Mark Harland, Holden’s now ex-chief marketer, stayed on the job for 15 months during a crucial time. He oversaw the launch of European-sourced vehicles and remained in place while Holden officially shut down its manufacturing division. But, the executive’s marketing and advertising tactics never translated to showroom traffic or sales.
Holden slipped to 10th place on the sales chart in March, and Harland announced he was leaving the company earlier this month. Replacing him is Kristian Aquilina, and dealerships are thrilled to see the executive rise to the top. GoAuto reported last Thursday that Australian dealerships had long begged Holden to move Aquilina into the top marketing role. Aquilina has led Holden New Zealand since 2015, and under his leadership, the brand stuck at the number three spot on the sales chart.
He’s also been responsible for implementing enormously successful marketing and ad campaigns in New Zealand. Many Australian dealers credit Holden’s success there to the ads. Dealer sources told the publication that his appointment was an “answer to our prayers.”
Dealers have also told the publication that mixed marketing messages have left Australian consumers without a picture of what Holden stands for today, post manufacturing. It doesn’t help that the brand has had five chief marketers in nine years without any consistency.
After calls to adopt Holden New Zealand’s marketing tactics without any response from Holden corporate, Aquilina will reside at the brand’s headquarters in Fishermans Bend. A sample of Holden NZ’s lauded ad campaign can be seen below.