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by Tim Beissmann

Uncanny, isn’t it?

Separated at birth? Or taking ‘equal opportunity’ too literally? Opel Australia managing director, William Mott, and GM Holden chairman and managing director, Mike Devereux.

The man on the left is William Mott, the new managing director of Opel Australia, while the man on the right is Mike Devereux, managing director and chairman of sister company, GM Holden.

Mr Mott may have (slightly) more hair than Mr Devereux, but we’re sure the stress of a few months at the top of Australia’s newest car brand will soon see him take on an equally streamlined appearance.

The similarities between Opel and Holden certainly don’t stop at the top either.

Opel Australia will open the doors to its local showrooms in the second half of 2012, with a range of vehicles as familiar as its head honcho.

The Astra – having previously established itself as a favourite in Australia as a Holden – will spearhead the range and become the volume seller for the brand.

The compact Corsa, set to take on the likes of the Volkswagen Polo, was also adorned with a silver lion badge in a past life, although here it was known as the Barina.

And waiting in the wings, currently unconfirmed for the Australian market, is the Opel Zafira, which enjoyed modest sales success for Holden in its previous-generation guise.

The medium/large Opel Insignia will also join the initial launch line-up in 2012, and is certain to steal sales from the Australian-made Holden Commodore.

Mr Mott has spent the past 16 years with Opel in Europe, and most recently held the position of Adam Opel Haus group marketing manager for mini and small cars. He will assume the position of Opel Australia managing director on November 1.

The 43-year-old was born in Norway, speaks three languages, and has a Masters in Business Administration. He has been heavily involved with the marketing of the Corsa and Meriva MPV overseas.

Opel Australia will operate separate from sister company Holden, although as the two are part of General Motors’ International Operations structure, Opel Australia and GM Holden will be co-located at the existing Port Melbourne headquarters.

Mr Mott will report directly to Opel executive director of international operations, Michael Klaus, and will maintain a close working relationship with Mr Devereux.




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