Effective April 1, Karl-Friedrich Stracke will be a part of Magna Steyr (a Magna International Inc. unit) where he will oversee contract manufacturing in Graz, Austria, as well as its worldwide engineering. His official title is President Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik. Stracke, a German native who is 56 years old, used to be the CEO of Opel. According to Magna’s statement, Stracke is an asset because of his broad experience in complete vehicle engineering and manufacturing. Stracke was taken off his position as the CEO of Opel in July 2012 after 15 months on the job.
He was transferred to Opel parent, General Motors, and was given new duties. He is a GM veteran of over 30 years. Before he was named Opel CEO, he used to lead GM’s global vehicle engineering based in Detroit. Stracke has received commendations as one of the key engineers who had overhauled vehicle lineup as it exited a government-supported bankruptcy in 2009.
This group was credited for the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. In Stracke’s new job, he will be reporting to Magna Steyr President Guenther Apfalter, Magna International and its partner, Russian lender Sberbank, which entered talks with GM in 2009 to acquire Opel but GM chose to keep the Germany-based division.
Last March 1, Karl-Thomas Neumann became head of Opel. Neumann used to be a Volkswagen executive and had also served as the Continental CEO.
Since Stracke was removed from his position at Opel, the brand was managed by GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky and Thomas Sedran, head of Opel strategy. Stracke, a mechanical engineer, became a part of Opel in 1979. He went up the engineering ranks to be named the head of its plant in Bochum, Germany, where he stayed from 1995 to 1999.