Vauxhall will get a new managing director, Duncan Aldred, on Jan. 1 while Bill Parfitt, the brand's chairman and managing director, will stay as chairman. In other changes former Fiat Powertrain Technologies China CEO Freeman H. Shen has joined Geely and Skoda gets a new marketing head in the UK and a new global production expert.
Vauxhall UK boss stays; ex-Fiat exec joins Geely; Skoda gets new blood
General Motors Co.'s Vauxhall brand will get a new managing director, Duncan Aldred, on Jan. 1. He succeeds Bill Parfitt, who will remain chairman.
Last month, Parfitt, 62, said he would retire at the end of this year but retain a non-executive role as chairman.
GM said Parfitt will now serve as GM's UK chairman with a strategic role while rising GM Europe executive Duncan Aldred, 39, will be Vauxhall's new managing director, starting Jan. 1.
Parfitt's strategic role will be to prepare GM's UK business for future growth. Aldred will manage all Vauxhall's operational activities with a particular focus on sales, marketing and aftersales.
Nick Reilly, GM Europe's new president, said: "With Bill's strategic vision and a strong operational grip from Duncan, together they will drive the growth of the Vauxhall brand in the UK."
Parfitt joined Vauxhall in 1998 as fleet operations director.
Aldred, currently GM Europe sales operations director in Ruesselsheim, joined Vauxhall as an undergraduate at the Ellesmere Port plant in northwestern England in 1990.
Vauxhall accounts for about 20 percent of GM's sales in Europe and the UK is GM's fourth-largest global market in the world.
Ex-Fiat engines boss in China joins Geely
Former CEO of Fiat Powertrain Technologies China Freeman H. Shen has joined Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. as Geely's vice president for overseas business.
Shen, who joined Geely on December 1, brings a wealth of overseas experience to the Chinese automaker. He worked for Fortune 500 companies from North America and Europe for many years, including TXU Group, Eaton Corp. and BorgWarner Inc.
Shen then returned to China and until this month he was chairman or board member for Fiat Group's JV and its wholly owned subsidiaries in Chongqing, Hangzhou and Shanghai.
Chinese executives who return home after making it to senior executive level in the overseas operations of global automakers are comparatively rare. But in this respect, Shen will not be alone at Geely.
Frank Zhao, a former research executive for technical affairs at DaimlerChrysler, returned to China in 2004. After serving as technology chief of Shenyang Brilliance Jinbei Automobile Co., he joined Geely in 2006 as vice president for research and development.
Head of VW's Passat plant moves to Skoda
Volkswagen veteran Pavel Vacek will join Skoda as head of the VW Czech subsidiary's production planning and technical support, effective January 1.
Currently, Vacek, 46, is head of Volkswagen's factory in Emden, Germany.
Jens Herrmann will take on Vacek's role in Emden, which builds the Passat sedan, station wagon and CC variants.
Hermann, 50, is currently manufacturing head at Emden. He joined VW in 1988 and has worked in Wolfsburg and as assembly leader at Seat's factory in Martorell, near Barcelona.
Vacek joined Skoda in 1986 and later worked in Wolfsburg and then as Skoda's head of press shop planning and head of powertrain construction.
He moved to Emden in 2002 and has been plant manager since 2007.
Emden built 236,000 cars last year and has 8,900 employees.
Newitt will head Skoda marketing in UK
Chris Newitt will take over as Skoda's UK marketing head on February 1.
He replaces Mary Newcombe, who takes on the role of head of learning services for all VW brands in the UK.
Newitt joins Skoda from Volkswagen passenger cars, where he is currently head of retail operations in the UK. He joined Volkswagen UK in 1996 as fleet development manager.