Holden Marketing Boss Suddenly Leaves Company8
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.
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Did you see the ad for the new Commodore? “For Sure”? AWFUL. The message was literally a mirror image copy of Hillary’s political campaign. Basically: “your life is chaos and you are a hopeless mess of a person, so you need to knuckle down to this type of stability that we tell you that you need”.
I would have fired the person that came up with that. I’m glad Barra did.
This guy (Harland) had no clue. How he moved up through the ranks is almost unbelievable. Glad he’s out.
I haven’t even seen the Commodore advertisement, only the Equinox add and that’s bad enough. But fair’s fair and even if the marketing gets people into the dealers they’re not buying.
The ugly Equinox looks low quality beside the local built Commodore of which many are still available and dealers are not in a hurry to sell. In fact many dealers have jacked the prices up, especially on SS Commodores.
And the new “Commodore”, looking more like a three year old Hyundai, is way overpriced for what is just another front wheel drive shopping trolley.
The rest of the lineup comes from Korea… say no more !!!!
Giving Harland the flick won’t help a company that has been mismanaged from the parent top down.
The Astra comes from Opel (PSA Groupe) in Germany, where the ZB Commodore is made.
The Equinox is made in Mexico.
That’s three models that aren’t made in Korea.
Know your product sourcing before you blurt out “fake news”.
The Astra comes from Poland and the Astra wagon from Britain, the Astra sedan (actually a Cruze) came from the Gunsan plant in Korea. The Colorado/Trailblazer comes from Thailand, where the Captiva7 (still available) is assembled from Korean kits.
Only the economy models come from Korea, and probably not for much longer. The Barina (Sonic) is probably on the way out and the Trax will replaced before the end of the year.
Not sure this guy will move the needle. Not too sure where the company will be in 2 years time once the PSA agreement runs its course…….
Holden has made a terrible error. Cadillac CTS should have been RHD for Australia, sold as Commodore. Would have been any easy Chinese import.
Insignia has been so well branded, should have replaced Malibu. This would have given OZ two sporty, top tier entries plus Astra and Cords. Adam would have been wise, too.
In addition, Buick Encore and Envision would have been a better match for Mazda, Honda, VW and Toyota quality. Acadia is small therefore Enclave and Traverse should have been sold instead.
Holden is a dead man walking do to years of bad quality Korean junk. I’d sooner buy Mazda or I’d looking for RWD a Charger.
Only that the CTS is not and has never been made in China…. so not as “easy” of an import.
And if the CTS’ replacement does come to Australia, it will be as a Cadillac, not as a Holden.
More importantly: those upset about the Commodore going FWD don’t understand who was buying it in masses and why… and it wasn’t because of its RWD drivetrain… the same goes for the Aurion, as well as the Kias and Hyundais that have quickly escalated to the top of the Australian car sales charts. Let’s understand the market and the movements within it first, eh?