Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux has earned a promotion within General Motors that will see him leave his post as head of the local car maker at the end of 2013.

Devereux will assume the role of GM consolidated international operations (CIO) sales, marketing and aftersales vice president from November 1 while continuing to manage the GM Holden team until the end of December, when a replacement will be named.

GM CIO executive vice president Stefan Jacoby said Devereux would be well suited to the expanded role in the “diverse [and] complex” CIO region, which includes more than 100 countries and territories in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

“Mike’s extensive international and cross-functional knowledge of our business will be critical as we look to position CIO for success in the coming years,” Jacoby said.

Devereux’s departure will take place almost four years after he assumed his current post, in March 2010. His replacement will become the seventh leader of GM’s Australian operations in little more than a decade, with Peter Hanenberger, Denny Mooney, Chris Gubbey, Mark Reuss and Alan Batey all spending time at the top since 2003.

Holden VF Commodore Mike Devereux media scrum

Devereux has been one of the more outspoken Holden managers in recent times.

He has been a persistent and vocal campaigner for additional government funding for Australia’s struggling automotive manufacturers.

He has been an unwavering believer in its viability, insisting as recently as May that the industry could still “thrive” into the future with adequate support.

Devereux became a prominent figure in the lead up to this year’s federal election, calling for bipartisan support for the industry from Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard.


In March 2012, he was central to the negotiation of a $275 million co-investment package with federal and state governments designed to help Holden produce two new cars (later revealed to be next-generation versions of the Commodore and Cruze) and shore up its local manufacturing future until 2022. Holden’s future remains up in the air, however, as the car maker renegotiates funding with the newly appointed Abbott Government.

Devereux has overseen a turbulent financial period for Holden since assuming the lead role. The car maker announced a $112 million profit for 2010 after five consecutive years of losses, but slumped to its second-worst result in history last year, announcing a $152.8 million loss in May.

Holden’s sales fell from 132,923 in 2010 to 114,665 in 2012, and the negative trend has continued this year, with sales down 4.0 per cent with three months remaining.

Despite this, sales of locally manufactured Holdens increased from 59,362 in 2010 to 69,077 last year, though have fallen 22.8 per cent so far this year.

  • O123

    What has he achieved that makes him deserve a promotion?

    • Daniel D

      Putting up with the whining Australian public for one thing.

    • Josh K

      Leeching off our government for US multinationals

      • Andy Whitby

        Please leeching, the Australian auto industry receives the least amount of assistance (in any form) per capita out all industries in Australia and also all auto-industries globally.

        He has been campaigning with the opinion that if the Government expects them to compete globally, that they playing field should be level. At the moment is like thought a jockey into State of Origin if you compare us internationally.
        Although with the shoe string budget they have to work with both Holden and Ford do fantastic work, that is globally competitive. Toyota also does wonders with the lethargic Camry and Aurion with their localisation of said vehicles.

    • MattOz

      Making gullible workers agree to a freeze in wage increases when he himself should have had the decency of taking a pay cut

  • $29896495

    Holden are falling back behind 2010 numbers – on track to 53,327 – interesting such a big loss would bring a promotion (Do GM operate in Siberia) That would say that the new Commodore is NOT a success.

    • Andy Whitby

      Ah that’s because for the first 6 months of the year VE Commodore was in run out. Which was (as far as run outs go…) highly successful, when VF Commodore hit show rooms you would have been hard pressed to find anything but VE Omegas on the lot, you couldn’t get a V8. They basically ran out of Commodores.

      However every full month of sale for the VF has been up YTD and Year on Year for Commodore sales. I would consider that success, considering the car came 2 years late and wasn’t the all new Commodore Holden wanted it to be.

      • Guest

        Correct Andy – thanks for taking the time to reply to those who don’t have a clue

      • Helmut

        Exactly Andy, many on this site don’t have a clue, flap their mouths off and get caught out all the time. Doesn’t stop them though

  • lazyboneslewis

    no sure who regenerates quicker..Dr who or Holden CEO.

  • Superbee440

    GM has invested $1billion dollars on the Cadillac factory in China, furthermore they have been quoted that they would invest a further $11 billion by 2016 to expand their combined production capacity by 30% to five million vehicles a year. Now 2016 is the year that Holden have been quoted they will reassess their future in Australia.

    Goodbye Holden!!!

    • Go

      & Good Riddance !!!

