575.

    That in total is $ 88, 575.

    The Holden Volt should in theory be cheaper overall, but only by $ 5, 625 or only $ 22 or so per week more . If paying the car off via interest finance, then the Prius is going to be cheaper in interest as well.

    Based on previous experience with Holden repairs, and owning a Toyota / Holden both at high Kms, about the same distance travelled, I know… think the Toyota is going to be cheaper overall on repairs.

    The Toyota is rarely in for replacement parts but the Holden we have, is often in for warranty or repairs.

    I think if the Holden Volt came with a free serviceing for five years like the Toyota does, and a five year warranty, together with lower price of say $ 70, 000, and a good interest rate, then it will sell well.

    Toyota have priced the cars to sell well, and they have sold heaps and the iMiEV, Leaf and Volt have all been priced like they don’t want to sell them at all and not a lot have been sold worldwide.

    In NZ I don’t have the figures at the moment, but I think it is something like 3 imievs sold, and two volts sold and two or three leafs sold.

    The Priruc C has sold, I think, way more and it is reasonably new in NZ. We were told it had a 3 month waiting between ordering and getting, now it is the next two weeks.

    I like the Volt, I think though Holden in NZ are wary of pushing the car onto the market yet, and same with Mitsubishi and Nissan. Toyota is all go though. Not bringing in the Pirus Plug in though sigh. May look at getting a after market battery range extender kit instead.