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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Holden couldn't survive as a local operation: Mooney

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Holden couldn't survive as a local operation: Mooney

Ian Porter, The Age, 25/07/07

Holden's outbound chairman Denny Mooney says greater integration into the GM empire was a matter of life or death for the local car maker, writes IAN PORTER.

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Denny Mooney (centre) is leaving Australia for a position at General Motors in Detroit. Picture: Angela Wylie

The integration of GM Holden in the General Motors network was Denny Mooney’s biggest achievement in his four years in charge, but it was not a smooth process.

At a farewell dinner in Melbourne, the outgoing chairman and managing director said the integration with GM had been a matter of necessity.

‘We couldn’t have survived as a local operation,’’ Mr Mooney said.

‘‘Whether it’s the engine business or the vehicle business, if we didn’t have those other markets around the world, we would have had a tough time surviving.’’

But not everyone saw it that way at first. ‘‘There were plenty of people who would have liked it to be like the good old days, but the reality of the world is the auto business is never going to be like the good old days. This is a global business.

‘‘There was resistance to being part of GM when I got here. There was a fear of becoming part of a big corporation and losing the uniqueness of what we do here.’’ But he said having an unusually young workforce had helped the process.

‘‘That’s made it pretty easy. A lot of the engineers are spending time in Detroit, or in Europe, China or Korea, and it has been a great opportunity for them.

‘‘The young workforce has helped the integration happen a lot quicker than I thought it would.’’

Holden already exports the majority of the six-cylinder and all of the four-cylinder engines it makes and is planning to raise vehicle exports to the point where they absorb 50 per cent of the production at the Elizabeth plant in South Australia.

In addition, Mr Mooney said Holden’s 1200 engineers were currently spending 70 per cent of their time on non-Holden projects, such as the Chevrolet Camaro, and 30 per cent on its Australian product.

‘‘When we start working on our next-generation product, which won’t be that far away, the workload on programs like the Camaro will have wound down.

‘‘A year-and-a-half from now it will be 70 per cent local and 30 per cent non-local.’’

Mr Mooney has enjoyed his time running an operation that has every function a car company needs: engine manufacturing, car assembly, marketing, importing and exporting. He said the major lesson was the flexibility — not just manufacturing.‘‘Keeping bureaucracy to a minimum’’ was also important.

On one occasion, it was decided to make a last run of 400 special Monaros, but the right engines were not available.

So director of manufacturing Rod Keane selected a small team at Elizabeth, gave it 400 cars and the new camshafts and other bits and left them to get on with it.

‘‘What impressed me was the willingness of people to get the job done,’’ Mr Mooney said. ‘‘There was none of that ‘it’s not my job’ stuff.’’

Mr Mooney said Mr Keane deserved a lot of the credit for the company’s operational success recently.

‘‘He has done a fantastic job. Look at what we’ve done in the engine operation and vehicle manufacturing operation in the last couple of years.

If you go into that plant today, you can eat off the floor.’’ Mr Mooney will take up a new position as General Motors vice-president, global vehicle systems and integration, in Detroit on August 1. His successor, Chris Gubbey, started on July 1.

Mr Gubbey was previously executive vice-president of Shanghai General Motors.

source:

http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleD...=41963&vf=2

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‘‘There were plenty of people who would have liked it to be like the good old days, but the reality of the world is the auto business is never going to be like the good old days. This is a global business.

There are a few people on this forum that need to realize this too......

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They need those other markets because Holden is losing it's home market to the Japanese, does that sound familiar?

I say let them die!

I would have hope this article would have opened your mind. It has not. Look at what you said.. The same thing can be said about GM North America. There are people say that let GM die and not care like our government. GM Australia is facing what we already faced with Toyota here. There are those buy imported cars and say the same thing on here and elsewhere. They show their sentiment by what they buy..

Eventhough you may not like Holden, your job is tied to them. If it was not for Holden we would not get the new Camaro. If it were not for Holden, we would not have the new Pontiac G8. Let's face it, Pontiac needed something fast and quick. Where were they going to get it from in a short period of time? Solstice is great, but it only seats two. The Grand Prix is a great car( I drove one when my first Ninety Eight was totaled), but it is not competitive as it once was. It is in a field of other "front drive" sports sedans. Holden was the only one inside GM that had rear drive in the stable other than Cadillac. GM was not going to put a Cadillac platform on a Buick or Chevrolet. They still have not. Holden also came through when GM needed a rear drive car to replace the Chevrolet Caprice in the Middle East(Arabia). We sure did not have a replacement.

Let be honest too GM North America has done some stupid stuff in the last 20 years( getting rid of Oldsmobile was one example).

