Bob Lutz

Bob Lutz

GM's sudden decision this week to reverse path and keep Opel rather than sell a majority stake to Magna and Sberbank raised a lot of eyebrows, and even some tempers, around the world. Today, a report from Germany is saying car czar Bob Lutz is to be the next Chairman of Opel's supervisory board, following today's announcement of the departure of current Chairman and president of GM Europe, Carl-Peter Forster.

It wouldn't be the first time Lutz was sent to Europe on car business, as he kicked off his automotive career as part of the GM Europe team from 1963 to 1971. He also held the post of executive vice president of sales at BMW from 1971 to 1974. In the early 1980s, Lutz was Chairman of Ford of Europe and executive vice president of Ford's international operations.

On the other hand, he is also a part of the machine that saw Detroit in general and GM in particular drive itself straight off a cliff over the last several decades. So some in Europe are understandably cross about the idea of Lutz's leadership of Opel.

Lutz won't be taking Forster's position as head of GM Europe, however. That job will be reserved for Nick Reilly. There's no word yet on how Lutz's redirection to Opel will affect his role in GM's current marketing re-imagination campaign. The move could ease the already-planned import of the Opel Insignia as the next-gen Buick Regal.

[Spiegel Online via TTAC]