Holden NZ names new managing director

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

Kristian Aquilina will take over the reins of the iconic car brand in January 2015 and will also oversee Isuzu Trucks in New Zealand.

Aquilina is another rising young star in the automotive industry after beginning his career at General Motors Holden Australia (GMH) in 1997 and he’s excited by his greatest challenge to date.

“I’ve had a bit to do with Holden New Zealand over the years and I can’t wait to become a part of the business there and get to know the Holden staff along with both Holden and Isuzu dealers. I have some big shoes to fill but I am looking forward to the challenges ahead,” said Aquilina.

“New Zealand is such an awesome place, my wife Megan and I holidayed in the South Island a couple of times before the kids came along and hopefully we’ll get the chance to see a little more of the country.”

A Victorian by birth and therefore an avid AFL fan Aquilina also played some rugby in his earlier years and is keen to understand why the Wallabies have such a hard time playing the All Blacks.

“I’ve only been to one Wallabies All Blacks test in Melbourne and the All Blacks won, I’m not sure how they are consistently the best in the world with a population of more than four and a half million but I’m keen to find out.”

“Having the opportunity to embrace the Kiwi culture is a very enticing prospect but to be able to do that with my family is definitely the icing on the cake.”

Aquilina began working at General Motors Holden in Corporate Affairs where he helped to launch the VT Commodore in 1997. He has since gained a wealth of experience in many different areas of the business from sales to marketing.

  • 1997-2001 Corporate Affairs – GMH
  • 2001-2003 Vehicle Sales Service & Marketing (VSSM) – GMH
  • 2003-2005 Manager sales – Latin America, Africa and Middle East, GMH & Dubai
  • 2005-2007 National manager – Government relations & public policy, GMH
  • 2007-2008 Manager – Export Sales operations, GMH
  • 2008-2013 Marketing Manager – Large cars, SUVs & LCVs, GMH
  • 2013-2014 Zone Manager – Victoria & Tasmania, GMH

In his previous roles Aquilina has worked with a few GM brands including Chevrolet in Brazil and the Middle East, Pontiac in the USA and Buick in China but he believes that Holden has a special place in these parts.

“Nothing compares to the passion, connection and following that the Holden brand has with customers in New Zealand and Australia and I look forward to continuing to cultivate this in my new role over the next few years.”

While Kristian Aquilina takes up his new role at Holden New Zealand early next year he will be visiting New Zealand in the coming weeks to meet staff and a few Holden dealers.

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