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Reuss re-elected FCAI president
GM Holden chief wins another presidential term as veteran John Conomos leaves board
14 Apr 2009
HOLDEN chairman and managing director Mark Reuss has been re-elected president of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, 10 months after being drafted in to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of John Conomos from Toyota Australia.
Mr Reuss has impressed with his handling of a number of major industry issues since taking on the presidency, and was elected unopposed at the FCAI AGM last Wednesday.
The FCAI also elected two new board members – Sime Darby (and Peugeot Australia) managing director Rob Dommerson and GM Holden executive director of corporate affairs Jason Laird.
FCAI convention dictates that the president is supported by a senior executive from his own company because of the day-to-day responsibilities. Mr Laird has been effectively filling that role since July 1, so his election was a relative formality, while the experienced Mr Dommerson fills a vacancy caused by the recent retirement of Trevor Amery as chairman of Subaru Australia.
Although Mr Conomos remains chairman of Hino Motor Sales Australia, the truck company is not a member of the FCAI, so he was forced to relinquish his position on the FCAI executive committee after more than 15 years.
Left: Toyota's John Conomos.
FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar told GoAuto that Mr Conomos was a true enthusiast for the industry who continued to make his forthright views known.
“Everybody recognises the great service that he’s given to the industry,” said Mr McKellar. “He’s made a great contribution to the industry and to the Chamber in a number of capacities over a long period of time.
“The industry needs people like that who are prepared to go above and beyond their normal daily responsibilities and to take a leadership role for the betterment of all in the industry.” However, Mr McKellar noted that Mr Reuss had proven in a short time to be a worthy successor and had made a big impact in government circles, dealing with issues such as the Bracks Review, the GEC and the finance crisis.
“Mark has been heavily engaged on all of those issues and has had a very strong level of interaction with the government and particularly the industry minister Kim Carr.
“He’s established a very strong rapport and is now very well respected in government circles. He has a very effective presence in engaging those policy discussions with the government at this crucial time.
“Mark Reuss has been very much on the front foot and quite pro-active in terms of going out and promoting the broader industry issues, but behind the scenes as well.
“His engagement with government has been as strong as I’ve seen in the time I’ve been with the chamber. He’s developed very effective lines of communication into government and has demonstrated influence in helping to achieve some very substantial policy outcomes.” Honda Australia director Lindsay Smalley retains his position as chairman of the FCAI importer group. Other executive committee members to be re-elected were Toyota Australia president Max Yasuda, Mazda Australia MD Doug Dickson, Jaguar Land Rover Australia MD David Blackhall, Ford Australia president Marin Burela, Honda Australia MPE MD Stuart Strickland, Porsche Cars Australia MD Michael Winkler and Mitsubishi Australia president Rob McEniry.
Read more:Reuss named as the FCAI's incoming president
Conomos leaves the building
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