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OPEL Vauxhall, part of the Stellantis car group, has appointed Uwe Hochgeschurtz as its CEO effective September 1 this year.

Mr Hochgeschurtz, who is currently CEO of Renault Germany, Austria and Switzerland, succeeds Michael Lohscheller who has left the company.

He will join the top executive team of Stellantis and report directly to Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares.

Mr Hochgeschurtz started his automotive industry career in 1990 at Ford before joining VW in 2001 and Renault in 2004.

He studied business administration in Germany, the UK and France.

“I am convinced that Uwe will successfully drive this new chapter of the Opel brand, thanks to his more than 30 years of automotive commercial experience,” said Mr Tavares.

Mr Lohscheller was Opel CEO for four years, appointed in 2017 when the brand was acquired by PSA Group that is now part of Stellantis.

He started his automotive career at Mitsubishi Europe in 2001 and moved to Volkswagen in 2004 where he worked in marketing and served as chief financial officer for VW Group of America.

He joined Opel as CFO in 2012 and was named CEO in July 2017, shortly after PSA Group bought Opel/Vauxhall from General Motors.

After losing billions of dollars under GM ownership – $A344 million in 2016 alone – Opel-Vauxhall recorded a profit in 2018, its first year outside of GM, of $A1.3 billion.

Mr Lohscheller was named an Automotive News Europe Eurostar in 2019 because of the turnaround.

He announced last week that the brand would be an electric-only brand in Europe by 2028 and would expand into China as an EV maker, part of a push to increase the brand’s international sales.

Mr Tavares thanked Mr Lohscheller for “having established strong sustainable foundations for Opel together with the employees”.

“This impressive turnaround paves the way for the forthcoming worldwide commercial development of the brand,” he said. “I wish Michael all the best for his next career step.”

By Neil Dowling

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