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Holden’s Reuss to lead GM global vehicle engineering

Top job: Holden's Mark Reuss is headed home to Detroit head GM global vehicle engineering.

Another boost for Holden as Reuss is named GM’s new global engineering chief

Holden logo3 Aug 2009


GM HOLDEN has received another significant boost in the restructured General Motors with the announcement that outgoing chairman and managing director Mark Reuss will become vice-president of global vehicle engineering.

Credited with securing Holden’s manufacturing operations and maintaining its status as an integral member of GM as it sells off non-essential brands and downsizes its global operations, Mr Reuss will now return to Detroit as the architect and overseer of the US auto giant’s vehicle engineering programs worldwide.

As announced late last month, GM Holden’s executive director of sales, marketing and aftersales Alan Batey will replace Mr Reuss at the helm of the Australian operations.

In Detroit, Mr Reuss will replace group vice-president of global engineering Jim Queen, as well as GM North America vice-president of engineering Ed Koerner, both of whom will retire on October 1.

Another former GM Holden chairman, Denny Mooney, who returned to the US in 2007 to become vice-president of global vehicle systems and integration, has also “elected to retire” in October.

Nonetheless, Australia remains well represented at the highest levels of GM with Mr Reuss working alongside another champion of the Holden brand, Bob Luz, who is now vice-president of marketing and communications in the new organisation.

 center imageLeft: Former Holden chairman and MD Denny Mooney. Below: New Holden Chairman and MD Alan Batey.

International operations president Nick Reilly, who, along with Mr Lutz, is a member of GM’s executive committee and in recent weeks has reshaped the leadership team outside North America, also said Mr Reuss would remain “a strong friend” of Holden.

“At a time when the industry has been in crisis and where the parent company has been through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, Mark has championed the interests of Holden at every turn,” Mr Reilly said.

“He has played a pivotal role in ensuring it is an important part of the ‘New GM’. He achieved a great deal in a relatively short time and returns to a key role in GM where he will remain a strong friend of Holden.”

GM president and chief executive Fritz Henderson made the announcement last week, along with a number of other appointments and retirements that create a “simplified” leadership team.

“Our goal was to streamline our leadership team and put some of our best executives in positions where they can use their diverse perspectives and extensive global experience to create the new GM,” Mr Henderson said.

“The new GM leadership team includes people who have excelled in every area of the auto business, in every region of the world. This new GM team’s experience is unmatched, and it will be invaluable as we renew our commitment to building and selling great cars and trucks and serving the needs of customers around the globe.”

Mr Reuss, 45 - son of former GM President Lloyd Reuss - has worked for GM since 1983 in a number of senior vehicle development positions. He joined Holden 18 months ago from his role as executive director of global vehicle integration, safety and virtual development, a position which made him responsible for all areas of vehicle integration and performance, safety and mathematical design/analysis application for GM product programs worldwide.

Prior to that, he was executive director of North American vehicle systems and architecture.

Having risen through GM’s engineering ranks earlier in his career, Mr Reuss also started the GM Performance division in 2001 and was responsible for all associated production and racing cars. This was in addition to his role as executive director of architecture engineering.

Echoing Mr Reilly’s comments, federal industry minister Kim Carr said late last month that he was confident Mr Reuss’ appointment would be “a very good thing” for Australia.

“Mark Reuss has made a wonderful contribution not just to Holden, but to the broader Australian automotive industry,” Senator Carr said. “It is pleasing to see that General Motors shares our view of his enormous talents.

“It has been very rewarding working with him as he has successfully piloted Holden through some of the most challenging times in its history.

“Mark Reuss joins a growing cadre of global automotive executives with an intimate knowledge of the Australian car industry and its capabilities. That is a very good thing for this country, and we wish him every success.”

Mr Reuss is also president of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and will resign from that position when the FCAI board meets later this month.

Mr Batey, who officially becomes GM Holden chairman and managing director on September 1, will be appointed to the FCAI board at the meeting, while the executive committee will also determine who will serve as president until the next annual general meeting is held in April 2010.

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