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    Holden Announces New Chairman, 24 Vehicle Launches By 2020


    • Big changes for Holden, along with new products


    Holden has been in a bit of turmoil for the past few years. With declining sales, plant closures coming in a couple of years, and big changes for the Commodore, steady leadership is key. But in the past six years, Holden has gone through six chairmans. The latest one, Gerry Dorizas only lasted eight months on the job. But there will be a new person in charge.

    Last Friday, Holden announced the appointment of Mark Bernhard as Managing Director and Chairman of the brand. This is an important milestone as Bernhard is the first Australian to be in charge since 1990.

    “Mark’s knowledge of GM Holden, our region and GM’s global operations will serve him well in his new role,” said General Motors executive vice president and president of GM International Stefan Jacoby.

    “He will champion the ongoing transition of GM Holden to a National Sales Company and the repositioning of the Holden brand for long-term growth and profitability.”

    Bernhard is no stranger to Holden. He started his career at the company back in 1986 within the in the finance division. Since then, Bernhard has held many roles at GM, including the CFO of Holden.

    "It's wonderful, and quite humbling, to be returning to Holden to lead the company where my career started. I am a Holden man, always have been. [becoming] Managing Director of this company has always been a dream job. While I know that the company is going through a very challenging transition, I also know that it is has a very bright future,"said Bernhard in a statement.

    "I understand that the transition from being a manufacturing company to a national sales company is not easy. We need to ensure that those that leave us as a result of this change are treated with dignity, respect and most of all, support. But I am really looking forward to leading the re-making of our iconic company as we bring in great new product, continue to revitalise our Aftersales service and re-establish ourselves as Australian customers' favourite car company."

    Bernhard begins work at Holden in the third quarter.

    Along with the announcement of a new chairman, GM also announced that Holden will introduce 24 major new models and 36 new powertrains by 2020.

    “While I can’t reveal all the details, I can say that Holden will debut an all-new Barina Spark in the first quarter of 2016, launch a global Captiva replacement and another all-new, world-class SUV to ensure comprehensive offerings in the crucial SUV market segment," said Jacoby.

    Also in the pipeline is the next-generation Commodore and a 'true sports car'.

    Source: Drive.com.au, CarAdvice.com.au, General Motors

    Press Release is on Page 2


    GM Holden Appoints Chairman and Managing Director; Announces 24 Major Vehicle Launches By 2020

    • Mark Bernhard returns to Holden
    • Holden to deliver product onslaught

    Mark Bernhard will return to Holden as Chairman and Managing Director, General Motors (GM) Executive Vice President and President of GM International, Stefan Jacoby, announced today.

    Mr Bernhard began his career in the automotive industry at Holden in 1986, undertaking senior finance roles across GM’s global operations, over the past four decades. He is a former CFO of GM Holden and his current position is Vice President and CFO of Shanghai GM.

    Mr Jacoby said that given his background and experience, Mr Bernhard is the right person to lead GM Holden.

    “Mark’s knowledge of GM Holden, our region and GM’s global operations will serve him well in his new role,” Mr Jacoby said.

    “He will champion the ongoing transition of GM Holden to a National Sales Company and the repositioning of the Holden brand for long-term growth and profitability.”

    Mr Bernhard briefly visited Australia today to speak with GM Holden dealers and will take up his new role in the third quarter this year. He will succeed GM Holden Interim Managing Director and CFO Jeff Rolfs.

    “I want to thank Jeff for taking on leadership of GM Holden on an interim basis. Once the transition with Mark is complete, Jeff will continue to play an important role at GM Holden as CFO,” Mr Jacoby said.

    Mr Jacoby also announced details of Holden’s major new vehicle launch program, delivering 24 major new vehicle launches and 36 new powertrain combinations over the next five years.

    “GM is investing significantly to broaden the Holden product portfolio and deliver world-class vehicles,” Mr Jacoby said.

    “Holden is accessing GM’s global operations to assemble its biggest and best ever product line-up. This new model onslaught will ensure Holden has world-class products in every major segment – a true customer-driven product strategy.

