Aussie to lead GM design globally
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