So in your venting( which is your right to do so) look at the big picture. GM cannot be is not the GM of old. We are in a global economy. GM has to function as one whole unit, and not regionally. And since you work for GM, you should know the American GM divisions did supply kits and cars to Australia for years. They are simply returning the favor. Wayne Cherry used to be the GM design Chief. He wanted GM North America to have "nothing" to do with the rest of GM. You see how that worked out. If it were not for Opel, Saturn would be dead as we know it. What did they have in pipeline?

The reason why Toyota is successful like Honda is because they operate "globally" and not "regionally" like GM was doing. GM had to take a page from their play book. Even the guy over at Ford sees the way Detroit was doing business was not working. The times have changed, and people have changed.

I have always seen Holden as another GM division. I see Opel and Vauxhall as GM divisions. One small part can benefit the whole.

So lets not bite the hand that is feeding us..

I like you as a person from what I know of you Pontiac, but I do not recall you from the past. I am just making a point. I personally like Holden because to me they are the Australian Oldsmobile. They are more Pontiac now though.

In ranking my favorite GM divisions, Holden is right in the top three with Oldsmobile. I like all the divisions, but prefer some more than others.

Thank you for this chance to talk.

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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They need those other markets because Holden is losing it's home market to the Japanese, does that sound familiar?

I say let them die!

Ok, you've just manged to piss me off in one hit.

Have you bothered to read the article? Do you have ANY clue about how the Australian car industry works? How Holden works? Or are you just blinded an insane hatred for a car company that, as a part of the GM empire, is showing how well it can do things on an extremely small budget as well as build cars well and make them value packed?

I'll be honest and say I don't post here often. I come here to see whats going on in the GM empire and get an outsiders view of how Holden fits in and maybe toss in an opinion or correction now and then. Hence my low post count. I will say that I am a dyed-in-the-wool Holden supporter and GM man. I drive an 05 Holden Barina (Opel Corsa 1.4) and love it to bits. I've been a Holden guy since I was a kid and will always be. I grew up watching guys like Peter Brock racing Commodore's at Bathurst in the 80's, taking on the Ford Sierra's and Nissan Skyline R-32 GT-R's in the Group A era in the late 80's, early nineties and then following the Commodore throughout its many battles with the Fold Falcon's in the V8Supercar period right up until now. I've seen the birth of the Commodore, its subsequent domination of the large car market and tussles with Ford, the onslaught of Toyota and Mitsubishi (good on em for having a go too, they both make great gear), and watched how Holden has continually tweaked the one platform to produce many variants off it, as well leveraging the other parts of the GM empire to stay competitive in other market segments.

However your bs comments just make me wretch. WTF is your problem? To be so openly hostile towards a part of the GM empire that is bringing you some exciting products (the G8 WILL rock your world!) is just plain vile and beyond comprehension. Your constant attacks on Holden offend me, because Holden is an integral part of Australian culture. As much as they are a car company, they're an iconic brand. To slander them is to slander the country and a fair chunk of the populace as a whole. You openly spit upon something many people here hold dear.

Mooney is right - without exports Holden would not survive. Our market is so fiercely fought over, the margins so tight and the segements so diverse, coupled with the fact that just under a million cars are sold here every year, Holden would not have the volume to domestic volume to survive as a manufacturer. Its a simple matter of economics.

Instead, Holden were smart and openly went after export markets to sure up their local future - any manufacturer with half a brain does the same thing. In the process, Holden has been able to showcase what it can do, especially given its limitations.

In future, get some bloody logic in your arguments before you go slandering Holden!

Meanwhile, here's some reading that might bother to educate you a little more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button_Plan

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Ok, you've just manged to piss me off in one hit.

And that means to me what? Yes I am a GM employee that does not care for Holden. Oh and I am not alone in my thinking in the GM world, there are many others like me, they are just not as vocal as I am.

As far as Holden is concerned with me, I go there 4 or 5 times a year, and trust me I wish it were less!

G'Day mate! :smilewide:

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And that means to me what? Yes I am a GM employee that does not care for Holden. Oh and I am not alone in my thinking in the GM world, there are many others like me, they are just not as vocal as I am.

As far as Holden is concerned with me, I go there 4 or 5 times a year, and trust me I wish it were less!

G'Day mate! :smilewide:

Is there any particular reason you don't like Holden, or do you just hate Austraila?

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Holden is, and has been, my favorite part of GM for some time now. When GMNA forgot how to build American cars, Australia and Holden remembered.

I'm grateful.

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And that means to me what? Yes I am a GM employee that does not care for Holden. Oh and I am not alone in my thinking in the GM world, there are many others like me, they are just not as vocal as I am.

As far as Holden is concerned with me, I go there 4 or 5 times a year, and trust me I wish it were less!