    “While I can’t reveal all the details, I can say that Holden will debut an all-new Barina Spark in the first quarter of 2016, launch a global Captiva replacement and another all-new, world-class SUV to ensure comprehensive offerings in the crucial SUV market segment.

    “Supporting this product onslaught is the bold, new Let’s Go There brand campaign and an ongoing commitment to achieving best-practice customer service.”

    Today’s announcements demonstrate GM’s commitment to Holden and reveal further details about Holden’s long term strategy. In the past 12 months, Holden has also announced:

    • Cascada convertible, Astra hatch and Insignia sedan will launch in 2015;
    • Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria;
    • Holden’s Global Design centre continues to contribute to local and global product programs;
    • More than one-third of Holden’s future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe;
    • The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on with Holden’s next-generation large car; and
    • Holden will have a true sports car in its future product portfolio.

    Mark Bernhard Biography

    Mark Bernhard is currently vice president and chief financial officer of Shanghai GM in Shanghai, China, a position he has held since November 2011. He also was a member of the GM-SAIC joint venture’s Executive Committee.

    Mark began his GM career with GM Holden in 1986, holding various positions in the Finance function.

    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 financial crisis.

    Mark has a Bachelor of Business (accounting) degree from Monash University, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Deakin University. He is an FCPA with CPA Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

    Mark received the Silver Magnolia Award from the Shanghai Municipal Government, which is given to expatriates for their contribution to the economic development of the city. He also received the 2014 Australia China Alumni Award for Banking and Finance.

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    Interesting, so then to say 36 powertrains, we must divide by 4 to realize that they will have 4 core engine lines that with different tuning and accessories will end up with 9 engine variances of the 4 main lines. 3 petrol and 1 diesel.

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      Press Release is on Page 2
      Spacious and Sporty: The New Opel Insignia Sports Tourer
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      High-tech assistance systems: For more comfort and safety
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      The cockpit is adapted to the person sitting behind the steering wheel. The driver of the new Insignia Sports Tourer sits lower in the car than before and is surrounded by the instruments and center console, as if sitting in a command center. Clear lines and sculptural surfaces true to the Opel design philosophy contribute further to the elegant appearance. The frameless touchscreen of the IntelliLink system, which is oriented towards the driver, displays a high-class character. In addition to the touchscreen, the controls can be operated intuitively by three rows of buttons. The top row is reserved for the infotainment system, the middle row for heating, ventilation and air conditioning and the bottom row is for driver assistance systems.
      Great entertainment and outstanding connectivity are ensured by the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible IntelliLink systems. And while the smartphone is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment it now can also be charged wirelessly without the use of a cable. Naturally, the groundbreaking connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar is also on board, offering services ranging from Automatic Crash Response to Stolen Vehicle Assistance. A new Personal Assistant service will be launched together with the Insignia, enabling its occupants to ask OnStar advisors, for example, to select a hotel and proceed to room reservation as well as looking for available parking. Furthermore, the 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot featured in the OnStar system allows all Insignia occupants to connect their devices to the net.
      Elsewhere, the premium, AGR-certified ergonomic front seats in the Insignia offer a unique combination of electric side bolster settings, massage, memory and ventilation functions while the heated windshield guarantees good visibility quickly on cold winter days.
      Top technologies: IntelliLux LED®, 360° camera, active Lane Keep Assist
      One of the highlights in every sense of the word is the (already) second generation of Opel’s innovative and award-winning adaptive IntelliLux LED® matrix light, enabled by new generation LED technology and further developments from Opel engineers. The Opel LED®matrix light now has 16 LED segments integrated into each of the very slim headlamps of the Insignia. The increased number of LED segments enables the various light patterns to adapt to the prevailing traffic situation even more precisely and the transitions between the multiple lighting patterns are faster and more seamless. To improve visibility even further while driving through curves on full high beam, Opel engineers added an innovative active curve lighting function to the new Insignia’s IntelliLux LED® matrix headlights. According to the steering angle, the light intensity provided by the LED segments lighting the inner of the curve rises to better illuminate the line to follow. Last but not least, a further, dedicated LED spotlight located within the low beam module provides additional illumination at full high-beam for up to 400 meters.
      Additional driver assistance systems include:
      Head-up-Display: Information on speed, traffic signs, set speed of speed limiter or navigation direction is projected onto the windshield and in the driver’s direct line of sight ensuring that the eyes remain on the road. 360° camera, which consists of four individual cameras on each side of the car. It enables a 360-degree bird’s-eye view and thus facilitates every parking maneuver. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which measures the distance to the vehicle in front and adapts the speed accordingly. ACC will initiate automatic emergency braking if the distance decreases abruptly. Lane Keep Assist with automated steering correction and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Provides gentle steering wheel movements (and LDW alerts if necessary) to help drivers avoid unintentionally drifting out of their lane. Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The system uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to detect objects coming from up to 20 meters at 90 degrees from the left or right side behind the vehicle, a very useful function when reversing out of a parking spot with limited visibility. Pure fun to drive: Torque vectoring all-wheel drive and broad range of powertrains

