General Motors Europe president Carl-Peter Forster will get a seat on the GM board from spring 2008, according to a weekend report.

Economics magazine Wirtschaftswoche said GM CEO Rick Wagoner, at the Detroit show last week, told Forster (52) he would become a board member and, from next January, would take over industry veteran Bob Lutz’s role as head of development for GM worldwide. Lutz is 75 and has already ‘retired’ at least once.

According to the report, one of Forster’s key roles following a move to the motor city will be to continue monitoring collaboration between Opel and Saturn.

The German-designed Astra, Zafira and Vectra wagon will all be rebadged by Saturn for US sale, as part of a broad co-operation between the two brands, that will see them share GM global resources. Early examples include the Saturn Sky and upcoming Opel GT plus the Opel Antara and 2008 Saturn Vue.

Last month Forster said all vehicles for the Saturn and Opel brands would be interchangeable by 2014.

“From now on, whenever we develop a vehicle, we have to make sure we can export it to the US, and vice versa.”

GM Europe spokeswoman Karin Kirchner told just-auto: “Carl-Peter Forster remains fully committed to GM and to GM Europe, this is pure speculation by the media.”