General Motors appoints new European president

Vauxhall’s former managing director Nick Reilly has been named as the new president of General Motors Europe.


Reilly was appointed as interim chief executive last month to head the brand until a new leader was appointed and was promoted to president by General Motors board today (December 4) with immediate effect.

The car marque has been seeking a new leader following parent company General Motor’s decision to cancel the sale of Vauxhall and Opel to Canadian group Magna International last month.

Reilly will be tasked with “overseeing the creation of a strategy to position Opel/Vauxhall for long-term success’. He was previously president of GM’s International Operations based in Shanghai, China, but left the day-to-day operations of the various international subsidiaries to be handled by the respective country managing directors while he served in Europe. GM vice president Tim Lee is taking over his previous role.

General Motors is under pressure from German and British politicians to quickly present a restructuring plan for the two marques and have warned that GM should not count on governments to shoulder most of the overhaul costs.

The company has previously warned that the number of job cuts could total around 10,000 in Europe, but declined to elaborate on details or possible plant closures. Senior executives from General Motors have been to present their detailed business plan for the future of Vauxhall, but details remain uncertain.

Earlier this week, GM chief executive Fritz Henderson resigned from the company with GM chairman Edward Whitacre looking afrter the post on an interim basis while a search for a new president and CEO is ongoing.

GM’s head of marketing Bob Lutz has also been reassigned as vice chairman and adviser on design and global product development.

In Europe, the company is also trying to sell its Saab brand and says it has received “expressions of interest”. Potential bids will be evaluated by the end of December.

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