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View Full Version : John Crennan - life after HSV



Sniper
25-10-2012, 06:18 PM
After enjoying a fabulous association with John in his/our 20 year HSV journey, I have continued to have contact!! . . .

Its no secret that I believe John was/is the Man that made HSV what is was in those first 20 years . . . and his time, honesty and commitment to us, the HSV owners over that time was exceptional & all members on here that have read the Snipers Garages Thread will have aleady understood this!!

However. . life is a Journey and John was handed a 2 year non compete - shut up or else deal as he prepared to depart and retire from Clayton that was both upsetting for all those "In the Know" . . . and for him personally!!

From there he set up a Business Coaching Company called Winplan . . . and was involved in many different projects outside the Motor Industry whilst he pondered and planned his future . . . which Ultimately steered him to Kelly Racing. . . .

For many years he had a fond relationship with the Kelly Family and was inspired by the way they "Just got on with things" . . . with no fanfare . . . action - not words . . . therefore when he lobbed to Kelly Racing as Chairman - there were no surprises to the Industry.

There is so much more to tell . . . MUCH MUCH more . . . but I will get to that later - as I have been privaleged over the past few years to much of the behind the scenes activity!

So lets talk about today for now!! . . . I visited the KRT/Nissan Motorsport Headquarters for a catch up and tour . . WOW . . . they are not messing around and its not even finished . . .the Altima makes its Media Debut on Nov 10 . . . and it will be a special bit of car . . .

The entire team at KRT is extemeley Pro . . . and after an awkward year in 2012 . . . John and the Kelly Bros have now (over the past 3 months) put a new structure in place to ensure results . . . and as far as I can see . . those results will come . . .

If anyone has any questions about the Crennan journey from 1987 til NOW . . . with HSV . . . yes I did say NOW . . . please don't be afraid to ask and if I can tell, I will . . . and if you have any questions about KRT and what is there I am happy to respond as well . . . but this is a HSV forum so I will quietly keep the Nissan discussion low key so not to offend anyone on here.

220isenator
25-10-2012, 06:54 PM
I've always been a big fan of the Kelly boys and it's been a shame to see them not meeting their own expectations this year. Will be good to see what they can do next year with the new car. I sure having John there can only be a good thing.

VYSHSV8
26-10-2012, 12:20 PM
So what does John say about the current HSV and does he think there is going to be any defining moment in the near future....
Also what does John think is the most defining moment in HSV history


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk in the middle of Farkin no-where

SoulJet
26-10-2012, 01:11 PM
Thanks for the thread Graeme. Could prove to be a very interesting one!

Like VYSHSV8, I would also like to know what John thinks of the E1/2/3 series and what he would have done differently? Would he have let the performance difference between the GTS and Clubsport become negligible as it is today?
What cars is he particularly proud of?

runted
26-10-2012, 01:12 PM
i have one question, when is he going to start Crennan special vehicles LOL,

but seriously do you think he would ever get involved with or chair something like HSV again

Sniper
26-10-2012, 11:48 PM
So what does John say about the current HSV and does he think there is going to be any defining moment in the near future....
Also what does John think is the most defining moment in HSV history

Thats not something we discussed as a topic but just after the E2 was released he did comment that the styling was ordinary and should have been better . . . . but the Engineering was a good plus !! . . . but we must also understand that some of the E2 engineering was in development on his watch!!

As for defining moments . . . I'll think about that Drew . . . but there was a few . . . depending what the subject matter was . . . I can recall John single handedly saving TW from total destruction when he lost TWR & Arrows F1 . . . and I could write a short book on that . . . . and Marketing decisions he made!! . . . hmmm . . . I get back to you later on that after I sleep on it for a while

I had a great meet with him about 18 months ago when I learnt plenty . . I need to recall some of that discussion and then decide what I should & shouldn't say

Sniper
26-10-2012, 11:50 PM
i have one question, do you think he would ever get involved with or chair something like HSV again

Its not out of the question . . . but it will be at least a year away if it did happen

VYSHSV8
27-10-2012, 02:24 AM
Not a prob Graeme :)
Mmmmm no 005 W427 for sale

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk in the middle of Farkin no-where

Sniper
28-10-2012, 11:25 AM
Not a prob Graeme :)
Mmmmm no 005 W427 for sale

I'm in 2 minds Drew . . . if it makes the $$$ it can go . . . if not its off to Hobart!!

Sniper
28-10-2012, 11:35 AM
At our catch up the other day, we spoke about a huge amount of stuff . . . some that I will impart on the forum over the next week . . . . some I cant cos of the "official secrets act" . . .

