FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller has a big challenge for Thomas Sedran, the former General Motors executive who has been hired as VW's chief strategist.
Sedran must figure out where the embattled automaker and its 12 brands need to be in 2025 and create a road map to get there. The main task is to come up with a plan to improve the positioning of the VW, Skoda and Seat volume brands.
The 51-year-old ex-consultant faced a similar test at GM when he was asked to curb overlap between the Opel and Chevrolet brands in Europe.
Sedran was Opel's interim CEO and head of Chevrolet Europe but left the automaker when his role diminished. However, sources at GM say the experienced industry strategist still is highly regarded by his former company.
A one-time consultant at AlixPartners and Roland Berger, Sedran was brought to Opel in April 2012 and helped develop the brand's Drive 2022 growth plan. Karl-Thomas Neumann, who left Volkswagen to become Opel CEO in March 2013, cited the plan as a key reason for taking the job. With Neumann's arrival at Opel, however, Sedran's importance declined. He was moved to Chevrolet to bolster its sagging European business.
Sedran's efforts to avoid Opel-Chevrolet sales cannibalization became redundant only a few months later when GM pulled the plug on the U.S. brand's volume car business in Europe. Sedran left GM in June this year.