General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced today that it has elected Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann to serve as Chairman of Adam Opel AG, as well as President of GM Europe and GM Vice President .

Opel has been a drain on GM's resources in recent years, and the abrupt departure of its CEO last July left the auto company's turnaround plans in limbo . Last year, vehicle deliveries for Opel and Vauxhall (its U.K. sister brand) fell 16%, to 835,000 .

Opel Supervisory Board Chairman Steve Girsky said in a statement:

Dr. Neumann has in-depth knowledge of the automotive industry. He has a proven track record in growing business in a profitable way as well as in turnarounds. He will add significant strength to the Management Board and will be instrumental in leading the company on a turnaround path that will be counted among Europe's most successful.

The 51-year-old executive comes from Volkswagen, where he had worked since 1999. For the past two and a half years, Dr. Neumann served as CEO and Vice President of Volkswagen China.

In a statement today, Dr. Neumann seems ready for the task:

I'm aware that this will be a challenging job, but I'm convinced that together with my leadership team and employees, we will turn around the company.