Opel has announced two new board members, effective 1 September. Michael Lohscheller replaces Mark James as Opel/Vauxhall CFO, while Rita Forst, the head of engineering is replaced by Michael Ableson.

Michael Lohscheller, 43, joins GM Europe from Volkswagen of America. The German native has also held prior positions in the finance departments of Daimler and Mitsubishi Motors Europe. Lohscheller succeeds Mark James whose professional future "will be announced later", according to a statement issued by Opel.

Michael Ableson, who succeeds Rita Forst at engineering, currently holds the title of global vehicle line executive for compact cars, based in Russelsheim. Opel's statement makes no mention of why Rita Forst, who began her long career at Opel in the 1970s, is vacating both her position as vice president of Opel and her seat on the company's management board.

"I'm thanking both Rita and Mark for the hard work", said Steve Girsky, GM vice chairman and chairman of the Opel supervisory board. "I'm also looking forward [to] having both, Michael Lohscheller and Mike Ableson on board. They will help accelerate the company's revitalisation plan".

Both new appointments are subject to the approval of the Opel supervisory board at its next meeting.

April 2012 interview with Rita Forst

Author: Glenn Brooks