Originally Posted by GolfBravo
Mooney taking over from (pushed) Hanenberger was a great cultural shock for everyone at Holden. From day 1. Within first week at Holden Mooney was explaining to everyone why Holden was a failure - according to Mooney Holden was no longer the greatest Australian manufacturer, it wasn't making great cars anymore (it had to "manufacture great products, just like Ta-yoda"), and suddenly it couldn't even afford the engineering department nor the cafeteria.
The amount of budget slashing at Holden was simply unprecedented. At one stage, during only 1 week, he managed to: cancel VE Ute, VE Wagon, announced headcount freeze (one of the directors in charge of VE left, so a co-op student had to do his job for 3 months - no joke, true story), budget freeze (the whole HQ building couldn't do any work for over a month), reinstate the Wagon, then cancel it again, and then reinstate both the Ute and Wagon again, heavily de-content the VE (even removed standard bluetooth to save $1.12 per car), fired over 20 local suppliers and then fired over 400 engineers, closed the Middle East export department, and then cancelled VE series 2 ("why do we need to facelift the VE? Ta-yoda isn't facelifting their cars"). Can you imagine what the morale at Fishermans Bend was like? People were shell-shocked.
Under Mooney Holden started making stupid TV commercials - to save costs everything had to be outsourced, and pretty much the cheapest ad agency would always get the job. So Holden would get all the "bargain" advertising briefs previously rejected by other manufacturers.
Did Holden abandon the large cars field? Yes, in a way - from 2005, for a number of years, Holden was too focused on Ta-yoda Avalon/Camry/Aurion. Instead of slaughtering the competition with the best car, Holden was too busy with matching whatever Toyota was selling. Dumbed-down advertising included. No wonder people lost interest.