Nick Reilly appointed as Opel CEO

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BERLIN (AP) — Veteran General Motors Co. executive Nick Reilly will take over as Opel’s chief executive, Opel announced on Friday.

The widely expected appointment of Reilly — who already is GM Europe president — was part of a broader management shakeup. Reilly will be responsible both for Adam Opel GmbH and British sister brand Vauxhall.

Also Friday, GM disclosed in a U.S. regulatory filing that it loaned Opel $900 million in November to maintain operations and to repay a loan from the German government.

Also, GM on Jan. 4 accelerated $930 million in payments to Opel for engineering work. The accelerated payments will keep Opel going until more permanent financing is arranged, the filing said.

GM is trying to raise 3.3 billion euros ($4.97 billion) to fund Opel’s restructuring and invest in new products. GM may provide 600 million euros of that, with the rest coming from worker concessions and loans from European governments.

GM’s restructuring at Opel is expected to result in about 9,000 job cuts, but its engineering operations would remain intact. Reilly expects to finish a restructuring plan this month.

Opel employs around 45,000 people in Europe, about 25,000 of them in Germany.

The German government granted the money-losing Opel a 1.5 billion euro ($2.2 billion) guarantee for a bridge loan earlier in the year while GM decided whether it would sell the operations.

In the end, GM’s board decided to keep Opel and not sell it to a consortium led by Canadian auto parts maker Magna International Corp.

As part of the management restructuring, Hans Demant, the outgoing Opel managing director, will take on new responsibilities for General Motors Co. as vice president overseeing global intellectual property rights.

Rita Forst was appointed as the Opel management board member responsible for engineering and Mark James will be chief financial officer. Reinald Hoben, Holger Kimmes, Tom McMillen, and Alain Visser will remain on the board.