General Motors names longtime powertrain engineer and Delphi executive Steve Kiefer to lead the auto maker’s global powertrain operations after the former head of the engine and transmission unit was ousted last month.

Kiefer, 50, will take over GM Powertrain effective Sept. 1. It’s a coming home of sorts for the Michigan native, who worked at GM prior joining Delphi. He most recently served as senior vice president and president of the supplier’s powertrain group.

GM cites Kiefer’s “extensive engine development expertise and knowledge of the global auto business.” He will have overall responsibility for GM’s global powertrain engineering activities and report to Mary Barra, executive vice president-global product development &global purchasing and supply chain.

Jim Lanzon, vice president-powertrain global transmissions at GM, will continue in his role leading the auto maker’s transmission development and engineering and report to Kiefer. Lanzon had been leading global powertrain on an interim basis.

Kiefer, who holds an engineering degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan, will be based at GM Powertrain global headquarters in Pontiac, MI.

Kiefer takes over for Sam Winegarden, a longtime GM Powertrain engineer and executive who was fired last month over so-called “irregularities” in emissions testing on an important vehicle in India.

The irregularities led to pulling the Chevrolet Tavara from the market. It cost GM millions of dollars in lost revenue during the second quarter and it likely will take more investment to fix units sold as far back as 2005.

According to reports, about 10 people were fired over the affair.

Kiefer comes to GM as the auto maker invests more than $500 million in its powertrain operations over the coming years to more quickly design, engineer and manufacture fuel-efficient technology meant to meet tightening regulations around the world.

jamend@wardsauto.com