5min read
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ANZ rejects broader findings o... NEXT ARTICLE Bankwest to close 29 branches...

The former boss of Toyota Australia, Dave Buttner, will take charge of rival car brand Holden.

Mr Buttner will replace current Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard, who will retire at the end of July.

‘I am honoured and energised by this incredible opportunity to lead Holden, a company which is part of the fabric of our country,’ Mr Buttner said in a statement on Wednesday.

‘I look forward to working with our people, our dealers and our partners to grow our business and get more and more Australian and New Zealand drivers behind the wheel of more and more Holdens.’

The change comes after both Holden and Toyota last year shut down their local manufacturing operations to contrasting results.

In the first six months of this year, Holden’s sales in Australia fell more than 22 per cent while Toyota’s grew by 2.6 per cent and it remains the market leader.

Mr Buttner was president of Toyota Australia from 2014 until December last year, and had previously worked in senior marketing, corporate affairs and product planning roles.

General Motors International president Barry Engle said the company believed his track record and understanding of the local market made him the right person to take charge.

‘GM’s most senior leadership strongly believe that we have a rare jewel in Holden, an iconic Australian brand that understands the needs of Australian and New Zealand drivers,’ Mr Engle said.

‘Dave’s mandate is to work closely with our dealer network to win more customers for life, grow Holden’s market share and ensure our business is strong and profitable for the long term.’

Mr Bernhard, who steered Holden through its local production shutdown, was appointed chairman and managing director in July 2015 after beginning his career in the auto industry with the company in 1986.

‘Holden is where it all started for me,’ he said.

‘It has been an honour to lead Holden as we laid the foundation for a new future of this iconic Australian company.

‘Holden was born here and has a special place in our hearts.’