G'Day mate! :smilewide:

Well you just showed you haven't read a word I wrote earlier - so lets be upfront about it. What the hell is your problem with Holden? What have they done to earn your utterly useless venom?

If you don't like the company fine, but have some bloody RESPECT man!

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Well you just showed you haven't read a word I wrote earlier - so lets be upfront about it. What the hell is your problem with Holden? What have they done to earn your utterly useless venom?

If you don't like the company fine, but have some bloody RESPECT man!

Don't worry about that one, cyclonic. It's a rage is driven by 2 things - a love of lame fwd cars and a bitterness towards Holden. Personally, I suspect there's some professional jealousy behind it but who's to say, his reasons for disliking Holden seem to change. Oh, and his obvious taunts are getting a bit long.

Edited by zetaman
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Ahhh, zetaman my old friend, finally pulled yourself away from the Outside News did you? :P There is no jealousy here on my part, just the joy of watching this car fall flat on it's face in North America. After all it's heavy (overweight) as far as cars go and also doesn't even have AWD, and with gas 4 bucks a gallon in Canada and over 3 in the USA I don't think many regular car buyers will crave this car, for just those reasons, you know the snow and all. But time will tell won't it? And that time is getting closer and closer. I look forward to it. Rest assurd I will be reading the internal GM sales figures the moment it goes on sale in North America. :smilewide:

It if fails here, Holden is doomed and most likely will end up just a car brand like Saturn is now, or worse! After all Mooney already said it can't survive in it's home market, so if it fails here, well I think you know as well as I do what will happen. No need to dwell on it! :AH-HA_wink:

That's OK though, I remember when Holden sold rebadged Toyotas to y'all in OZ, I'm sure we can still work on that deal for you or at least put Holden under GMDAT! :spin:

Give all those on that other forum you hang out on a big kiss from me! :lovey:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Ahhh, zetaman my old friend, finally pulled yourself away from the Outside News did you? :P There is no jealousy here on my part, just the joy of watching this car fall flat on it's face in North America. After all it's heavy (overweight) as far as cars go and also doesn't even have AWD, and with gas 4 bucks a gallon in Canada and over 3 in the USA I don't think many regular car buyers will crave this car, for just those reasons, you know the snow and all. But time will tell won't it? And that time is getting closer and closer. I look forward to it. Rest assurd I will be reading the internal GM sales figures the moment it goes on sale in North America. :smilewide:

It if fails here, Holden is doomed and most likely will end up just a car brand like Saturn is now, or worse! After all Mooney already said it can't survive in it's home market, so if it fails here, well I think you know as well as I do what will happen. No need to dwell on it! :AH-HA_wink:

That's OK though, I remember when Holden sold rebadged Toyotas to y'all in OZ, I'm sure we can still work on that deal for you or at least put Holden under GMDAT! :spin:

Give all those on that other forum you hang out on a big kiss from me! :lovey:

Cheers, PCS. I will do just that! They all miss you over there but you know how it goes.... when one falls another rises to take his place... :AH-HA_wink:

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Cheers, PCS. I will do just that! They all miss you over there but you know how it goes.... when one falls another rises to take his place... :AH-HA_wink:

Of that, I am most sure! :smilewide:

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After all it's heavy (overweight) as far as cars go and also doesn't even have AWD, and with gas 4 bucks a gallon in Canada and over 3 in the USA I don't think many regular car buyers will crave this car, for just those reasons, you know the snow and all. But time will tell won't it? And that time is getting closer and closer. I look forward to it. Rest assurd I will be reading the internal GM sales figures the moment it goes on sale in North America. :smilewide:

It if fails here, Holden is doomed and most likely will end up just a car brand like Saturn is now, or worse! After all Mooney already said it can't survive in it's home market, so if it fails here, well I think you know as well as I do what will happen. No need to dwell on it! :AH-HA_wink:

That's OK though, I remember when Holden sold rebadged Toyotas to y'all in OZ, I'm sure we can still work on that deal for you or at least put Holden under GMDAT! :spin:

*Yep, its too heavy. I agree with you there. The engineers know it too - there was talk of trying to bring down the weight. I hope they do so, the car is kinda porky.

*It doesn't need AWD, though it would be nice to have especially in snow conditions - but AWD then defeats the purpose of dropping the weight, which then asks the car to drink more fuel. I will say though that the HSV Coupe 4 was an awesome bit of kit (too heavy though and the transmission could only handle so much power).

*Gas prices are going to eventually kill ALL large cars, unless they become more economical. However, that said, incomes and gas prices in some parts of the world are relative. I would like to see a diesel introduced, plus a hybrid. The DOD tech for the V8's should get here soon and needs to. The V6 needs serious refinement and the manual transmissions are average at best.