  • Sumpguard

    Sadly I think he has jumped from a sinking ship.

    • john

      “Sadly”. I say good riddance to a poorly run, supposedly privately run company that does nothing except hold a gun to the taxpayers head every year to get more and more free money!

      • Well Said

        100 % Spot On

        Well said. john

        Good to see the back end of GM HOLDEN.
        A lot of THAT money found its way to their funded V8 supercars.
        Thus giving a unbalanced playing field.

      • Captain Nemo®™

        If you’re so unhappy with taxpayers money being spent on our car industry feel free to move to a country that doesn’t help its auto manufacturers in some way. I don’t think you will find many to choose from. as others have said we have amongst the lowest tariff protection and give the least dollars. I am more that happy to see our taxes help Toyota & Holden stay in business and all the parts manufacturers too. If every other country gave as little protection and help as we do, Europe US & Japan would all move production to China or India in a heartbeat. So which country are you moving to champ?

        • Sumpguard


        • JooberJCW

          Agree, and remember the company and workers pay tax so the money comes back in one way through the system.

          though what I would like to see is executive renumeration get vetted by the government so to be more honest in giving it a try to keep the operation running in aus.

      • the truth

        when 50,000 lose there job where will the go john? toyota will go to you know. its one of the largest aussie employers and you laugh it up. peoples jobs there. soo un-aussie of you john!

      • Paul

        Considering the return on investment for the automotive industry is very high. It would be sad to loose the industry. But Im sure it wont exist after 2016. Instead the government will be taxing us higher to make up the loss and some 3rd world country will be reaping the rewards instead. We’re talking a cost of $20 per person a year , with a $27 per $1 invested return for the government.

  • barry

    This story has mixed outcomes.Mr Devereux an American running GMH.Is fighting hard not just for Holden but also Toyota.To keep the dream of Australian manufacturing alive.Against enormous odds,with bad Government Polocy (all partys),high AU$,and dishonest free trade agreement partners.Also the new government iron fist approach has put Holden CEO in a difficult position.
    However in Mr Devereux promotion he can still bat for Holden in a more senior position.Maby even get Holden some new export markets.

    • Daniel D

      I think you will find he is Canadian, which is a good thing. He has more of a clue about the world and yes I agree with you. I think he will be an advocate for Holden.

      • barry

        Thanks for that Daniel D,as a Canadian is view of the world would be different.

        • barry


    • MarksmanR

      Don’t understand how AUD is too high considering right now, it is the same as CAD, lower than USD, CHF, much lower than EUR, GBP…

      Even the NZD has been catching up to AUD this year.

  • Todd

    Goodbye Holden’s bald shiny head eagle. U won’t be missed… FOMOCO forever. Holden ship is sinking further and further everyday and it makes me happier

    • barry

      Your taxes will be paying for all the unemployed that the sinking Holden ship will create.

      • Dave W

        Probably cheaper than the half billion they’re asking. And at least we know the money goes to the workers, not to pay the salary, perks and bonuses for the bosses.

        • john

          Exactly. All I hear day after day is the economic impact of the job losses. Why not for once does someone add up all the money given to these joke companies who are supposed to be private yet are more government run because they cannot support themselves and compare it too the amount of money it will cost in welfare. I think Dave would be right that it would cost far less to put these people on the dole!

          • boom

            it wouldn’t be cheaper at all. its cheaper to fund holdens. ford in euro is being given billions to help keep them alive.

      • Dear Barry

        No different to ALL the HAND-OUTS Holden has been from the Govt. anyway.

        • barry

          The local industry employes around 65,000 indirectly.They all pay taxes and adding the GST component on all parts.Not forgetting the loss of revenue in what where once tarrifs to the government.
          Electrolux the the last vaccum cleaner made here in a place called Orange pulled the plug yesterday.Wish you people would get your heads out of your backside and act like Australians for once in your life.

          • JooberJCW

            and lets say 65,000 pay 10,000 on average per year on taxes, and spend $20,000 on personal goods and services @ 10% GST,

            $650m and $150m into the economy per year is more than half a billion over a number of years. Do the maths.

    • Many feel just the same

      Yeah makes me laugh too as much as the local pub did when Greg Murphy hit that concrete wall at Bathurst.!
      Nicely put Todd

    • Daniel D

      Yeah because one American car company sacking Australians (Ford) isn’t enough for you.

  • Jacob

    Does he still want his kids to grow up in Melbourne, as he kept saying until now?

