GM rationalises European arm

General Motors is to restructure its European operations, including its design team, in a bid to cut costs.

A single, pan-European design division, headed by former Opel head of design Bryan Nesbitt, will be responsible for Vauxhall, Opel and Saab brands, as well as advanced vehicle design.

The reorganisation follows two dismal years of trading by GM’s European division: its losses were US$286m (£157m) last year and US$549m (£302m) in 2002. Prospects are no better this year.

Nesbitt replaced Martin Smith as head of design at Opel in April this year. Smith, who had been mooted for a role at GM in the US, has moved to Ford Europe.

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