General Motor's struggling Adam Opel AG subsidiary in Europe has recruited a Volkswagen executive to take over its top marketing and sales job.

Ruesselsheim-based Opel said Alfred Rieck, 55, will replace Alain Visser, marketing chief since 2004, who is leaving the company.

Rieck's last job with VW was as vice president of Volkswagen Group China, where he was responsible for VW's Skoda brand.

Detroit-based General Motors lost $700 million in Europe last year and has indicated it is determined to turn the business around. Mass market carmakers such as Opel face a tough market in Europe, with intense competition, weak prices and the end of government incentive schemes to trade in old cars.