  • gtrxuone

    This story has now made the electronic media.The federal government is filthy on General Motors for removing Bob Devereux during the negociations between Holden and the government.Both state and federal.This does send a message imo that General Motors can no longer operate in Australia.To be perfectly honest don’t blame Holden for pulling out if they do.
    Just hope its no more than a promotion for the hard working Australian head.You would assume the replacement would come from within Holden given the complex issues they have been dealing with for a while now.

    • Phil

      who is Bob Devereux?

      • gtrxuone

        I stand corrected.

  • Wtf!

    And stay out!

  • Armyboy

    He completed the destruction of Holden and Australian car industry, now that he completed his mission, he can move on to Detroit ha! What a promotion!

    • Daniel D

      He didn’t oversee any such thing and indeed has been on the record supporting Holden and the Australian car industry more then any recent GM, Ford or Toyota executive. He also isn’t being promoted to Detroit if you had read any of the articles about his recent promotion.

      Did you spell your name right?

  • Dave W

    “The industry would still thrive into the future with adequate support.”

    If the industry is thriving, it wouldn’t need much support at all. Certainly not the half billion dollars.

    • Tom

      Everyone of your comments on this story is filled with a complete lack of understanding of anything. It’s not thriving right now due to the incredibly difficult economic climate etc, he didn’t say it was. He said it will thrive in the future.

  • Andy Whitby

    You know I don’t get every body’s whining about Government co-investment which probably amounts to $300 per year, the auto industry returns billions $ into the economy per year in the form of:
    -Income tax
    -Revenue (export and local)
    -Research and design
    If the auto industry were to collapse tomorrow it would be devastating for our economy, not to mention the something like 60k people who would rock up on Centrelink’s door needing assistance, which is going to be on-going and long term while retraining occurs. Which I can assure you would be more then what the government will dish out in co-investment. Also there wont be any sort of return on that money what so ever.

    • Dave W

      If that’s the logic, then the govt should be subsidising every struggling companies in Australia. After all, they will keep employing people and return the money in terms of income tax, revenue and sales as well… right?

      And my question is still left unanswered. Why don’t we hear the bosses take any pay cut while they keep cutting the staff with redundancy?

      Meh, at least Ford did the honorable thing and just bow out. GM is trying to squeeze more money from the govt AND THEN call it quits. No wonder their nickname in America is “Government Motor”.

      Look at Toyota Australia. They’re struggling too but at least their HQ still send money down here to invest on that new $330million engine plant with $63million govt assistance to build and export those engines. I’m sure they received more but at least they’re showing us what they’re doing with the money.

      Now look at GM Holden. What exactly have they done in terms of business strategy? Oh yeah, sponsor Collingwood and NRL and beg for more money.

      If the govt is going to give out half a billion, I’d rather have the money go to Toyota Australia.

      • Anthony

        You will find that VE commodore was built using some investment from government.
        Local production of Cruze, my14 cruze update,
        VF development, All used government investment.
        The next crop of funding will be for the next gen cruze and commodore. 500 million over 10 years isnt all that much considering VE cost over a billion on its own.
        I would hardly say you cant see where the money has gone,
        No you should not support all failing industry. But weather you like it or not this particular industry is of national significance. Ford bowed out because Aus was no longer part of their long term plans. The decision was made many years ago when they decided to not go ahead with local focus production. Holden has invested in local production of a small car and committed to it as part of their long term strategy. but government has to create a more level playing field for them to compete on a global basis. And with no visionary ideas coming out of Canberra, direct subsidies are the only way left to even the balance.
        Holden has had funding from GM. and that will increase if people start supporting the industry and not hating it.
        we are the only country in the world that likes to belittle the products it makes. other countries take pride in what they build and support the companies that support their economy.

        • Daniel D

          To be fair England also belittled its aviation and train industries. They went from leading the world in aviation design and manufacture, to now where they can only make parts of an aircraft. This is also the country that invented the train, but now imports its trains from Canada, Italy and Japan, because it can no longer design and build a train on its own.

          When these industries disappeared with the tens of thousands of jobs that went with it the papers were full of whining poms going on about their tax payers money.

          They and the media destroyed England’s manufacturing base.
          Apparently lots of Australians wish we were more like them.

