WHY HOLDEN’S TOP JOB IS VA­CANT

Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL - Twit­ter: @JoshuaDowl­ing

AS Holden pre­pares to name its sixth boss in six years, more de­tails are emerg­ing about the sud­den de­par­ture of Gerry Dorizas after barely six months in the job.

Our ini­tial spec­u­la­tion was on the mark. He got Holden’s 220-plus deal­ers off­side from the start by blam­ing them for Holden’s sales slide. The tally is at a 21-year low.

For­mer Holden boss Mike Dev­ereux — now Asia-Pa­cific head of sales for GM — found out how badly re­la­tions had soured on a rou­tine visit about a fort­night ago. A week later, Dorizas was gone.

The dealer net­work has car­ried Holden for the past five years as its age­ing line-up bat­tled newer com­pe­ti­tion. A turn for the bet­ter is a long way away, with no gen­uinely new cars ar­riv­ing for at least 18 months.

Next year Holden will re­badge a hand­ful of Opels we’ve seen be­fore (the Opel ex­per­i­ment failed after 11 months). Limited edi­tion Com­modores will keep the fac­tory mov­ing, as will mi­nor touch-ups on other mod­els.

Rather than chal­leng­ing Toy­ota for top-seller sta­tus, as Dorizas boldly claimed, Holden is in fact on the start of an even big­ger sales slide.

It gives me no joy to fore­cast this but Holden prob­a­bly will be bat­tling for fourth place (as Mazda and Hyundai vie for third) be­fore the fac­tory closes in 2017.

Ac­cord­ing to in­sid­ers, no one from Detroit wants to take on the top Holden job. Any won­der?

Holden’s peak dealer body has writ­ten to GM re­gional boss Ste­fan Ja­coby to re­quest a new Holden boss with “an in­ti­mate un­der­stand­ing of the Aus­tralian mar­ket”.

That is tipped to be for­mer Holden CFO Mark Bern­hard, now in China. If ap­pointed he would be the first Aus­tralian in almost a quar­ter of a cen­tury to run Holden.

He cer­tainly would have the tough­est job in his 28year ca­reer with GM.

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