General Motors has named Opel strategy chief Thomas Sedran as the new boss of Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe, effective July 1 2013. He will be replacing Susan Docherty, who has resigned from the carmaker citing her desire to spend more time with her family as the main reason. GM chief executive Dan Akerson remarked they need a fresh perspective for Chevrolet in Europe.
In a statement, Sedran remarked that Chevrolet had one of the youngest model ranges after introducing 15 new or upgraded models in the past three years, including the Trax subcompact sports utility vehicle. He added that Cadillac expected to gain new customers with units like the Cadillac ATS.
Tim Lee, GM's head of international operations, said in a statement that Sedran, who boasts of over 20 years of experience in the automotive business, will prove to be vital in driving the "business and the long-term strategy for Chevrolet and Cadillac's success in Europe."
By bringing Opel's strategy chief to Chevrolet, GM could more clearly delineate the two brands, helping prevent cannibalization of each other's sales. Akerson said Sedran understands the "channel conflicts we inevitably have had between Opel and Chevrolet."
Sedran is facing a tall order in increasing Chevrolet's sale in Europe, which vehicle market has been suffering from the current economic crisis in the continent.
GM has positioned Chevrolet as a value brand below Opel. Most of Chevrolet's sales in Europe are small cars like the Aveo and Spark/Matiz. [source: GM]