Sim­coe’s quest

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

Mike Sim­coe, the Aus­tralian styling guru per­son­ally re­cruited by GM’s global prod­uct boss to head world­wide de­sign, says he is keep­ing an eye on Aus­tralia as Holden makes the tran­si­tion from man­u­fac­turer to im­porter.

It’s now emerged that Sim­coe was hand-picked for his de­sign post by Mark Reuss, who was the pres­i­dent of GM Holden in Fish­er­mans Bend be­fore be­ing re­called to the USA dur­ing GM’s near-death ex­pe­ri­ence in bank­ruptcy.

Reuss is now the sec­ond-high­est-ranked ex­ec­u­tive in GM, after CEO Mary Barra, and is a gen­uine ‘car guy’ with a lineup of clas­sic Corvettes in his garage at home. He was a high-pro­file vis­i­tor to the Indianapolis 500 and even trav­elled to Le Mans in June to help push the fac­tory Corvettes onto the start­ing grid be­fore driv­ing one of the re­tired rac­ers at the Good­wood Fe­si­val of Speed.

As Sim­coe set­tles into his new brief he con­fesses his pas­sion for good cars in Aus­tralia. He will not have a de­cid­ing vote but could help any push for a new-age V8 – ei­ther Ca­maro or Corvette – to take over as the Euro­pean re­place­ment for the Com­modore switches to four-cylin­der and turbo V6 power.

“If you’re ask­ing me about a rear-wheel drive per­for­mance V8… I un­der­stand the things this mar­ket needs, so I will cer­tainly help wher­ever I can,” says Sim­coe.

“Some peo­ple at Holden have al­ready asked the ques­tion.”

Sim­coe’s pri­or­ity for Aus­tralia, as part of his global brief, is to keep the com­pany rel­e­vant and ap­peal­ing.

“I recog­nise the need for a nice prod­uct that cre­ates per­for­mance as­pi­ra­tion or as­pi­ra­tion for the brand it­self, and I will help make that hap­pen. But I won’t do it in an ir­ra­tional way. I was in­tensely loyal and pas­sion­ate about Holden, but I was al­ways ra­tio­nal and I will re­main that.”

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