General Motors executive vice president and president of global product and Cadillac, Mark Reuss, says Holden is here to stay. The executive once again reinforced GM’s commitment to Australia and said the market is a “worthwhile place to do business.”
Car Advice reported Tuesday on Reuss’ comments, which he gave after announcing the brand would bring on 150 new engineers and fold Holden engineering into the GM Advanced Vehicle Development Team. Reuss has a history with Holden, too; the executive served as the brand’s chairman and managing director from 2008 to 2009.
But, Reuss admitted Australia is a tough and crowded market with dozens of automaker competing for a small pool of customers. He said it’s “really tough to win in [Australia],” but GM will continue backing the division with full support.
“This is part of who we are, and always has been,” Reuss said “Either we’re in the game or we’re not.” He added there’s no “exit plan” to pull the plug on Australian and Holden altogether.
Holden has sunk in the past year to a shadow of its former self. The brand carries a marginal 4.6 percent market share as of July, down from 7 percent year-over-year. Holden once held over 20 percent of the market in the early 2000s.
The brand’s most recent hire, Dave Buttner, a veteran of Toyota and Ford Australia, hopes to right the ship and has already begun touring Holden dealerships to understand what’s needed to communicate the division’s portfolio of vehicles on sale now, and what’s needed in the future to succeed.