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New Managing Director For Holden

27 April, 1999

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General Motors Asia Pacific has named Peter H. Hanenberger Chairman and Managing Director of Holden. Hanenberger replaces James (Jim) R. Wiemels, who has been named GM Europe's Vice President of Manufacturing. Both appointments are effective 1 June 1999.

Hanenberger is a GM vice president and group executive and will report to Rudolph (Rudy) A. Schlais Jr, President of GM Asia Pacific. In his new role, he will have global responsibility for all of Holden's engineering, manufacturing and sales operations.

His appointment marks a return to Holden and Australia where he worked as deputy chief engineer between 1976 and 1982. During this time, Hanenberger won wide recognition and respect for helping revolutionise Holden passenger car chassis dynamics. To this day, ride and handling is a core brand strength for all Holden products.

As Executive Director for Opel's Technical Development Centre and GM vice president and group executive in charge of design, product and manufacturing engineering for GM Europe since 1996, Hanenberger was instrumental in the development of several new Opel vehicles including the 1998 Opel Astra and the all-new Zafira compact van.

According to Schlais, Hanenberger brings to Holden an immense knowledge of world markets and a deep understanding of current and developing technologies within both product and manufacturing engineering.

"Peter's deep experience within the automotive industry will bring much to the ongoing transformation of Holden into a significant contributor to General Motors' global efforts. In addition, his previous time in Australia equips him particularly well to take on the challenges of further strengthening Holden's unique and strong profile in the Australian domestic market," Schlais said.

Wiemels, who served as Chairman and Managing Director of Holden from March 1997, was largely responsible for the strong market position Holden holds within Australia and the region, Schlais said.

"Jim Wiemels was instrumental in moving Holden into the mainstream of GM's global operations. Largely through his efforts, Holden's design and engineering expertise have become a major contributor toward GM's goals in the region. His accomplishments become even more significant when considered against the backdrop of the region's current economic situation."

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