Opel has announced that Thomas Sedran, one of the struggling automaker’s strategy heads and chief of operations, will serve as interim chairman until a permanent replacement can be found.
Sedran’s temporary appointment comes less than a week after former Opel boss Karl-Friedrich Stracke announced his resignation
He will work closely with the chairman of Opel’s supervisory board, Steve Girsky, who is currently handling the day to day operations of the firm and is responsible for implementing its turnaround strategy, first announced by Stracke at the start of the month.
The 10-point plan includes introducing new, more efficient models, streamlining the operations, expanding exports, and boosting collaboration with rival firms to reduce costs and development lead times. We could also see Opel close at least one plant in Germany, something that no major automaker has done since World War II.
Speaking at the announcement of Sedran’s appointment this week, Girsky said, “We will continue to implement our business plan as it was outlined and work to improve it. We will further reduce bureaucracy and continue to challenge the corporate culture.”
Opel, faced with a shrinking European market, is plagued with overcapacity issues and is bleeding money. Together with its British subsidiary Vauxhall, Opel lost more than the $256 million in the first quarter of the year and without change may end up losing more than the $747 million it lost last year.
This has led many industry watchers to believe GM is looking to cut off Opel, either by selling it off and winding down the operations. For now GM states that it remains committed to the brand and will be launching several new models in the near future. Pictured above is one of the new generation of Opels, the recently revealed Adam minicar which will serve as the new entry to the brand when it hits showrooms later this year.