Holden’s last boss gets new top job in Canada - SUV VEHICLE

Holden’s last boss gets new top job in Canada


Kristian Aquilina – the executive at the helm of Holden during its closure in 2020 – has a new top-rung job within General Motors.

Automotive executive Kristian Aquilina – who was the head of Holden during the iconic brand’s final year – has been appointed as the president of parent company General Motors’ operations in Canada, three years after departing the local industry.

Mr Aquilina rose from Managing Director for Holden and Isuzu Trucks in New Zealand, to Chairman and Managing Director of Holden in Australia across in the space of five years, and was tasked with the job of heading the company in the lead-up to its demise in 2020.

While Mr Aquilina departed Australia to take a top job with sister brand Cadillac in the Middle East just two months before Holden was killed off on 31 December 2020, he was in charge of the company when General Motors in Detroit made the call to pull the plug in February 2020 – and helped to wind down its new-car sales operations locally.

In the months following the announcement of Holden’s demise, it was alleged Mr Aquilina had written emails and plans about the impending shut-down on a flight from Detroit – where General Motors is headquartered – to Los Angeles in view of passengers in nearby seats.

As the head of Holden in its final months, Mr Aquilina made an appearance at a Senate Inquiry into the closure of one of Australia’s most iconic automotive brands, which included fending off suggestions the Holden name would one day be sold to a Chinese car maker.

The executive – who has worked with General Motors since 1997 and studied in Melbourne – departed his Middle East posting with Cadillac in August 2023, before joining GM Canada as Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing.

In 2023, General Motors was the best-selling automaker in Canada, with 263,084 vehicles sold across its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac brands.

MORE:Search Used Holden Cars for Sale
MORE:Search Used Holden Cars for Sale
Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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