      • Tom

        ‘GM is trying to squeeze more money from the govt AND THEN call it quits.’ NO, you have no clue what you’re talking about. Holden need a cash injection to fund investment for the next gen Cruze and Commodore and if they get the funding from the government, then they will build cars in Australia until at least 2022. It is NOT-NEGOTIABLE, they cannot take that money and leave. Toyota is only positively portrayed because their exports are at significant levels. This moronic statement about sponsoring Collingwood and the NRL makes me tear out my hair. It is called ADVERTISING. If you don’t advertise you will not sell any cars, as Ford as shown. Toyota sponsor the AFL, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

      • Karl Sass

        Vehicle manufacturing isn’t like other industries, the overflow benefits are substantially higher. Why would you rather give the money (which is modest in the scheme of things) to Toyota who don’t design or engineer their cars here? That’s where much of the benefit comes from. Holden are proposing 2 new models which is a billion dollars worth of investment before you even consider actually manufacturing them. Also Toyota sponsor the AFL, advertising is what car companies that want to survive have to do.

        • Sydlocal

          You are half right Karl. Whilst Toyota don’t design their cars here per se they DO carry out engineering work (and minimal design work) to ‘localise’ the car (which is no a lot different to what Holden do with the Cruze and on a side note yes, I do know the Cruze hatch was designed here). These are things like Chassis/suspension tune etc as well as other mechanical modifications. You would also find that the Camry for example has more Australian made content than both the Cruze and even the Commodore (well it definitely was when compared to the VE).

          • Karl Sass

            That’s correct Syd, a poor choice of words on my part. I was saying the vehicle architecture isn’t designed and engineered here, which is a vastly bigger undertaking than suspension tuning. The Camry and Cruze are a good comparison as they’re both an international platform with localisation work done to them and built here.

      • Andy Whitby

        Are you aware that each of the 4 big banks gets subsidies in the form a tax breaks to the tune of about $4 billion/year …. and you still pay them to put your money in an account. Just saying … no screams about that.

        • matt

          and about $180 per tax payer a year to gina and clive so they can buy cheap diesel, its a messed up system dave W

  • Anthony

    Australian public just don’t get it.
    Correct me if i am wrong but Australia is the weakest G20 nation when it comes to manufacturing. (in particular motor vehicle) (inc trucks, buses, cars and light commercials.). We should be investing heavily in all sorts of manufacturing not beating up those that try and do it. Mining is NOT a long term growth creator. food production and manufacturing are. please people research before you type. i’m not saying that we throw unlimited funds to these people but i am saying that we should be finding innovative ways to assist the industry. And the public should get behind the ideas. business is only in business to make money. If we cannot create an environment for them to make money then they will leave. As for Mike. thank you for your contribution in educating a lot of people about government subsidies. i just wish people would understand what you are trying to say. the media too is to blame for making Holden out to beggars. GM don’t really need to build cars here. we need them more. They do it here because they are already invested. It makes sense to make your existing assets profitable then to cut the rope and start again. But if they have to they will. lets Hope the new person in the job can get this all sorted out quickly so we can have some certainty in the sector.

    • Anthony

      Just in addition to my comments, here is some research i did.
      Out of the G20 nations, the only country not to have an auto industry is oil rich Saudi Arabia.
      Australia ranks 29th in the world in vehicle manufacturing behind non G20 nations inc. Thailand, Spain, Czech republic, Iran (that’s right Iran) Slovenia, Poland, Malaysia, Belgium, Taiwan. Romania and Hungary,
      South Africa is the next lowest ranked at 25 with more then double Australian units built. Italy comes in at 21 with triple our units.
      Now i urge anyone who hates the auto industry or who does not support it to dig deeper into the 18 G20 nations with a stronger industry and find out how they protect their particular industries, i can guarantee you that all of them are subsidized in some way.
      So for all the whingers. why don’t you spend your time commenting on the billions wasted on faulty roof installation, over bloated bureaucracy, and monies paid to climate change funds that has no measurable effect on “global warming”
      CA why don’t you do some research and put together an article on international motor industry subsidies. Would be an interesting read.

      • A taxpayer

        All true, and for those who think it would be cheaper for the tax payer to fund the dole for the people who lose there jobs think again. 50000 people across the industry including suppliers, shock horror they pay tax to so, 20000 a year not going in to the tax payer purse plus the dole about another 20000 so thats 40000 a head. Just ask yourself what is 40000 times 50000 people per year? $200,000,000 a year worse of for the tax payer! Supporting an industry that has so many spin offs for other jobs makes money for the tax payer the goverment knows this and so does anyone who can count

        • barry

          Nice work Anthony+A taxpayer.Very well thought out debating,enjoyed reading your comments.

