Aussie to lead GM de­sign glob­ally

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Designer -

Mike Sim­coe is a Holden Com­modore V8 driver. It’s a car he knows, loves and helped to create. But park­ing that car is one of the mi­nor sac­ri­fices he has to make this year as he takes up the top job in his field at Gen­eral Mo­tors in Detroit, USA. There will be more travel, that’s for sure, and he will have less time with his wife and two 20-some­thing daugh­ters, but the up­side from his pro­mo­tion is way big­ger than any down­side. He’s even plan­ning to swap his home­grown Com­modore for a V8-pow­ered and fully-loaded Cadil­lac CTS-V.

Sim­coe has just been tapped to be­come the first non-Amer­i­can to lead global de­sign at GM and only the sev­enth per­son in 107 years – fol­low­ing such leg­ends as Har­ley Earl and Bill Mitchell – to earn the post.

It makes him one of the most suc­cess­ful Aus­tralians in the his­tory of mo­tor­ing, only trail­ing such leg­ends as Sir Jack Brab­ham and former Ford pres­i­dent Jac Nasser.

Sim­coe is known best at home as the fa­ther of the born-again Holden Monaro, ironic for some­one who had a poster of the orig­i­nal Holden hero on his bed­room wall when he was a teenager.

Yet, talk­ing ex­clu­sively to Aus­tralian Mus­cle Car, he says he does not want to be de­fined by the Monaro.

“The whole Coupe and then Monaro con­cept and pro­duc­tion pro­ject was a dream job, on­cein-a-life­time, and all that,” Sim­coe says. “It is sig­nif­i­cant, but it would bother me if that is all I seem to have achieved. The Aus­tralian de­sign team has done much bet­ter work.”

He’s had a huge im­pact at Holden on a wide va­ri­ety of things, even down to the ‘hero’ colours adopted for many years as a sig­na­ture on the

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