Highly regarded and deeply experienced automotive industry leader, Dave Buttner, will become Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden, with Mark Bernhard to retire from GM at the end of July, the company announced today.
The leadership transition comes at an important time for the Holden business, as it seeks to leverage its strongest ever vehicle portfolio to win more customers, grow sales and strengthen GM Holden for the future, said GM Executive Vice President and President of GM International Barry Engle.
“Dave’s proven track record and understanding of Holden’s markets – and the company’s potential in those markets – makes him the right leader for this next phase in the evolution of the business,” said Engle.
“GM’s most senior leadership strongly believe that we have a rare jewel in Holden, an iconic Australian brand that understands the needs of Australian and New Zealand drivers.
“Dave’s mandate is to work closely with our dealer network to win more customers for life, grow Holden’s market share and ensure our business is strong and profitable for the long
“Holden has all the building blocks for future success, including the best and most comprehensive vehicle portfolio in Holden’s history; the introduction of Maven, OnStar and GM Financial; and the ongoing global Design and Engineering work that continues in Australia.
“Dave is an outstanding leader with a peerless record of success in Australia and New Zealand. Holden will have a strong future under Dave’s leadership.”
Bernhard has had a long and distinguished career at GM spanning Australia, the US, Europe, Singapore and China.
“As Mark hands over the reins of Holden, I want to recognise all of his contributions over his career at GM. I appreciate his passion and commitment to Holden during his tenure as Chairman and Managing Director and throughout his career,” said Engle.
Bernhard said the opportunity to lead the company where he began his career in 1986 has been a privilege.
“Holden is where it all started for me. It has been an honour to lead Holden as we laid the foundation for a new future of this iconic Australian company,” said Bernhard.
“I am grateful to GM and the terrific people I have worked with through a career that spanned Australia, Europe, the US, Singapore and China – exceeding my wildest dreams when I joined the company as a fresh-faced eager graduate.
“Holden was born here and has a special place in our hearts. I wish Dave and his team every success for the future.”
Buttner has had an outstanding 40-year career in the automotive industry, having most recently been President of Toyota Motor Corporation in Australia from May 2014 to December 2017. In his time at Toyota, Dave performed senior roles in Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing, Corporate Affairs and Product Planning and Development.
Throughout these roles, Dave maintained a laser focus on customers and dealers. He will begin as Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden on 1 August 2018.
“I am honoured and energised by this incredible opportunity to lead Holden, a company which is part of the fabric of our country,” said Buttner.
“I look forward to working with our people, our dealers and our partners to grow our business and get more and more Australian and New Zealand drivers behind the wheel of more and more Holdens.”
Dave Buttner Biography
Dave Buttner assumes the role of Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden on 1 August 2018. He previously held the position of President of Toyota Motor Corporation in Australia from May 2014 to December 2017. Through this period Dave led Toyota on its transition from a Manufacturer and Distributor to a National Sales Company.
Dave is widely regarded as a leader in the automotive industry. His experience spans over 40 years, commencing with Ford Motor Company before moving to Toyota Australia in 1987. Throughout his 30 years at Toyota, Dave has worked across all areas of the business, performing senior roles in Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing, Corporate Affairs and Product Planning and Development.
Dave was appointed an Executive Director to the Board of Toyota Australia in 2002 and at various stages throughout this period served as a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Toyota Finance Australia and Toyota New Zealand. He was an active member of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and served time as a Director, Vice President and President.
He has a deep knowledge of the markets in Australia and New Zealand, and a strong track record of working with all stakeholders to drive mutual success in all aspects of the business. His passion for customer centricity at every touch point in the value chain is widely recognised, and highly regarded in the industry. He deeply respects the role of dealers, and believes that the strength of the relationship between the dealer and head office is the most vital ingredient in the success of a franchise.
Mark Bernhard Biography
Mark Bernhard was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden on 1 July 2015. Previously he held the position of Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Shanghai GM in Shanghai, China, since November 2011. He was also a member of the GM-SAIC joint venture’s Executive Committee.
As Chairman and Managing Director, Mark lead the orderly wind down of local manufacturing operations, establishing a world-class transition program to support employees to be ready for their life beyond Holden. In addition, he secured significant investments in the Australian and New Zealand marketplace, to help secure Holden’s longterm future.
Mark began his GM career with Holden in 1986, going on to hold various positions in the Finance department.
He relocated to Zurich, Switzerland, in 1996 as Manager of Budgets and Consolidation for the then GM International Operations. In 1998, Mark was appointed Director of Financial Reporting and Analysis for GM International Operations in Detroit. Two years later, he took on the role of Director of Special Projects at GM Asia Pacific in Singapore, working on the
acquisition of Daewoo Motor Company.
In 2002, Mark became Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Shanghai GM. He was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the GM China Group in 2005. He returned to Australia in 2007 as CFO and Executive Director of Finance for GM Holden, navigating the global