Restructuring expert takes the wheel at Opel

Restructuring expert takes the wheel at Opel
Photo: DPA
A former restructuring expert has taken the wheel at Opel to lead the ailing auto maker – as it released dismaying figures which showed a significant drop in turnover this year.

Thomas Sedran will head up Opel until a permanent replacement can be found for CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke who resigned last Thursday.

Sedran was only brought onto the Opel board this April – brought in from consultant firm AlixPartners where he was involved in work with the European car industry.

Struggling Opel, which is owned by American car giant General Motors (GM), released dismaying figures on Tuesday. These showed a 15 percent drop in turnover in the first half of the year – a significantly worse performance than the rest of the industry.

The average drop in turnover according to the industry association Acea was 6.8 percent. Opel is barely present in the expanding car markets of Russia, China, Japan and India.

German unions representing Opel workers have long been warning of large job losses as GM tries to restructure to make the firm viable. The fear is that GM gives up on the brand.

And Willi Diez, an expert in the industry suggested “that GM will in the future push its brand Chevrolet in Europe in order to make up for the dropping turnover figures at Opel.”

DAPD/The Local/hc

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