Former Toyota executive Dave Buttner – who came out of retirement to run Holden for 16 months until he stepped down last December – is back behind the wheel of a Toyota.
Mr Buttner joined Holden in August 2018 after retiring from the car industry – following the end of local car manufacturing in October 2017 – having clocked up 30 years with Toyota. Prior to that, Mr Buttner had worked for Ford Australia early in his career.
But the veteran car industry executive has returned to his roots and put his own money on a Toyota HiLux – not long after telling Australia how much he loved Holden.
When he joined Holden, Mr Buttner said: “My Holden story goes back a long time. I was born in Bendigo and we were a Holden family. I can still remember the first three Holdens my Dad had – I even remember the number plates – such is the passion that surrounds the Holden brand. And that led me back to the brand and to take up this position.”
Before he took the top job at Holden, Mr Buttner said: “I drove a lot of new Holdens. My wife drove them too. And we were both very impressed. You have to be able to speak credibly towards the product. All these things drew me to a brand that I still think is an iconic brand in Australia.”
However, when it came to spending his own money after leaving Holden, Mr Buttner instead chose to buy a Toyota HiLux.
A post on the Facebook page for Melbourne City Toyota, with the headline “Congratulations Dave”, shows Mr Buttner taking delivery of a Toyota HiLux.
The message alongside the Facebook post said: “It was an honour to have the ex-President of Toyota Australia, Dave Buttner, purchase his HiLux SR5 (from) Melbourne City Toyota. Congratulations Dave and we wish you many many years of happy and safe travels.”
Mr Buttner clearly loves his double cab utes. When he took the job at Holden he said in a staff bulletin he chose a Holden Colorado Z71 as his company car because “I have a property on the outskirts of Melbourne so it’s a work vehicle, but also caters for my family needs – I can easily get my grandkids in the back. They love it too. But not as much as I do”.
Mr Buttner told media at the time: “When I contemplated coming to Holden, one of the first things I did was to drive the full portfolio of vehicles, and it’s clear that Holden has a highly competitive range to meet and exceed customers’ expectations.”
Clearly, however, it seems Mr Buttner loves his Toyota HiLux just a little bit more, preferring it over the Holden range he once praised.
“Whether you’re looking for a hatch, like the Astra; a sedan, like the Commodore; an SUV, like the Equinox; or a ute, like the Colorado – Holden has sourced the best vehicles from across GM and had them locally tuned by Australian engineers for our driving conditions,” said Mr Buttner after he got the top job at Holden.