Automotive industry veteran Dave Buttner will become Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden, with Mark Bernhard to retire from Holden and the wider GM group at the end of July, the company announced today.
The leadership transition comes at an important time for the Holden business, as it seeks to leverage its “strongest ever vehicle portfolio to win more customers, grow sales and strengthen GM Holden for the future,” said GM Executive Vice President and President of GM International Barry Engle.
“Dave’s proven track record and understanding of Holden’s markets – and the company’s potential in those markets – makes him the right leader for this next phase in the evolution of the business,” said Engle.
“GM’s most senior leadership strongly believe that we have a rare jewel in Holden, an iconic Australian brand that understands the needs of Australian and New Zealand drivers.
“Dave’s mandate is to work closely with our dealer network to win more customers for life, grow Holden’s market share and ensure our business is strong and profitable for the long term.
“Holden has all the building blocks for future success, including the best and most comprehensive vehicle portfolio in Holden’s history; the introduction of Maven, OnStar and GM Financial; and the ongoing global design and engineering work that continues in Australia.
“Dave is an outstanding leader with a peerless record of success in Australia and New Zealand. Holden will have a strong future under Dave’s leadership.”
“As Mark hands over the reins of Holden, I want to recognise all of his contributions over his career at GM. I appreciate his passion and commitment to Holden during his tenure as Chairman and Managing Director and throughout his career,” said Engle.
Bernhard said the opportunity to lead the company where he began his career in 1986 has been a privilege.
“Holden is where it all started for me. It has been an honour to lead Holden as we laid the foundation for a new future of this iconic Australian company,” said Bernhard.
“I am grateful to GM and the terrific people I have worked with through a career that spanned Australia, Europe, the US, Singapore and China – exceeding my wildest dreams when I joined the company as a fresh-faced eager graduate.
“Holden was born here and has a special place in our hearts. I wish Dave and his team every success for the future.”
Buttner has had an extensive 40-year career in the automotive industry, having most recently been President of Toyota Motor Corporation in Australia from May 2014 to December 2017. In his time at Toyota, Dave performed senior roles in Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing, Corporate Affairs and Product Planning and Development. Throughout these roles, Dave maintained a focus on customers and dealers. Buttner also led Toyota on its transition from a manufacturer and distributor to an importer and national sales company.
He will begin as Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden on 1 August 2018.
“I am honoured and energised by this incredible opportunity to lead Holden, a company which is part of the fabric of our country,” said Buttner.
“I look forward to working with our people, our dealers and our partners to grow our business and get more and more Australian and New Zealand drivers behind the wheel of more and more Holdens.”