Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

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Thread: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

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    Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    Former executive to tip a bucket on Holden

    December 12, 2012 - 8:56AM
    Fairfax media
    Peter McKay


    Local motor industry mover and shaker John Crennan, the former Holden executive who headed up Holden Special Vehicles for its first two decades, is writing a tell-all memoir that promises to explain the brand's fall from grace in recent years.

    His book, 50 Years of Holden – sub-titled People, Personalities, Politics and Poor Performances – is, he says, about 70 per cent finished and will be published next year.

    “Like the way I work, I don't sit on the fence!” Crennan declares.

    Starting in December 1962 at a weekly stipend of £10 and 15 shillings he embarked on a 10-year journey from the mail room to the executive dining room.

    Marking the 50 years since he joined Holden, Crennan has revealed many of the contentious motor industry and motor sporting topics he will cover in his book.

    Current Holden executives are not going to enjoy Crennan's assessment of the present management team. He will answer the question why Holden went from having so many heavyweight, highly talented executives in its ranks in Crennan's first 25 years, to so few in the past 25.

    “I've listed 50 reasons why Holden dropped from nearly 50 per cent market share when I started 50 years ago to approximately 10 per cent now, and how the Holden brand got damaged along the way,” he says.

    Crennan has been researching meticulously, rifling through his detailed diaries and records. He suggests Holden created too much confusion with dealers and customers with an avalanche of more than 150 products and brands. He has counted 53 product badges alone.

    Continued here


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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    Should make for a pretty good read.

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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    He's not with them, so it's just about knifing the wounded.

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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    Hopefully it's not all bad. You can't be with a comapny that long and only have negative things to say. I'm sure it will be an interesting read and a reflection on GM as a whole.
    I didn't go to math school, so I'm not going to do the math.

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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    ...bitter departures nurture bitter memories...and turn "rose-colored" glasses into "feces-taited" spectacles!
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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    Selling books.

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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    Quote Originally Posted by dederer View Post
    He's not with them, so it's just about knifing the wounded.
    Quote Originally Posted by 70AARCUDA View Post
    ...bitter departures nurture bitter memories...and turn "rose-colored" glasses into "feces-taited" spectacles!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Arcuri View Post
    Selling books.
    ........or it could be enlightening and gospel-truth.

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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    Quote Originally Posted by megeebee View Post
    ........or it could be enlightening and gospel-truth.
    More likely a bit of both.

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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    Yeah it's a bit of sour grapes there for John

    One thing missing in the article is the number of players in the market since Holden had a 50% market share

    Right now it's something like 18% Toyota 10% Holden, Mazda are pretty close to that as well then Ford and everyone else fights for table scraps

    More Manufacturers and more models than pretty much anywhere else and only a 1 million sale per annum market

    It's tough to get much more than 15%
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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    it will be interesting to see what he says about the HRT/HSV ownership merry-go-round.
    Current Holdens.
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    Keep Holden On.


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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    There's a couple issues with tipping a bucket: firstly, it's hard to avoid getting hit by the splash yourself.

    And secondly, if you know where the bodies are buried, it means you helped bury them....... And no doubt people who know that will not be backwards in coming forward. If he was there that long, he bears shared responsibility for the misses as well as the hits.

    Before the 1950's there were assemblers like Holden and Fisher - and Ford. Many makers were prevented from trade with Australia, particularly former Axis powers - who were restricted as to heavy industry they could have.

    In 2012 there's 43 manufacturers including 3 locals selling passenger vehicles in Australia - in a near tariff-free, and import-restrictionless market. A bit different to then.
    Last edited by BBDOS CV8; 12-12-2012 at 04:06 PM.

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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    What's the title of his book gonna be, "On A Clear Day You Can See...New Zealand" (wink,wink)?
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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    Quote Originally Posted by BBDOS CV8 View Post
    In 2012 there's 43 manufacturers including 3 locals selling passenger vehicles in Australia - in a near tariff-free, and import-restrictionless market. A bit different to then.
    Ten years ago there were 40 manufacturers present in Australia. Market share: Holden 21.3%, Toyota 17.8% then, and Holden 10% and Toyota 18% now. And in 2002 the number one obstacle to total Australian market domination (according to Peter Hanenberger)? High import tariffs.

