GM to refresh management

GENERAL Motors will announce a major overhaul of its European management structure this week as it seeks to reassert control over its lossmaking operations.<br /><br />Nick Reilly, European head of GM and chief executive of Opel and Vauxhall, is expected to unveil a new &ldquo;one tier&rdquo; management that combines the three brands&rsquo; executives.<br /><br />The shake-up follows a string of changes in the US under interim chief executive Ed Whitacre, and could mirror the American division&rsquo;s push for younger leaders.<br /><br />A spokesman said: &ldquo;Nick Reilly is going to reorganise Europe big time.&rdquo;<br /><br />The reshuffle follows Reilly&rsquo;s promise to safeguard 5,000 UK jobs until at least 2013. Although GM recently announced 350 job losses at Luton as part of a programme of 9,000 redundancies worldwide, Reilly said these would happen through staff retiring rather than being sacked.<br /><br />He said: &ldquo;There will be no forced redundancies at Ellesmere Port and at Luton it is similar. I can tell you there is a strong future for both plants.&rdquo;<br />Reilly said the launch of the new Vauxhall Astra in Ellesmere Port was central to GM&rsquo;s European plans.<br /><br />Changes at the Luton plant, which makes Vivaro vans for Renault, would not happen until 2013 and discussions would take place after that to manufacture another model, he said.