But will will start by commenting on the facility at Braeside!! . . . everything is done in house except the engine dynoing . . which is still done over at Larry's workshop at the Moorabin Airport . . . however the Dyno Cells are built and over Xmas , Larrys will move to Braeside along with another brand new one that they bought recently from a high profile Ford Team . . . so from a car build perspective its all at Braeside and is quite a sight . . . they even have a full time guy printing the graphics in a dedicated department . . .

Also and much to my surpruse was a 2 stage Gym/Boxing setup and a full time fitness trainer that everybody that is on the Trackside Team has to answer too from a health perspective . . .

James Brock is also a Full Time Employee in the Body Shop . . . which is interesting as it will soon be officially announced that James Moffat will join the team also . . . quite ironic really . . .

VYSHSV8
28-10-2012, 12:03 PM
Sounds like it going to get very interesting

Perkins, Moffat , Brock


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk in the middle of Farkin no-where

Sniper
28-10-2012, 12:14 PM
I dunno if Brock will actually get a steer . . . Moffat will . . . JC was really impressed with the way Brock was fitting into the Kelly Structure . . .

The Nissan will look quite Fat!! . . . the abilitis of the team at KR is quite amazing really . . . . you need to see it to believe it . . . the whole place is 90% done . . . all they need to do (apart from finishing the Dyno Cells) is the new entertainment an sponsor complex which has been built but is no priority one at the moment - they need to get cars on track

The Entertainment & Sponsor Complex will be world standard and I will be back at Breaside to see the opening of that . . .

VYSHSV8
28-10-2012, 12:41 PM
I dunno if Brock will actually get a steer . . . Moffat will . . . JC was really impressed with the way Brock was fitting into the Kelly Structure . . .

The Nissan will look quite Fat!! . . . the abilitis of the team at KR is quite amazing really . . . . you need to see it to believe it . . . the whole place is 90% done . . . all they need to do (apart from finishing the Dyno Cells) is the new entertainment an sponsor complex which has been built but is no priority one at the moment - they need to get cars on track

The Entertainment & Sponsor Complex will be world standard and I will be back at Breaside to see the opening of that . . .

Sounds excellent :)

Will be a great thing to go and see if I ever get the chance


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Sniper
10-12-2012, 06:04 PM
Another Milestone for John Crennnan today . . . 50 years at Holden/HSV . . . sadly the "BooK' is not ready but it will happen in the "fullness of time"

John sent me (and others) a great email today that I would love to post on the forum . . . but as you guys and girls know I cannot do things like that . . . but if someone wants to post it for me . . flik me a note and I will forward the email for posting . . . as I do not want to rewrite the whole thing myself cos I think its better posted in the format that John sent it in!!

John would be more than happy that the text made it onto this site!!

Sniper
10-12-2012, 07:17 PM
I have recieved a couple of emails addresses for this . . . Brady was first so it has gone to him!!

Strick
10-12-2012, 07:17 PM
50 Years!!

Fifty years ago today, Monday 10th December 1962, I commenced work at GM Holden at Fishermen’s Bend.

I finished my last school exam on the Friday and started work at Holden 3 days later in the Mail Room whilst waiting for my Cadetship in the GMH Sales Department to come through.



With a pay of £10-15-0 a week it would be the start thereafter for 50 years of making my livelihood in one way, shape or form from GMH/Holden and the Automotive Industry.



I had always planned to release my Book on this day, however did not anticipate my level of work this year would rob me of the time necessary to get it completed.



Having done approximately 600 hours of work on my book, I have always found these hours rather 'cathartic' by reflecting on all the people, intrigue and fierce competitiveness of this compelling Auto industry. I could not have imagined a career in anything else other than Cars and working with Car People.



I got involved in the Car Industry thanks to the efforts of my role model, my late father, Harry Crennan, a veteran of 43 years of GMH in the Overseas Purchasing Department who got me jobs on school holidays at GMH from 14 years old. Also to my late 'Uncle George' Mansfield, Sales Director of Melford Motors (Melbourne’s largest Ford Dealership) and later the founder of New Oakleigh Motors. 'Uncle George' called into our home most nights for a sherry with my parents and managed to inject me from 10 years of age with a fascination, not so much about cars, but more the car business.



George Mansfield, a man with a powerful Sales personality and an obsession with high integrity selling pounded into me from 10 years old, his People philosophies. His main message always being "care a lot for the people coming in your back door each morning (staff) and the people walking in your front door (customers) will automatically be treated with care and want to do business with you.



