Volkswagen AG bolsters its bench with the addition of former Adam Opel GmbH Managing Director Hans Demant, who will oversee the auto maker’s growing and increasingly critical international operations.

Demant’s departure from Opel was announced on Friday, but General Motors Co.’s German arm did not signal where the executive was headed.

Demant was shuffled out of the managing director spot at Opel in January and named vice president-global intellectual property rights at GM, when Nick Reilly took over as Opel CEO.

VW says Demant will be in charge of international coordination, assuming his new post Oct. 1 and reporting directly to CEO Martin Winterkorn.

The auto maker is on an international expansion drive as it looks to become the world’s No.1 auto maker and boost global sales to more than 10 million vehicles annually by 2018.

Much of that growth is expected to come from developing markets such as China, India and the Asia/Pacific, as well as the U.S., where VW is set to launch production of a new midsize sedan in coming months.

The auto maker also is expanding vehicle development, manufacturing and marketing collaborations with other auto makers, including Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp., in which it took a 19.9% stake in December.

“The Volkswagen Group’s successful growth strategy calls for the intensive coordination of our international projects,” Winterkorn says in a statement. “We have been fortunate in being able to recruit such an experienced colleague as Hans Demant for this task.”

Demant is an engineer by training. He joined Opel in 1972, oversaw its global small-car development in 1997 and headed up GM Europe engineering before assuming the managing director spot at Opel in 2001.