Opel CEO steps down ahead of sale to French rival

Opel CEO steps down ahead of sale to French rival

Karl-Thomas Neumann, a former Volkswagen AG executive who joined GM's Opel division in 2013, will be replaced as CEO by Opel Chief Financial Officer Michael Lohscheller.

"It was a hard personal decision to not continue with the Opel/Vauxhall team when it transitions to Group PSA", Neumann said in a statement.

Without citing its sources, the newspaper said that while Neumann sees the sale to PSA as the right strategic step, he is concerned that the new owner is underestimating the growing importance of electric cars.

New CEO Michael Lohscheller stated that the management switch wouldn't alter the brand's current plans, and used the announcement as a chance to emphasise ambitions to become one of Europe's biggest auto makers.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - The CEO of General Motors' European subsidiary, Opel, is stepping down ahead of the money-losing unit's sale to France's PSA Group.

Neumann, 56, planned to inform Opel's supervisory board about his decision at its next meeting on June 22, FAS said, adding he wanted to stay on only until GM completed the sale of Opel to PSA, owner of the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands.

"Under Neumann's leadership we have made enormous progress in turning around Opel", GM President Dan Ammann said in an emailed statement.

General Motors Co.'s European unit Opel appointed a new chief executive as Peugeot gets set to complete its more than $2 billion acquisition of the perennially money-losing vehicle maker.

German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported on Saturday that Neumann was leaving.

Dr. Neumann stated that it was hard for him to make the decision to step down from the highest position in the Opel/Vauxhall corporate tree, and he also explained that he would leave once the transition to Groupe PSA is concluded.

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