Karl-Thomas Neumann, head of Volkswagen in China until he was moved sideways in a management shake-up earlier this year, could be the next head of Opel, according to media reports on both sides of the Atlantic.

The loss-making division hasn’t had a CEO since Karl-Friedrich Stracke was removed in July. Thomas Sedran, a consultant who joined Opel in April, has been acting CEO since July.

Bloomberg News, citing unidentified sources said to be familiar with the discussions, said General Motors would like to have Neumann in place as soon as possible although existing contract issues could remain a problem.

Reuters had previously reported that Neumann would not be available until the middle of next year.

Neumann was CEO of Continental, the tyre and parts maker, from 2008 to 2009.

Last week, GM said that its troubled European division was expected to make a full-year loss of between US$1.5 and 1.8bn.