General Motors will name Adam Opel chief Carl-Peter Forster as chief operating officer of its money-losing European operation this month, Automotive News reported, citing Dow Jones Newswires.

The report said Forster will work closely with Fritz Henderson, GM's former Asia-Pacific head who took over as GM Europe president on June 1, to right the unprofitable organisation.

Automotive News noted that GM Europe lost $US116 million in the first quarter, and is now on track to post a full-year loss greater than the $100 million it had projected.

The report said Bob Lutz, GM's vice chairman who was interim president of GM Europe before June 1, has laid the groundwork for a reorganisation that will cut through GM's various European brands - including Opel, Vauxhall and Saab - and centralise control, giving Henderson a much stronger co-ordinating role.

Forster reportedly will focus on getting the cost side of GM Europe under control - he was the architect of Opel's Project Olympia as a newly appointed chairman in 2001.

The program has made substantial progress, but GM has concluded that it isn't enough, Automotive News added.