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Thomas Sedran previously held senior positions at GM (Photo: GM)

Volkswagen has named Thomas Sedran as its new head of group strategy effective November 1. The appointment marks the second time in recent weeks that the embattled carmaker appoints someone from outside the group to assume key responsibilities.

Sedran, 51, most recently was interim CEO at General Motors' Opel division and, from 2013, headed GM's Chevrolet and Cadillac brands in Europe. Earlier, he was a consultant at Roland Berger and Alix Partners.

Sedran's appointment follows VW's move earlier this month to appoint Daimler's head of integrity and legal affairs, Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, to a similar position at the Wolfsburg, Germany-based car group.

VW has been in turmoil since it admitted in September that it had manipulated diesel engine emissions to pass environmental performance tests. The software it used was installed in 11 million VW Group vehicles.

The actions have cast doubt on the future of VW, the viability of diesel engines as an alternative to gasoline motors and the global market position of German industrial products - including cars.