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British boss interim head of GM Europe

NICK REILLY, the British executive who is president of General Motors&rsquo; (GM) international operations, has been named as the man to lead the recovering carmaker&rsquo;s European arm, Opel, as it searches for a new chief executive.<br /><br />The news comes a week after GM, which emerged from bankruptcy at warp-speed in July this year, shocked the industry by saying it would not sell off Opel &ndash; or Vauxhall in the UK &ndash; to Canadian group Magna, as had been expected.<br /><br />Carl-Peter Forster, the president of GM Europe, stood down when the carmaker scrapped its plans to sell the business<br /><br />GM is massively restructuring as it seeks to deal with plummeting demand for cars in the global downturn, and was selling off Opel, which makes the Corsa and the Astra, to raise funds after the US government bailed it out.<br /><br />But it changed its mind last week, when figures showed car sales were on the up, boosted by incentives like the cash-for-bangers scheme worldwide. Reilly will &ldquo;oversee the creation of a strategy to position Opel/Vauxhall for long-term success,&rdquo; a statement said yesterday.<br /><br />Reilly, a Cambridge graduate, joined GM in 1975. He serves as deputy chairman of the Seoul International Business Advisory Council (SIBAC), is past chairman of the US National Centre for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (NCAPEC), and is a member of the US APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). <br /><br />Reilly&rsquo;s reputation within GM is strong, and he is credited with overseeing the formation of GM Daewoo.<br /><br />&ldquo;With his deep experience with the Opel and Vauxhall brands, Nick is well suited to lead this transition and to work toward the earliest possible normalization of the business,&rdquo; GM chief executive Fritz Henderson said.