General Motors says GM Europe president Nick Reilly will retire next March with current Opel head Karl Stracke succeeding him effective from 1 January 2012.

Stracke will continue as CEO of Opel/Vauxhall and will join the GM executive operations committee immediately.  Reilly will remain a member of the executive operations committee until his retirement.

Reilly, 61, who has been with GM for 37 years, was the first president and CEO of GM Daewoo Auto and Technology in Korea when it was founded in 2002.  He moved on to spearhead GM’s growth in Asia Pacific and Latin America and has led GM Europe’s restructuring since December 2009.
“Nick Reilly has answered the call for GM at every turn,” said GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “He returned to Europe and successfully led the turnaround of our operations there during one of the most tumultuous times in our company’s history.”

Stracke returned to his native Germany in March 2011 to lead Opel/Vauxhall, accelerating the company’s restructuring and helping it achieve a modest profit ahead of plan.  He was previously the vice president of GM global vehicle engineering, based in Detroit.

Reilly will continue in an advisory role until his retirement in March 2012.

“Karl Stracke has tremendous product experience and a proven track record of teamwork across organisations,” Akerson said.

“His results-driven style will build on the great work he and Nick started to position Opel/Vauxhall and GM Europe for sustainable and profitable growth.”