Magna International on Friday confirmed media speculation earlier this week: General Motors group vice-president for advanced vehicle development Mark Hogan has joined the vehicle parts maker and contract assembler as president.

Hogan spent over 30 years with GM and his career included assignments as president, GM do Brazil, president of e-GM and as general manager for the GM North American car group, small car operations.

Frank Stronach, Magna's chairman and interim president and CEO, said: "Mark will be an extremely valuable addition to our senior management team where his broad experience in various areas at General Motors, the world's largest OEM, will assist us in our efforts to explore new markets and opportunities."

Magna makes automotive components worldwide and assembles complete vehicles for DaimlerChrysler and BMW at plants in Austria.

US reports this week speculating on Hogan's move noted that he is the second high-level GM executive to leave this year to head a supplier after GM Europe president Mike Burns resigned in March to become president and CEO at Toledo, Ohio-based Dana Corp.

He is, however, the first high-level defection from GM's revamped product development staff since the arrival three years ago of Bob Lutz, the automaker's 'product czar' and vice chairman.

Paper tips GM vehicle developer to jump ship