    JC has a good point there. For the past 10 years Holden has seen an exodus of experienced car industry executives. It needs people/leaders with charisma and balls, and instead it gets more co-op students (read: cheap labour) and ex-Loreal product managers (people who even don't understand the difference between 16" and 17" wheels). And the brand is badly diluted - Korean/Thai cars, multi million dollar government handouts, job cuts, etc. WTF?

    JC lately didn't have too many fans at Holden - outspoken, he definitely doesn't sit on a fence, and takes no prisoners. But he definitely knows how to run a profitable business.

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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    Quote Originally Posted by GolfBravo View Post
    Ten years ago there were 40 manufacturers present in Australia. Market share: Holden 21.3%, Toyota 17.8% then, and Holden 10% and Toyota 18% now. And in 2002 the number one obstacle to total Australian market domination (according to Peter Hanenberger)? High import tariffs.

    JC has a good point there. For the past 10 years Holden has seen an exodus of experienced car industry executives. It needs people/leaders with charisma and balls, and instead it gets more co-op students (read: cheap labour) and ex-Loreal product managers (people who even don't understand the difference between 16" and 17" wheels). And the brand is badly diluted - Korean/Thai cars, multi million dollar government handouts, job cuts, etc. WTF?

    JC lately didn't have too many fans at Holden - outspoken, he definitely doesn't sit on a fence, and takes no prisoners. But he definitely knows how to run a profitable business.
    In 1978 these 'experienced car industry execs' saddled Holden with the VB-VL Commodore, which cost as much to re-engineer for Australia as it would have cost to develop a proper fullsize Holden from scratch, bankrupted the company in 1983 and gave Ford an enormous lead in large cars which they squandered with that brilliant own-goal the AU.

    10 years ago the cheapest equivalent Peugeot to the 308, Renault to the Megane and Golf wouldn't leave you much change from $30,000 onroad; whereas today they all have cars starting driveaway at around $20,000. Which is about as cheap as Holden can sell a locally-made base Cruze.

    The $Oz was 50c US and about 40p in England - I know, I had just come back from there - Holden were building their 200,000th VX with daylight in 2nd place in the market and the import tariff was 15% for cars and 10% for AWD. Cars like the CR-V and RAV4 were bit-players or just considered jokes and 'SUV' didn't mean anything to the average Australian. Things like Hyundai and Kia (and Daewoo) were what you bought if you couldn't afford a 'real' car.

    Holden execs did not engineer GM's bankruptcy which bit into VE final development deeply - GM NA were technically insolvent in 2006 - or the failure of overseas markets like the middle east in 2008 because western nations in the grip of GFC stopped buying oil. The employees Toyota are exiting from Altona is because Camry and Aurion have tanked from 1.5:1 Export:local c. 2006 to <0.5:1 export:local today. And Camaurion sales are trending worse than Commodore, longterm in Australia.

    It's a different world. Hanenberger presided over Holden in boom times and does deserve kudos for overseeing production quality and innovation up from American standards of hard plastic pebble-finish interiors in the early 80's to near European soft-touch in the 90's. Especially for making Holden lift their game on cars like Monaro and Calais, Caprice - but also fitting things like proper SRS across the range.

    JC also ruled a HSV that brought out the Manta, XU6, HSV/SVD Astra/Pulsar and a few other less than memorable models that didn't exaclty advance HSV as a performance maker. So he is no omiscient svengali.
    Last edited by BBDOS CV8; 12-13-2012 at 06:17 AM.

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    Re: Former executive to tip bucket on Holden

    I'm predicting a few more memoirs for ex Ford and Holden heads as the spleen venting continues,

    "I told 'em they was wrong, they shoulda listened to me..."

    Great 20-20 hindsight vision if you want to sell tell all books but adds absolutely nothing to solving today's problems..

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