The essence of the book is ‘People’ and it traces my experiences with the people in all categories of the Industry, the Wholesale/Factory side, Retail/Dealers, Motor Sport, Media, Suppliers, Agencies and Automotive Bodies.



The book title is 50 YEARS OF HOLDEN, 1962-2012. PEOPLE, PERSONALITIES, POLITICS and POOR PERFORMANCES.



Whilst the manuscript is at the 70% stage of completion I thought I should release the framework and chapters on the occasion of my 50th Anniversary today of my Holden connection.



Throughout my career I always preached to staff my strongly held belief in business that "a blunt pencil is better than a sharp memory". So my mountains and mountains of diary and file notes I kept over all these years certainly helped me recall the facts of so many elements of my book.



Noted below is the content/framework of each Chapter which the book will cover.



A rather bizarre situation also occurs on my 50th Anniversary today as the contract with Holden, under which my role at the Kelly Racing Team operates, wraps up at the same time.


So following the last day of 50 years of Holden, Day 1 of Year 51, sees me commence working under a new contract with the formation of the Nissan Motorsport business at Kelly Racing in preparation for Nissans entry in V8 Supercars in 2013 with their new Altima model.



Hope you enjoy the preview of my '50 Years of Holden' book and when it is published next year you get to read it. Like the way I work, I don't sit on the fence!!!! Here are the Chapters !!

Title: 50 Years of Holden; December 10, 1962 to December 10, 2012

People, Personalities, Politics and Poor Performances



Chapter 1 - People

1.1 My 'List' of the 2000 people I had dealings with over 50 years and my summary 'Star' ratings.

1.2 My Top '10' most respected and Why.

1.3 My Finest '50' and Why.

1.4 My 'Dream Team' . The 50 Leaders and the Management positions they would selected in for the imaginary ‘Crennan Car Company’ as the 68th entrant/brand in the Australian Market in 2013!! My Factory and Retail Team from the past 50 years if my 'Dream Team ' could all be assembled together at the one time .

1.5 Of all the stakeholders in this fantastic Industry WHY, by a huge margin, it was the Dealers/Retailers I enjoyed dealing with the most.

1.6 Why GMH/Holden Senior Management/Leadership Group went from having so many Heavy Weight highly talented Executives in their ranks in my first 25 years to so few in the past 25.



Chapter 2 – Personalities

2.1 John Bagshaw and John Rock (Bags and Rocky) . Why these two larger than life characters were the most exciting, inspiring and successful Auto Executives in Australia of the past 50 Years.

2.2 Fun and Games with Peter Brock, Craig Lowndes, Wayne Gardiner, Win Percy and Peter Hanenberger.

2.3 The 3 Shades of Tom Walkinshaw as experienced during in our 23 year association;

· Good Tom

· Bad Tom

· Enigmatic Tom

2.4 The Mark Skaife/Tom Walkinshaw HRT Ownership Skirmish



Chapter 3 – Politics

3.1 The 10 Year Journey from the Mailing Room to the Executive Dining Room. Why I learned a lot more in the former.

3.2 The ‘inside story’ on the 1987 Holden/Peter Brock/HDT collapse and Peter’s re-entry 8 years later.

3.3 HSV/HRT

· My first 20 years

- How we built the HSV and HRT brands, and 'hand crafted' the meaning of 'Special' in Holden Special Vehicles at the same time managing Holden Politics with their ‘SS Series’ and being part of winning 8 Australian V8 Racing Championships.

· The past 5 years

- Why the ‘Special’ seems to be lost from Holden Special Vehicles and Nil HRT Australian V8 Racing Championships.

· The next 5 years.

- Can an 800km distant offline 2nd stage Car Modifier with remote UK independent ownership sustain in today’s market.

3.4 Generating over $100 million in Motorsport Sponsorship and Managing Sponsor and Factory expectations .

3.5 Girlfriends, Partners, Wives, Mums and Dads in Motorsport - Oh Boy!



Chapter 4 – Poor Performances

4.1 The 50 Reasons why Holden dropped from nearly 50% market share when I started 50 years ago to approximately 10% , 50 years later and how the Holden Brand got damaged along the way.

4.2 The chronological sequence of 'Events’ and Issues' leading up to the Tom Walkinshaw/TWR Receivership in England and Australia in February 2003.

4.3 The chronological sequence of 'Events’ and fallout for HSV, HRT and TWR CAD following the Tom Walkinshaw/TWR Receivership; including Holden’s 'Operation Leadfoot' study.

