Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann Officially Resigns

Will Audi be the next step for the former Opel head honcho?

Axel Wierdemann

Following the sale of Opel from General Motors to the PSA Group, rumors have surrounded company CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann, claiming that he may step down from his position. Various reports from German outlets and inside sources claimed Neumann was said to be dissatisfied with PSA's approach to electric cars, making him a potential flight risk. Automotive News has now reported that the move has been made official, and Neumann is on the market—which could be good news for brands like Audi that may be in search of a new CEO.

Neumann has a history with the Volkswagen Group, a place where he formerly conducted operations in China and various other markets. There, he was put in charge of the brand's electric car initiative that has developed greatly after his departure in 2013. Reuters recently reported Volkswagen AG is undertaking informal talks with Neumann to gauge his interesting head their Audi brand.

Opel finance chief Michael Lohscheller will take over as Neumann's successor.

PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement, 

We fully support the decision to appoint Mr. Lohscheller who will be surrounded by Opel's best talents to bring Opel / Vauxhall to new horizons for the benefit of its employees, customers and partners. My personal interactions with Michael have been extremely positive, where he has shown a great deal of insight of Opel and Vauxhall, as well as a solid understanding of the international marketplace...I am enthusiastic about the idea of contributing to the rebirth of Opel as a sustainable German-based company within Groupe PSA.

Neumann was recently praised by his old boss at GM, president Dan Ammann, who said, "Under Neumann's leadership we have made enormous progress in turning around Opel."

We will be sure to follow up with this transition as Audi pursues Neumann and possibly replaces current CEO Rupert Stadler, who is currently on the hot seat for potential emission cheats in Germany.