Holden appoints new executive director of manufacturing

GM Holden has appointed a new executive director of manufacturing; Richard Phillips, a former Holden apprentice, now reports to chairman and managing director, Mike Devereux.

[Image, right: Phillips (centre) working with Holden employees, training in the simulated work environment.]

Phillips was promoted from his role as director – vehicle assembly operations at Holden – a role he has held since 2009.

A Holden company notice said Phillips “played an integral role in the successful launch of the locally-made Holden Series II Cruze sedan and hatch in 2011.”

The homegrown Cruze has just celebrated its best ever March sales result, with 2,880 cars going out the door, according to official VFACTS figures released by the FCAI.

The Cruze is said to own 13.4% of the small car market, making it the third-highest-selling small car during the month, and fifth in the Australian car market overall.

Before his work on the Cruze, Phillips was posted overseas to GM North America, where he spent two years as director of body manufacturing engineering and execution.

During this time, Phillips oversaw a number of programs across Canada, the US, and Mexico including the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt program at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck body shop facility, Holden said.

Phillips reportedly started his career at Holden’s production facility in Elizabeth, South Australia, as an apprentice fitter and machinist.

He was awarded Holden’s apprentice of the year in 1991.