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Holden boss Mike Devereux leaves in December

Mike Devereux's successor is yet to be announced but will likely be a foreign executive.

Holden's manufacturing future is once again under a cloud with the announcement today that the company's boss -- Mike Devereux -- will quit the post at the end of this year to take a senior role at General Motors in Shanghai.

Mr Devereux has been a vocal supporter of local manufacturing and the main driver of the company's push to keep Holden's car factory alive beyond 2016.

His sudden departure puts in doubt General Motors' commitment to keeping the Elizabeth facility and the jobs of 1700 factory workers employed there.

His successor is yet to be announced but will likely be a foreign executive. The last Australian to run Holden was John Bagshaw from 1987 to 1990.

Holden spokesman Sean Poppitt denied Mr Devereux's move was a blow to Holden's manufacturing plans. "We will continue our discussions with the government," Mr Poppitt said.

Mr Devereux will become the Vice President of General Motors' international operates, effectively filling the role of his former boss and a step up in the GM empire.

Mr Devereux, who was in Shanghai this week on company business, will continue to oversee Holden until the end of the year.

"We have a diverse, complex region," said the head of GM international operations, Stefan Jacoby. "Mike's extensive international and cross-functional knowledge of our business will be critical as we look to position CIO for success in the coming years."

Mr Devereux began his career at GM in Canada. Prior to running Holden in 2010 he was Managing Director of GM Middle East Operations. At the time of his arrival Mr Devereux was the fourth boss of Holden in as many years.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling