General Motors has today named Karl-Friedrich Stracke CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, effective April 1. He succeeds Nick Reilly in the post, although Reilly remains in overall charge of GM’s European operations.

German national Stracke – who is currently GM’s head of Global Engineering – will also be nominated to be Chairman of the Management Board of Adam Opel AG.

GM described the move as ‘adding significant management strength as the company’s European operations continue on their growth plan’. GM’s European operations are currently loss-making.

GM also said that Nick Reilly, who continues as the head of GM’s European operations, will be nominated to chair the Opel Supervisory Board. In his capacity as CEO of Opel/Vauxhall, Stracke will report to Reilly. Walter Borst, President & CEO GM Asset Management and current Supervisory Board Chairman, continues to serve as a regular member of the Supervisory Board.

“The European market and our European operations are important to General Motors, and these moves will ensure that we have the best leadership in place as we continue toward growth and profitability,” said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and chief executive officer.

Stracke, 55, is a 32-year veteran of General Motors who has led global vehicle engineering for the last year and a half.

“I am excited to lead a company with such a rich German heritage at this time in its history,” said Stracke.  “Opel/Vauxhall has a great workforce and an exciting and innovative product portfolio. I’m looking forward to a thriving future.”

In addition to serving on the Opel Supervisory Board, Nick Reilly will also oversee Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe.  Reilly joined GM Europe in November 2009 after running GM’s International Operations based in China for three years.

“We look forward to welcoming Karl-Friedrich Stracke home to Germany,” said Reilly.  “I am very pleased to have a leader of his experience, talent and engineering background running Opel/Vauxhall.”

Stracke will be replaced by John Calabrese, executive director Global Vehicle Engineering. Calabrese joined GM in 1981. Since then he has held several key leadership positions in GM’s global engineering operations.