The lion that roared
IM’ GOING to miss Mark Reuss. You have to admire any chairman of GM Holden who lands from the US wearing an HSV lapel pin and then parks a 48-215 in his garage, before upgrading his private ride to a restoration job on an FC Holden.
But that’s personal opinion and Reuss deserves admiration for what he has done in only 18 months at Fishermans Bend. It’s no stretch at all to say he has saved Holden.
Reuss rationalised and reorganised the Red Lion brand locally and, crucially, won approval and finance to begin small-car production in Australia. The introduction of the Holden Cruze is the key to the company surviving the enormous downturn in large-car sales in Australia and building a viable future as the Commodore declines.
He also cemented the financial plan that allowed the company to survive the global shake-out triggered by GM’s move into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
He may be an engineer, but the son of former GM president Lloyd Reuss also has financial acumen. Rivals say he also can be a tiger in a meeting.
Reuss is succeeded as Holden’s chairman by the livewire sales chief Alan Batey, who knows what his boss has in place.
The only question now is what Mark Reuss will do in the ‘‘new GM’’ organisation. He heads back to a top-20 job, but his exact post will not be revealed until later today.