Tax change at Opel: Georg Magel, a self-grown man, takes over the position of CFO. After a recently better development of the car manufacturer, he has to fend off the effects of the corona crisis.

Georg Magel will be the new CFO at the car manufacturer Opel / Vauxhall on April 1st. He succeeds Frédéric Brunet, who has held this position since August 2018 and will assume the role of CFO for the Enlarged Europe region at Opel parent company Stellantis. Opel previously belonged to the French car company PSA, which merged with the US-Italian group Fiat Chrysler at the beginning of the year. 14 car brands are now gathered under the Stellantis umbrella – it is the fourth largest car manufacturer in the world.

With the appointment of Georg Magel, who is currently Director Financial Planning & Analysis, one of Opel’s own generation will take over the financial steering of the car manufacturer. After studying at the Technical University of Darmstadt, the industrial engineer began his career in 1996 as a group leader in investment controlling at Opel, and later moved to General Motors Europe in Zurich as Senior Finance Analyst. He then took on other management roles in finance and program management in Rüsselsheim, before being appointed Director Financial Planning & Analysis in July 2015.

Magel helped shape the financial turnaround

“Georg Magel is a recognized finance and controlling expert and has played a key role in shaping Opel’s financial turnaround in recent years,” says Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller, who himself once occupied the CFO position at the Rüsselsheim-based company. With his controlling experience, Magel ranks among his predecessors. Both Brunet and his predecessor Philippe de Rovira were active in this area.

Brunet, who started his career as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers after graduating from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon, joined PSA Peugeot Citroën in 2004. Before he took over the position of Opel CFO in August 2018, Frédéric Brunet was Group Controller responsible for global controlling of the French company and headed Investor Relations at Groupe PSA from 2014 to 2017.

Opel keeps tough austerity course despite slump in sales

As CFO of Opel / Vauxhall, Brunet has accompanied the transformation of the car manufacturer over the past two years and has had to explain the rigorous austerity course that the parent company PSA has embarked on more than once. This led to the loss of thousands of jobs, especially at the German subsidiary Opel. The main task for the new CFO Magel will be overcoming the corona crisis and maintaining the success of the turnaround. The pandemic hit the books last year with a sales decline of 35 percent. But the course taken in recent years is having an effect: Despite the corona crisis, the operating result was still positive at 527 million euros. With an operating return on sales of 4.1 percent (after 6.5 percent in the previous year), the German subsidiary is still behind the other PSA brands.