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GM HOLDEN has announced further changes to its sales and marketing department, with former director of sales Peter Keley returning to the role, as the company attempts to halt its declining market share.

Sales star: Holden veteran Peter Keley will return to the top sales role at Holden after one year running GM International Operation’s OnStar business.

Effective immediately, Mr Keley replaces Michael Filazzola who has held the role for 12 months, and Mr Filazzola will move to an internal role within Holden which is yet to be announced.

The changes come less than two weeks after the brand announced that Holden New Zealand managing director Kristian Aquilina would replace Mark Harland as executive director of marketing just 16 months into his tenure.

The marketing and sales personnel moves follow Holden’s rapid sales decline after the closure of its Australian manufacturing operations last year, with the car-maker’s overall year-to-date sales dropping by 22.9 per cent from 20,119 in the first quarter of 2017 to 15,524 so far this year.

Michael Filazzola

For the past year, Mr Keley has held the role of General Motors International managing director of OnStar, based at Holden’s Melbourne headquarters, and was responsible for launching GM’s automotive communications system.

Prior to being Holden’s sales boss for four years from 2013, Mr Keley – a 35-year Holden veteran – was Holden’s executive director of planning and was instrumental in the 2013 VF Commodore project and the Chevrolet SS export program.

Mr Keley also held the role of managing director of Holden New Zealand from 2005 to 2008, the same role that Mr Aquilina retains in addition to his new position.

In a statement, Holden praised Mr Filazzola’s efforts during his tenure.

“Following his success in Holden’s aftersales department, Filazzola carefully guided Holden through its transition to a national sales company during his tenure as director of sales, providing growth in the key light-commercial vehicle segment, in particular,” it said.

Prior to taking on the top sales role, Mr Filazzola was the executive director of aftersales from May 2014 and executive director of global purchasing and supply chain from June 2011 to May 2014. He also had a stint with GM China as director of global purchasing and supply chain from early 2009 to mid-2011.

Holden has also confirmed the appointment of Joanne Stogiannis to the newly created role of director of sales operations, with responsibility for Holden’s dealer network operations, and this role will see her join Holden’s senior leadership team.

Ms Stogiannis has been with Holden for more than 20 years in various sales and marketing roles, including Victorian sales manager and, more recently, director of dealer excellence from January 2017.

Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard thanked Mr Filazzola and welcomed Mr Keley back to the role.

“I’d like to thank Michael for the important role he has played during a challenging period for Holden,” he said.

“I’d also like to welcome Peter Keley and Jo Stogiannis into their respective sales roles. Peter and Jo have great relationships with our dealers and a strong focus on our products to help grow and diversify our sales.

“We’ve got great products in Equinox, Commodore and Colorado, not to mention a vast range of locally developed accessory options, all backed up by ownership support that ensures customer peace of mind.”

By Tim Nicholson