Starting April 1, Karl-Friedrich Stracke will replace Nick Reilly as CEO of General Motors Co.’s Opel/Vauxhall unit. For the past year and a half, Stracke has headed GM's global vehicle engineering.
Stracke will directly report to Reilly, who will continue to lead GM's European operations and will be nominated to be the chairman of the Opel supervisory board.
GM said that the move strengthens its management as its European operations proceed with their growth plan.
In a statement, GM CEO Dan Akerson said that GM considers the European market and its European operations to be important and so these actions will guarantee that it will put in the best leadership as it continues to grow and improve profitability.
Stracke has been with GM for 32 years. He is joining Opel/Vauxhall as it seeks to become profitable once again after having had to reduce capacity by a fifth and cut about 8,000 of its 48,000 workforce.
For 2010, GM Europe was GM's only unprofitable division. Returning to profitability would be the key to GM Europe's recovery. Last year, GM lost $1.76 billion in Europe.
GM Europe is expected to break even this year, before restructuring costs are taken into account. Aside from serving on the Opel supervisory board, Reilly will also continue to oversee Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe. In November 2009, Reilly joined GM Europe after handling GM's international operations based in China for three years.