Head of German carmaker Opel resigns | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 12.07.2012
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Head of German carmaker Opel resigns

German carmaker Opel has announced the resignation of its chief executive, Karl-Friedrich Stracke. He has also stepped down from his position as president of Opel's parent company, General Motors Europe.

German automaker Opel on Thursday said its CEO, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, had stepped down from the position which he had held from April 2011. He also resigned as chairman of Opel's parent company, General Motors Europe, the company announced in a statement. The 56-year-old Stracke had been appointed to this position only a few months ago.

GM Vice-Chairman Steve Girsky was to take over Stracke's former duties on an interim basis, as the carmaker started looking for a permanent replacement.

General Motors Chief Executive Dan Akerson gave no reason for the resignation of Stracke, saying only that the latter had worked "tirelessly, under pressure, to stabilize the ailing company."

Stracke himself was quoted as saying that he believed "Opel/Vauxhall has a bright future" and added that he was looking forward to taking on special assignments under GM's management. No details were provided as to which tasks he would tackle.

Targets not met

Analysts put Stracke's resignation down to his inability to turn around a European car division that had run up billions of euros (dollars) in losses over the past 10 years.

In June 2012, Opel's supervisory board approved a deep restructuring plan to get the company back on a sound financial footing while remaining vague about further plant closures in Europe, Germany included, in a couple of years from now.

Opel has been suffering from the ongoing debt crisis in the eurozone, seeing its business in the most affected southern European nations go down the drain. GM has not allowed it to sell cars overseas to compensate for the losses incurred on the European continent.

hg/pfd (AFP, dapd, dpa)