      Driving pleasure and safety no matter what the conditions are guaranteed thanks to the Insignia’s new intelligent all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring – the most sophisticated in class. Two electrically controlled multi-plate clutches in the all-wheel drive system replace the usual rear axle differential, providing a much more precise power transmission to each wheel individually, no matter whether the roads are graveled, wet, icy or snowy. When cornering, additional torque is transmitted to the outside rear wheel, sensibly reducing understeering and enabling more precise control. The system reacts within a split-second of the accelerator being pressed, ensuring that the car remains more stable and easier to steer in every situation. In addition, the further improved FlexRide chassis provides the basis for excellent, situation-based driving behavior. FlexRide adapts the dampers, steering, throttle response and shift points (on automatics) independently or based on the modes ‘Standard’, ‘Sport’ or ‘Tour’, which can be selected by the driver. The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyzes the information provided by the sensors and settings and recognizes the individual driving style.
      When the order books open, the Insignia Sports Tourer will be available with a range of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines along with latest generation transmissions. An absolute newcomer can be found in the highly efficient eight-speed automatic. It impresses with class-leading shifting comfort and will initially only be available in combination with all-wheel drive.
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    • By William Maley
      Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) has been the home to where some of the maddest Holden V8 sedans and utes announced their swan song to the Zeta-based Commodore with the introduction of their 2017 lineup which includes one being powered by the ZR1's LS9 supercharged V8.
      Before we get to that, let us begin with the 'entry-level' HSV models. Dubbed the '30 Years' range (30 years of being in operation), the eight models will see noticeable improvements in terms of performance and a number of goodies from the HSV GTS. Most models will see a slight boost in power of 13 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque for the 6.2L Supercharged LSA V8 to produce a respectable 550 horsepower and 510 pound-feet. The GTS keeps its 577 horsepower and 546 pound-feet.
      All models will get torque-vectoring and a reworked bi-modal exhaust system to provide more noise. The GTS' optional AP Racing brake package becomes available on all of the '30 Years' models.
      Next up is the return of the GTSR. Last used on VL Commodore from 1996, the GTSR takes the 6.2L Supercharged LSA V8 found in the GTS and gets slightly massaged to boost power to 583 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque. Six-piston AP Racing brake calipers pair up with cross-drilled two-piece floating rotors. Exterior changes include a new front bumper, wider front fenders, new diffuser, and rear wing. The GTSR will be available in the sedan or ute. It should be noted the GTSR sedan will be the only way to get Magnetic Ride Control.
      You have waited long enough for us to get the the ZR1 powered model. Meet the HSV GTSR W1. Under the hood lies the 6.2L supercharged LS9 with 635 horsepower and 601 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. HSV called in Australian-suspension specialist SupaShock to set up a special fixed-rated suspension for the W1. This is said to mimic the Commodore race car in the V8 Supercars series. Before you panic, HSV says the suspension has been tuned in such a way to be somewhat refined for daily driving. A set of wide and sticky Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires feature a set of forged alloy wheels. HSV plans only building 300 W1 models.
      Prices for the 2017 HSV range begin at $79,990 AUD (about $60,681.23) for the Maloo R8 LSA and climbs to $169,990 AUD (about $128,956.15) for the GTSR W1.
      Source: CarAdvice, Wheels

      View full article
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