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Neumann most recently was in charge of Volkswagen's Chinese operations (Photo: GM)

Former Continental and Volkswagen executive Karl-Thomas Neumann will become the new CEO of Opel effective March 1.

Neumann, 51, most recently headed VW's China operations but was replaced in that position several months ago. He takes over at Opel from Thomas Sedran, who has ran the German division of General Motors on an interim basis.

The new CEO will also become a GM vice president, a member of the US carmaker's Executive Committee and president of GM Europe.

GM CEO Dan Akerson said Opel and its UK sister company Vauxhall are key to the group's global success. Neumann's appointment "will ensure  that we have the best possible leadership in place as we continue driving toward profitability and growth in Europe," Akerson said in a press release. Opel has been posting losses for most of the past decade.

Steve Girsky, a GM board member and the chairman of Opel's supervisory board, said Neumann"will be instrumental in leading the company on a turnaround path."