In an attempt to end losses in Europe, General Motors recently named Alfred Rieck as sales chief of Opel, replacing Alain Visser.

Beginning with July 1st, Rieck will be a member of Opel’s supervisory board, after being CEO of VW’s Skoda China, where he led the introduction of the brand in that market and held other VW management posts in Europe. The company tries to return to profit the European unit and Vauxhall brand in the U.K. after GM lost in 2011 $747 million before taxes and interest, it now plans to make more cost cuts in the region.

“All parties around the table agree that Opel/Vauxhall needs to return to profitability and to take action to increase revenues, improve margins and reduce costs,” Opel’s statement said. “To that extent, the parties are committed to continue the dialogue with each other in order to identify the best possible strategy to improve the company’s financial performance.”

Opel’s Chief Executive Karl-Friedrich Stracke declared that the fact that Rieck can manage a brand (VW) and increase its sales and market share, makes him a key figure in the new positioning at Opel. Predecessor Alain Visser switched internally to the global marketing department of GM’s Chevrolet brand.


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