Blog: The defenestration of Stracke: what now for Opel-Vauxhall?
Glenn Brooks | 12 July 2012
GM Europe's announcement that Opel/Vauxhall CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke is to step down is probably the worst thing that could have happened for the divisions' long-suffering workers. What happens now?
In short, a German who formerly headed up Engineering for the whole of General Motors is not now going to be allowed to try to reinvigorate Opel, an engineering-led firm for the entire 150 years of its existence. So what is GM's new strategy?
Its does seem a curious decision for Dan Akerson to relieve Stracke of his post, if indeed that is what's happened. GM told the international media a few moments ago that the now former Opel/Vauxhall head is to "take on special assignments", while Opel and GM board member Steve Girsky has stepped in to take on the role for an interim period "while the company searches for a replacement".
Let's allow the dust to settle and see why Stracke had to go, not to mention if this now means Opel/Vauxhall's owner is about to initiate an emergency plan that starts with Management-from-Michigan. I'll also be watching to see what GM does shortly after the German, Polish, Spanish and British unions react to this shock news in the way that we all know they will.
It should be remembered that Opel and Vauxhall staffers and their easily-terminated agency staff colleagues have had a truly ghastly time of it for almost five years now. One suspects GM might be about to unleash some Angela Merkel-style tough love. But how much more can these people take?
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