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New chiefs for Chrysler, Renault in Australia

Under new management: Clyde Campbell (left) joins Chrysler whilst Justin Hocevar (right) heads to Renault.

Ex-Benz sales boss to lead Chrysler, while former Mini man Hocevar joins Renault

9 Sep 2010

TWO new managing directors have been announced this week for car companies operating in Australia, with Chrysler hiring former DaimlerChrysler executive Clyde Campbell and Renault appointing ex-Mini national manager Justin Hocevar.

A former sales general manager for Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific (2004-2007) and most recently managing director of car industry web development firm Motortrak, Mr Campbell fills the slot created by Gerry Jenkins’ move to Chrysler China last month.

With Chrysler now divorced from Mercedes-Benz and operating out of the Fiat-owned Iveco Trucks Australia headquarters in Melbourne, Mr Campbell will officially start on October 1 and report directly to Chrysler Asia Pacific Operations CEO, John Kett.

 center imageLeft: Former Renault Australia managing director Rudi Koenig. Below: Chrysler Asia Pacific Operations CEO John Kett.

At Renault, Mr Hocevar replaces Rudi Koenig, who left the struggling French brand suddenly this week after 34 years with Nissan-Renault.

In a statement, Renault Australia said Mr Koenig, who is a former finance executive at Nissan and had been in the top job at Renault for the past seven years, “played a pivotal role in the re-establishment of Renault in Australia, forging a core business model and product base from which Renault can drive its next stage of growth”.

“Renault Australia has acknowledged the contribution, commitment and effort Mr Koenig made to the both the Renault and Nissan operations in Australia,” the company said.

GoAuto has contacted Renault for the reasons behind Mr Koenig’s departure, but is yet to receive a response.

Mr Hocevar left BMW Group Australia (which includes Mini) in April “to pursue other interests” and has since been working as a director of Performance Canoes & Kayaks.

He now faces the challenge of improving the position of Renault, sales of which are down 33 per cent this year while the overall market has climbed 15 per cent.

At Chrysler, Mr Kett said the company was pleased to have Mr Campbell lead the Australian team “given his wealth of knowledge and decade of experience in the automotive industry”.

“Over the next 24 months Chrysler is set to renew or replace virtually its entire line-up and Clyde will be an integral part of this process,” Mr Kett said.

Mr Campbell held a number of positions at the former DaimlerChrysler organisation, including regional manager for NSW and the ACT, and rose to the newly created Mercedes sales chief role in May 2004.

He left the company in December 2007 to pursue opportunities within the Mercedes-Benz retail network, and subsequently joined Motortrak, which is headquartered in the UK but also has offices in Australia and the US.

Mr Campbell has a Bachelor of Law from Monash University and an MBA from RMIT. Before entering the car industry, he held positions in business finance and corporate law, working on projects including the privatisation of public utilities and the public float of Telstra.

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