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Mott to lead Opel in Australia

New chief: Opel Australia's newly-appointed managing director Bill Mott previously served as group marketing manager for mini and small cars are the brand's German headquarters.

GM Europe executive Bill Mott to oversee Opel’s return to Australia in 2012

Opel logo8 Sep 2011

By TERRY MARTIN

GENERAL Motors has announced the appointment of Bill Mott as the managing director of Opel Australia, effective November 1.

Mr Mott, 43, has spent the past 16 years with the US auto giant’s European brand, most recently serving as group marketing manager for mini and small calls at Opel headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany.

He will play a pivotal role in determining the success of the Opel’s relaunch in Australia, which kicks off in the second half of next year with the Corsa, Astra and Insignia.

Other models will join the line-up at a later date, although some, including the Ampera plug-in hybrid, will not be sold here due to similarities with Holden models (in this case the Volt, which also arrives next year), low sales prospects and/or incompatibility with brand’s upmarket positioning in Australia.

Commercial vehicles, including Movano, Vivaro and Combo, are off the agenda for now, but the all-new Zafira people-mover could make a return to Australia under Opel. The Meriva compact MPV is also under consideration.

Opel’s executive director of international operations Michael Klaus said Mr Mott, who was born in Norway and is said to speak fluent English, German and Portuguese, brought “in-depth marketing and international experience” to Opel Australia.

“Bill’s current portfolio includes Corsa and new-generation Meriva, and he has excellent international experience leading marketing functions in Germany, Switzerland and Portugal,” Mr Klaus said.

“This is an exciting time for Opel and Bill’s experience makes him ideal to lead the organisation and to launch the Opel brand in Australia.”

Opel Australia will be based at Holden headquarters in Port Melbourne, but, like Holden, comes under GM’s international operations structure. Mr Mott will report directly to Mr Klaus, but will also “maintain close working relationships” with GM Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux.

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