Another shakeup has hit Holden. The brand’s chief marketer, Mark Harland, suddenly left the company on Monday after just 16 months on the job.
A Holden statement said Harland “has decided to leave Holden and General Motors, after a career spanning more than 20 years.” It’s unclear where the now-former Holden exec will end up. Harland faced an enormous challenge in the wake of his appointment: begin redefining Holden’s image as local manufacturing ended and imported products began filling out the portfolio.
Under his watch, Holden launched the Astra hatch and sedan, Holden Equinox and the 2018 Holden ZB Commodore, based on the Opel Insignia. He was also involved in Holden’s Supercars transition from V8 engines to a new 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 engine. However, Harland himself last week announced development of the engine was shelved in favor of the current 5.0-liter V8 engine.
Holden’s sales have also dwindled consistently. In March, the brand barely cracked the top 10 sales chart with 5,166 vehicles sold. When Harland entered Holden, the brand was still moving around 8,000 cars per month.
The Australian subsidiary was quick to name Harland’s replacement, however. Taking over the job is Holden New Zealand managing director Kristian Aquilina. The executive is best known in Australia for helping launch the VT Commodore, the best-selling iteration of the nameplate ever.