4.4 Where were the Product and Brand Police over the past 50 years? Did Holden cause too much confusion with Dealers and Customers with never ending coming and going of 150 plus Products and Brands?

· 14 Business Brands (eg; GMH, HMC)

· 53 Product Brands. (eg; Cruze, Drover)

· 85 Model Brands (eg; Berlina, CD)



Chapter 5 – What’s Next

5.1 December 10, 2012 Goodbye Holden after 50 years and Hello Nissan Motor Sport from December 11, 2012.

5.2 Why Todd and Rick Kelly will emerge over the next 10 years as the Powerhouse of Australian Motor Sport and Specialist Niche Automotive business enterprises.

5.3 What’s the Future for;

· Factory/Dealer Relations

· Local Manufacturing

· Importers

· Motorsport

· Social Media

· Sales vs. Marketing

Strick
10-12-2012, 07:28 PM
Wow, looks like an amazing book. i for one will be buying it.

would be great to get him on the forum haha!!!!!

220isenator
10-12-2012, 09:41 PM
I'll be ordering a copy as soon as it's available. Hopefully I can find John somewhere to get it signed. A true legend of the Australian Motoring Industry.

VYSHSV8
11-12-2012, 04:17 PM
Can't wait for it :)


Sent from the middle of Farkin no-where

Senator01
12-12-2012, 01:52 PM
Seems the whole of Australia know about John now ... http://smh.drive.com.au/motor-news/former-executive-to-tip-a-bucket-on-holden-20121212-2b8ji.html

Sniper
12-12-2012, 05:09 PM
Seems the whole of Australia know about John now ... http://smh.drive.com.au/motor-news/former-executive-to-tip-a-bucket-on-holden-20121212-2b8ji.html

. . . and the best thing is!!! . . . you read it here first - unedited!!!

Senator01
12-12-2012, 06:21 PM
So will John's book make any lick of difference at Holden/HSV?

Pickles
12-12-2012, 08:56 PM
Looks like a REAL good book....I'll be buying it!
Cheers, Pickles.

fleetz
13-12-2012, 09:28 AM
I will be buying it too....looks like a great read.

Senator01
07-06-2013, 09:49 PM
Graeme ... have you spoken to John recently?? Has he said anything about the VF range?

Andrew_02
08-06-2013, 09:38 PM
I'll be very interested in reading the book too. A family member that lives in Malvern East
started working at Fisherman's bend around that time, he retired to his garage only a couple of years ago
Cedo (shortened)

Strick
08-06-2013, 09:42 PM
Is there a release date on this book yet?

Nath
17-06-2013, 06:55 PM
My office used to be around the corner from KRT, was interesting seeing the staff car park change over to 370Z's!

Sniper
19-09-2014, 09:44 PM
Interesting period in Johns life . . . bringing Nissan into V8SC was certainly a master stroke but now he really has an exciting challenge

I have had some dialogue with him this week and whist it is early days for Team Penske/DJR , Roger Penske certainly wants to make a presence here in Australia and who better than John Crennan to drive the behind the scenes mechanisms to achieve that goal . . . all he would say was he has an "Interesting Brief" . . . I will find out more as the year unfolds but you can be sure that the Crennan/Penske alliance will be something special . . . and professional . . .

What he did with HRT in the 90's was nothing short f brilliant and there is no doubt this latest project will be even better with the backing of Roger Penske .

I only wish they were racing anything but Ford . . . but I do expect the "Bar" in V8SC to be raised immensely

Nitrate
23-09-2014, 04:39 PM
Well this together with Marcus is going to create an awesome team.....

http://i1289.photobucket.com/albums/b510/holmesben/10320439_10202070953519601_4412976520786307435_n_z psde5a0946.jpg

Senator01
23-09-2014, 06:31 PM
Not sure if Garth Tander will like his number being taken? ;)

Sniper
04-07-2015, 02:05 PM
Crenno is working for Roger Penske . . . now that's a big tick on an already impressive CV . . . lots of stuff going on in the "Australian Penske" division . . . :)

RCBVFGTS
04-07-2015, 02:11 PM
:o:o:o now that's a talented man we've lost to the dark side. It will be interesting to see the growth of Team Penske now and I dare say a strong force to be reckoned with

Strick
04-07-2015, 02:20 PM
Ah wondered where he would end up!! What a steal by Penske and loss for the Holden/HSV brand

dgp
04-07-2015, 05:29 PM
Graeme do you know how far off the book is?