China’s Qoros taps former local General Motors chief to fill in CEO role image

Chinese automaker Chinese has asked Phil Murtaugh, a former General Motors executive, to become the company’s chief executive officer, as it fights to lift sales.

According to a statement coming from Qoros, Murtaugh – which has almost 16 years of experience in China in various roles – is the former leader of GM’s China operations and also commanded the then-Chrysler Group’s Asian unit. Guo Qian, the former Qoros chief executive officer, decided to vacate the post and head back to Chery Automobile. Murtaugh, 60, was also the chief executive officer of electric carmaker Coda Automotive, which declared bankruptcy in 2013. “I am pleased to welcome Phil Murtaugh as the new Chief Executive Officer of Qoros Automotive. Phil has many years of experience in the automotive sector and in China. His strength lies in shaping effective organizations, building and expanding new products and brands, and above all exhibiting outstanding leadership to lead in challenging environments,” commented in the statement Anning Chen, Chairman of Qoros.

According to LMC Automotive figures, Qoros is – just like other local automakers – struggling to compete against foreign global brands, such as Volkswagen AG and general Motors. While the company has a factory outside of Shanghai that can produce in excess of 150,000 units annually, it only managed to deliver 6,967 vehicles last year in its home market – the world’s largest. According to Qoros sales chief Stefano Villanti, after successfully testing the European market by selling vehicles in only one market – Slovakia, since late 2013 – the Chinese brand is now ready expand sales across Europe by 2016.

Via Automotive News Europe