        • JooberJCW

          Yep good point, like my post above, lets say an indirect and direct employee of 65,000 pay 10,000 in taxes a year thats already $650m per year, more than the hand out already.

          Australia and the government are getting more out of this by keeping GM here than GM being here (they don’t give a two cents care on how much it benefits the Australian economy but only care for their own bottom line), So, thats where the tipping of the scales, its GM vs Australia.

  • Karl Sass

    I was sceptical of Devereux at first. Although he was clearly passionate and believed in the industry which is important. Unlike other countries who are proud to have the ability to design, engineer and manufacture a car, Australians take it for granted in the extreme. It would be a profoundly short sighted move to lose vehicle manufacturing, much of the public and our politicians live in a free trade fantasy world that does not exist. Although it will be good to have Holden well represented in the upper echelons of GM. I think it would serve Holden well to appoint a local as head honcho this time around.

    • gtrxuone

      The next head of Holden has to be already at Holden.Its to complex to bring in a outsider at the moment.

    • Anthony Berbari

      It would have been John Eslworth had he not jumped ship to Hyundai.

  • matt

    Can CA report on this apparent issue?

    “Holden cannot justify the investment in a new Commodore ute because buyers have shifted to Toyota HiLux-style pick-ups – most of which are made in Thailand, where production labour rates are one-fifth of Australia’s.”
    So the new commodore in 2016 im guessing will be FWD, gross

  • John

    I can’t see Holden lasting much longer. They nearly folded up in 1986,when they were still selling in much larger numbers. What hope do they have with the current sales levels.
    Article in the paper today stating Holden ute production will cease in 2016-it can’t compete with the flood Thai utes that enjoy zilch tariffs as a result of our ‘free trade’ agreement……..an agreement that benefits only Thailand and costs us jobs year after year…….thanks.
    I think Holden,and Ford,did their best to manufacture here,but government policy is forcing them out.I just don’t know what else to say.I’m sad,frustrated and disgusted all in one.

    • Backyard Enterprise

      Totally agree with your sentiments John.
      Ignoring the band aid bailouts over the years, the issue rests with Govt policy decisions… with the tariffs the way they are Holden (and Ford) cant compete with the amount of competition they now face.
      It would be great for the new Govt to drop the current stance and protect the industry as most other countries do, but I am pretty sure that ain’t going to happen, so lets enjoy the last couple of years of Aussie made cars.
      We are going to miss them in many, many ways when they are gone.

      • John

        As I’ve stated before,we should jump in and buy the last Fords and Holdens while we can,and then lock them away……..in 30-40 years they’ll be commanding big money.

        • jwy

          Pfffff. Check out the prices on the Nissan Bluebirds & Mitsubishi Sigmas. They’re up to the 30 year old mark now and you can find the odd immaculate Granny special for sale but they do NOT command big money.

  • Zaccy16

    How does he deserve a promotion?

  • tintop

    I would like to see a rear wheel drive holden about the size of a torana, using 3litre v6, and weighing in at about 1300kg or less. concentrating on fuel economy,and acceleration up to 140k/h . What is the use of a top gear that can drive along at 60k/h, and also achive speeds in excess of 200k/h. Make one , and I,m ready to buy. Steve. I have an e30 bmw weighs 1100kg. that holden v6, and trans will slips right in. End result.Reliable power/economy/handling/acceleration/stopping. That model looks a little like a vk commadore anyway. I hope the holden guru,s see this. It could save holden in OZ

  • tintop

    The question must be asked. What % of cars in the car parks of holden, and ford workers are supporting the brand they are manufacturing?

  • John

    There should be a 70% tarriff imposed on countries that have pay,safety and working conditions well below what we have to force them to lift their game and play fairly.This will encourage companies to remain local,and improve working and living conditions everywhere in the world.

    For countries with simular conditions to ours,perhaps a 20% tariff.

    With Australians being retrenched at an alarming level,the current ‘free trade’ arrangements just aren’t working.

    Its time to force these Asian countries to learn some common decency. Pay your workers,or attract a big tariff.

  • C7

    lol, was that a serious reply, i cant believe they published your nonsense.

    well done, you must be proud of yourself.

  • Daniel D

    Thank you I am here all week.