DAVE Buttner's appointment is only the second time since 1990 that GM has sourced someone from outside the global car making giant’s doors to head up Holden’s Australian operations.
Here’s how Holden’s modern-era leadership has shaped up over the last two decades.
Described by colleagues as a passionate man who wanted what he thought was the right thing for the brand. Brought many ideas to the company – most of them good – including a 10-year plan to open up export markets.
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Detroit’s choice to succeed Hanenberger. He implemented Holden’s Daewoo-sourced products push, and introduced the VE Commodore-based Pontiac G8 to the US. Was said to be constantly worried about exchange rates.
Steered Holden through the global credit crunch, and is credited with talking a cash-strapped GM out of abandoning its far-flung Aussie outpost. Believed to have been the main driving force behind saving the Lang Lang proving ground from closure.
Secured Cruze production for Australia to help build volume after announcing his brief was to “ensure the Australian company survived and thrived as one of only seven GM sites capable of designing, building and selling its own products”.
In a surprise move, Dorizas was appointed to head up Holden after he was headhunted from Volkswagen to inject what GM believed would be a fresh approach for the car maker. His tenure, though, was brief; after launching the VF Commodore and boasting the brand could overtake market giant Toyota by 2020, he left after just six months in the job.
After the job lay in limbo for several months after Dorizas's departure, Bernhard was announced as the man who would steer Holden through its manufacturing shutdown. Jumped from GM Shanghai to oversee the Australian operations – the first time an Aussie had headed up the brand since 1990.
After guiding Toyota Australia through the closure of its Australian Camry manufacturing, Buttner set the course for the Japanese brand to hold on to its market share – a transition Holden has struggled to make.