Opel hires VW Executive as Sales Chief image

General Motor Co.’s (GM) European Adam Opel AG appointed a 55-year-old executive from Volkswagen as board member responsible for sales and marketing, Financial Times Deutschland reported in a preview of an article that will run tomorrow.

Alfred Rieck, who was in charge of building up the China business for VW’s low-cost Czech brand Skoda, will start his new job effective July 1.

Ruesselsheim-based Opel said Alfred Rieck, 55, will replace Alain Visser, marketing chief since 2004, who is leaving the company.

Mr. Rieck “is an outstanding sales and marketing professional with proven expertise in leading and developing a brand, increasing share and volume,” the chief executive of Opel and its sister brand Vauxhall, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, said.

The company’s supervisory board began a meeting earlier on Wednesday under the cloud of potential plant closures.

GM has grown increasingly impatient with the chronic losses in Europe, including $747 million last year. It has joined forces with France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) to help find $2 billion of annual cost savings.

Overall, total new car sales in Europe fell 7.1pc last month. Sales in Portugal collapsed by 47.4pc, and France sales fell 20.7pc, Italy 16.9pc and Greece 13.3pc.