Holden launches Trax SUV

Two models of Holden's small Trax SUV are set to hit the New Zealand market.
Two models of Holden's small Trax SUV are set to hit the New Zealand market.

Small SUVs are appealing because of their versatility: they let drivers pick up the kids in the city and navigate rugged roads, now there's one that also enables motorists to shave.

Holden has packed its entry into the small SUV market, the Trax, with a bunch of features in a bid to wrestle sales from market leaders Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Nissan.

This includes a 240 volt electrical socket. The stated intention is that the socket can be used to charge laptops. But the company's director of planning and program management Maria Koutsimpiris said she has already tested it with her hair straighteners.

Other members of Holden's design team have used it to power their electric razors.
They say the buyers they are targeting with the Trax are style and cost conscience.

Their market research shows the vehicle appeals to both young childless couples and older, empty-nesters.

Sales and marketing executive director Philip Brook said most will be private buyers and most will be couples without children.

"If they do have kids they won't be at home,'' Mr Brook said.

He described them as - "pragmatic style-seekers'' - people who are very conscious of the look of their vehicle, but also mindful of cost.

Holden is eager to take a bite out of the sector which they say accounts for 20 per cent of SUV sales in Australia.

Ms Koutsimpiris said the category had grown "tremendously'', with sales jumping by more than 50 per cent from 2011 to 2012. "

It's one of the most booming segments of the market,'' she said.

The Holden Trax will go on sale next month.

Read a full report on the new Trax in this Saturday's Driven

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