Opel, GM’s loss making European unit, will get new platforms from PSA Peugeot Citroen and a new boss from VW.
Opel’s supervisory board is expected to confirm the appointment of VW executive Karl-Thomas Neumann as the automaker’s new CEO at a meeting which is to take place on Thursday, January 31st.
“There is consensus on the supervisory board on this. Neumann has experience with restructuring and has excellent leadership skills,” the Opel board member said.
Although Neumann’s contract with Volkswagen expires on June 30th, a source close to the company said that the automaker was willing to allow Neumann to end his contract earlier as a good-will gesture. Neumann, 51, will replace interim CEO Thomas Sedran beginning with March 1st. Neumann, an electronics engineer, spent most of his early career at VW, until he left the company to be the CEO of German supplier Continental AG. In 2009 he rejoined VW and from this year he will serve as Opel’s CEO.
GM decided to hire Neumann as Opel’s CEO as part of its plan to bring back on the track the automaker’s money-losing European business. Currently Opel is being handled on an interim basis by restructuring expert Thomas Sedran since April. Mr Sedran comes from consulting firm AlixPartnerswhere and he recently helped GM to create an alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen.