FRANKFURT, June 26 General Motors
appointed Opel's strategy chief Thomas Sedran to run the
European operations of GM's two global brands Chevrolet and
Cadillac starting next month, Chevrolet said on Wednesday.
Sedran, a former auto industry consultant for AlixPartners
who joined Opel in April last year, served as interim CEO for
the loss-making European brand from last July until the arrival
of Karl-Thomas Neumann in March.
He follows Chevy Europe head Susan Docherty, who never
managed to increase sales of GM's budget brand in Europe during
her 18-month stint. She will be leaving GM in September.
Bringing Opel's strategy chief to Chevrolet may help prevent
any further cannibalisation of each other's sales by more
clearly delineating the two mass market brands.
Sedran said Chevrolet had one of the youngest model ranges
after launching 15 new or upgraded models in the past three
years including the Trax subcompact SUV, while Cadillac expected
to attract new customers with cars such as the sporty ATS, which
competes against the BMW 3 Series.
Chevy, which almost exclusively imports cars to Europe from
GM's South Korean unit, has lost ground to low-cost rivals
Hyundai and Kia.
While Chevrolet's market share in Europe dropped to 1.1
percent during the first five months of this year from the
average 1.3 percent when Docherty took over at the start of
2012, Korean budget brands Hyundai and Kia grew theirs by
roughly half a percentage point each to 3.5 percent and 2.7
Cadillac sold less than 500 cars in western and central
European last year out of the roughly 196,000 Cadillacs sold
Separately, Opel said Tina Mueller, who recently ran
Henkel's Beauty Care cosmetics division for western Europe,
would become chief marketing officer from Aug. 1.