New Opel CFO: GM can turn around Opel image

Michael Lohscheller, newly appointed as Opel’s chief financial officer, believes General Motors has the strength and will to turn around its troubled European subsidiary.

The new CFO also said in his first interview as a top Opel exec, that GM has already figured out where it wants to take the Opel brand in the next 10 years.

GM Europe has lost a total of $16 billion in the past 12 years, although it has repeatedly cut jobs. 43-year-old Lohscheller, former finance manager at Volkswagen, is a passionate marathon runner, hence the comparison between Opel’s recovery and his favorite sport.

“We cannot just take off in a sprint and then be completely out of breath after three months, we need to be able to stick to our speed and maintain it – endurance is extremely important. Opel’s recovery is a long-term project,” Lohscheller was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“I was convinced by the commitment that GM continues to show for Opel and Europe and I believe in the 10-year plan ‘Drive Opel 2022,’ which is based on growth, through new products for example, and on cost reductions,” he added.

However, he declined to offer details about the 10-year plan beyond the announced rollout of 23 models and 13 powertrains through the end of 2016.