Holden sees red over changing lights
Holden Commodore drivers are joining the Monaro craze by dressing up their sedans with parts designed exclusively for the two-door – but Holden would rather they didn't.
Holden's head of design and father of the Monaro, Michael Simcoe, says enthusiast owners who fit the Monaro's unique headlights and tail-lights to their sedans are "watering down the image" of the $60,000 coupe.
"The more Commodores there are out there, the more people want to make them unique," he said.
To rein in production costs, Holden designed the Monaro lights to fit in the same apertures as those on the Commodore sedan. Savvy owners have wasted no time replacing their original lights with those from the flagship model.
"I'm disappointed it's happening so quickly after the Monaro went on sale but we can't stop people from doing it," Simcoe said. "Ultimately, the car owner has the final say on how the car looks."
Holden says it has distributed spare Monaro headlights, tail-lights and bumpers to its dealers but does not know how many have been sold to non-Monaro owners.
A Monaro headlight is $295 compared with $187 for the base Commodore but that is still relatively cheap for a headlight. The Monaro's front bumper is $90 dearer and the tail-light is $5 cheaper.
"We're not going to charge artificially more for Monaro parts because that's not fair on our Monaro customers," said Holden's marketing manager for large cars, John Elsworth. "It's not feasible to get proof of ownership of every request for a Monaro part."
Justin Thompson, the 26-year-old designer who spent a year working on the Monaro's intricately detailed lights, said: "I guess it's a compliment to the design, but as a designer you prefer to see things how you designed them originally, rather than mixed and matched between different models."
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