Opel: Stracke Out, Girsky In, GM In Panic

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
opel stracke out girsky in gm in panic

The Opel mess claims another victim. “Opel’s Karl-Friedrich Stracke stepped down from his position as chief executive of the embattled carmaker to take on “special assignments”, where he will report to the Chairman and CEO of parent General Motors,” Reuters says.

“GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, currently Chairman of the Opel Supervisory Board, will serve as acting head of GM’s European operations as the company searches for a replacement. The supervisory board of Adam Opel AG will be convened soon to appoint an interim chairman of the management board,” GM says in a statement.

That “special assignment” job usually means that the man keeps office, secretary, car and face. Engineer Stracke is a GM lifer. His assignment to rescue Opel was widely seen as a mission impossible.

Analysts interviewed by Reuters say that “GM appeared to be panicking as the change comes so soon after a turnaround plan for the struggling Opel was approved and a replacement was not named. ”

“The timing of today’s announcement bodes poorly for the condition of GM’s European business,” Jefferies analyst Peter Nesvold said in a research note.

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11 of 17 comments
  • "scarey" "scarey" on Jul 12, 2012

    Good luck, Mr. Girsky. ;-]

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Jul 12, 2012

    "Engineer Stracke is a GM lifer." Like, life without parole?

    • See 2 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jul 14, 2012

      @28-Cars-Later I wasn't aware there was a recall, props to RenCen I suppose but regardless the 3.0L from what I have read wasn't anything to write home about when it did work. Shame too because although I certainly wasn't in a position to purchase one when it came out (I was a hs sophomore) I really liked the lines of the Caddy that zigged. In hindsight it looked like another half baked idea and possible reuse Opel plant capacity production exercise.

  • Ron Ron on Jul 12, 2012

    I've known Steve for decades -- he's just what GM Europe needs.

  • Jmatt Jmatt on Jul 16, 2012

    GM is an insolvent mess that owes the taxpayers out the wazoo. Why did it buy another insolvent mess in Europe?

    • Truckducken Truckducken on Jul 16, 2012

      To be fair, I don't think GM owed the taxpayers quite so much when they acquired Opel back in '29.