Holden Boss Mike Devereux Moving Back To GM At Year's End Photo:
Mike Stevens | Oct, 25 2013 | 3 Comments

General Motors veteran executive Mike Devereux will move on to other duties within the company at the end of this year, after three years at the helm of Holden.

Announcing the move today, Holden confirmed Mr Devereux has been appointed GM CIO (Consolidated International Operations) Vice President for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales. Devereux will report to former Volvo boss, Stefan Jacoby.

Mr Devereux will begin his new duties on November 1, but will remain responsible for leading Holden in Australia and New Zealand until the end of the year.

The British-born and Canadian-raised executive's new boss is based in Shanghai, where GM's global manufacturing chief Tim Lee is also stationed.

Mr Devereux became Chairman and Managing Director of Holden in March 2010, in the wake of the global financial crisis, GM's bankruptcy proceedings and the offloading of Hummer and Saab.

He led Holden through high points such as the launch of the locally-manufactured Cruze range and, more recently, the massively overhauled VF Commodore.

Mr Devereux has been an enthusiastic supporter of Australian manufacturing and a key figure in keeping the company's local operations alive beyond 2016.

His time in Australia has not been without its low points however, with tough market conditions moving the carmaker to announce a number of redundancies in recent years.

Holden is in ongoing negotiations for further taxpayer assistance to keep its manufacturing operations alive, and parent GM has stalled on plans for new locally-produced models until discussions are complete.

The carmaker has denied today that Mr Devereux's coming departure is a sign of plans to wind-down local manufacturing, confirming that talks with the government will continue.

It is more likely however that Mr Devereux's exit will impact on the future of Holden manufacturing. The appointment of the next Holden managing director will likely indicate General Motors' intentions with its small Australian subsidiary.

If GM appoints another engineer to the top spot, we can likely expect a push for continued local production. If a marketing executive steps up, that will be an ominous sign for Holden's manufacturing future in Australia.

Watch this space.

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