Editor's note: The name of IHS senior analyst Tim Urquhart was incorrectly spelled in an earlier version of this story.
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson made one of the most significant strategic moves of his three-year tenure last week by installing Alan Batey as the first global chief of Chevrolet in its 102-year history.
But it was another executive appointment last week that points up the challenge facing Batey as he tries to fulfill Akerson's vision of Chevy as a global powerhouse: Restructuring specialist Thomas Sedran became the third head of Chevrolet Europe in 18 months.
Chevy's inability to establish a foothold in Europe is the only real blemish on an otherwise sharp, decadelong global expansion for GM's largest brand. Figuring out the path forward for Chevy Europe is Job 1 for Batey, a Briton who has worked in Switzerland, the Middle East, Australia and elsewhere.
Batey's appointment is a long-term move aimed at unifying Chevy's identity across the globe to drive growth. But the appointment of Sedran, who replaces the departing Susan Docherty, is aimed at fast results and shows Akerson's growing impatience with Chevy's direction in Europe.