The former head of General Motors China, Phil Murtaugh, has been named as the new executive vice-president for international operations at Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), GM's joint venture partner, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move, which takes effect today, places the 51-year-old executive at the centre of SAIC's overseas push. The company plans to sells SAIC-brand cars in the UK by 2007 and across Europe by 2009. It also plans to produce luxury cars based on designs it acquired from MG Rover, as well as a range of family sedans and smaller cars. Murtaugh is a 32-year veteran of GM who was instrumental in making the company's China operations an important source of profit.