He replaces Philip Murtaugh.
Wale (50) is currently vice president for GM Europe. He previously spent 15 years heading GM's operations in the Asia Pacific region and was also chairman of Vauxhall and head of GM's operations in the UK.
Yesterday GM announced that Murtaugh had resigned for unspecified personal reasons after nearly five years as chairman and managing director of GM's China Group.
Sales rose 27% on-year in 2004 and the company forecasts double-digit growth this year.
GM has, however, warned it would post a substantial loss in the first quarter of this year and slashed its 2005 profit outlook to less than half of earlier forecasts.
China sales in January and February were down 5.9% compared with the same period last year.