*The Pontiac G8 is not going to be a huge volume seller and won't be. Holden can't supply the volumes for a start! Its a niche vehicle. I'm just happy to see the Commodore being exported to another overseas market, besides the many markets its exported to now. Go ask the Arabs what they think of the car for a start.

*If it fails in the US, it doesn't mean squat. The VE was always engineered for LHD and the car is exported to many other countries around the globe besides the USA anyway. The deal to get it into the US is a very nice add-on, but the business case was well and truly made and signed off on before Pontiac came into the picture. Again, you, of all people, should know that.

*Mooney is right in saying that Holden won't survive as a manufacturer in our own market. Again, as i've said before, we don't have the market size, the volumes, nor the population to support domestic manufacturing only. Holden and the other car companies here MUST export or die, and are doing so (with the exception of Mitsubishi, who are on life support right now).

*Yes, Holden sold rebadged Toyotas, and Toyota sold rebadged Holdens. Badge-engineering. And? All part of the Button Plan. See my earlier link in my previous post.

*Holden has being supplying design and engineering expertise to GMDAT for some time now, as well as tuning GMDAT vehicles for the local market here, plus working with them to improve the product. Holden has been exporting the Statesman to GMDAT as well for quite a few years.

Not that Holden is perfect, far from it. Build quality still needs improvement, the plastics quality is utter rubbish and all the cars still needs some improvements in refinement levels. Now you can hate Holden all you want and I can love 'em, but i'm going to be mature about this and end it here and stick to facts. Ciao!

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:pokeowned:

I think not, that hasn't changed my mind at all, but has only spurred me on to excel in the GM corporate world to where, I will have a say as to what happens at Holden, not directly of course, I wouldn't dirty my hands that way. Then we will really have some fun, hey boyz? When Mr. Lutz steps down or retires and when he is replaced by someone from GM Europe (not talking about me here), be fearful. His replacement is not a Holden lover and I have his ear as they say. Have you noticed no Zeta for Europe, except for the UK and thats not really the real Europe anyway. In the short term my focus will be shifting more towards Opel, starting October 1st, I will be spending more and more time in Europe, but fear not I will still be in OZ four or five times a year, as long as Holden remains a GM subsidiary that is! :smilewide:

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Well you just showed you haven't read a word I wrote earlier - so lets be upfront about it. What the hell is your problem with Holden? What have they done to earn your utterly useless venom?

If you don't like the company fine, but have some bloody RESPECT man!

He has some wierd personal grudge against Holden, it sounds like...best just to ignore his blathering.. as a GM insider, he really should keep his grievances to himself and STFU about it.

Edited by moltar
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He has some wierd personal grudge against Holden, it sounds like...best just to ignore his blathering.. as a GM insider, he really should keep his grievances to himself and STFU about it.

Sorry, no can do! :smilewide:

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Sorry, no can do! :smilewide:

PCS: If you ever cause us to lose all those RWD Holdens we've been waiting for, I'm organizing the torch and pitchfork brigade and we are invading Delaware looking for you!

:fryingpan:

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I'm not hard to find, look for a gated community in Hockessin, Delaware! Oh I invaded Chester County, PA for an hour today. The Equinox needed tires and I wanted a special brand which only was carried by a dealer in Toughkenamon, unless I wanted to drive 100 miles. I did a surgical strike and returned to base unharmed from Yankee land. Can you get that PA Sales tax reimbursed to me? Pretty please? We don't have sales tax here as I'm sure you know! :P

Holden? What's that? There is a Holden Dodge in Dover, Delaware, I can dream can't I? :spin:

I was off today and again on Monday. I'm having lunch Monday with some friends in Frazer, PA! In and out once again! :smilewide:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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PCS: If you ever cause us to lose all those RWD Holdens we've been waiting for, I'm organizing the torch and pitchfork brigade and we are invading Delaware looking for you!

:fryingpan:

I'll make a trip across the country for that!
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I think not, that hasn't changed my mind at all, but has only spurred me on to excel in the GM corporate world to where, I will have a say as to what happens at Holden, not directly of course, I wouldn't dirty my hands that way. Then we will really have some fun, hey boyz? When Mr. Lutz steps down or retires and when he is replaced by someone from GM Europe (not talking about me here), be fearful. His replacement is not a Holden lover and I have his ear as they say. Have you noticed no Zeta for Europe, except for the UK and thats not really the real Europe anyway. In the short term my focus will be shifting more towards Opel, starting October 1st, I will be spending more and more time in Europe, but fear not I will still be in OZ four or five times a year, as long as Holden remains a GM subsidiary that is! :smilewide:

So you're saying GM will ruin Holden like they did to Pontiac?

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I wouldn't be too concerned about Holden, they aren't going anywhere. Australians are very protective of our national icons ( sometimes ) and Holden will continue on for many years to come, with or without GMNA support.

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