What's the news?
Opel Ireland has named Gillian Whittall as its new General Manager, who will take up the role from 1 April 2018. Having previously held the position of Head of Marketing & PR, Gillian will report directly to Stephen Norman, Group Managing Director of Vauxhall Motors and Opel Ireland.
Commenting on her appointment, Gillian said: "I'm delighted to take on the role of managing Opel in Ireland. The brand is embarking on a new era, already evident in the new Grandland X. By combining the agility of Groupe PSA with the design and engineering excellence of Opel in Germany, the brand will continue to strengthen its offering in the market."
Stephen Norman also said: "With Gillian's extensive brand experience, Opel Ireland will quickly deliver the path to growth and profitability, through our strategic plan PACE."
In the first two months of 2018, Opel saw its total number of registrations in the passenger automobile segment in Ireland fall by 36.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2017. Over the same period in the light commercial vehicle segment registrations fell by 29.6 per cent according to figures provided by SIMI.
Under the PACE plan, Opel will launch four electrified models by 2020, with the intention to have an electrified version of each model by 2023. The plan will also speed up to switch to Groupe PSA platforms. The aim is to bring down the breakeven point to a level where the Opel and Vauxhall brands can be profitable at around 800,000 unit sales annually.