Dave Lyon unexpectedly leaves GM days before Opel assignment

Article by Anita Panait, on July 31, 2012

The supposedly incoming design chief for Opel/Vauxhall will no longer fill the post as he has left parent company General Motors Co. for good. GM had appointed Dave Lyon to replace current Opel design chief Mark Adams on August 1, 2012. The carmaker has named Adams as the new global design director for Cadillac and Buick.

A spokesman for Opel confirmed Lyon’s exit, but declined to specify the reason for the move. Due to the situation, Adams will remain as the design boss for Opel until GM finds a suitable successor, the Opel spokesman told Automotive New Europe. Adams will still become new global design director for Cadillac and Buick. 

Lyon’s sudden exit from GM underscores the management turmoil at Opel as the European unit tries hard to restructure its operations to return to profit amid the dwindling demand for vehicles in the continent. Karl-Friedrich Stracke earlier this month resigned as chief executive for Opel, and was temporarily replaced by management board member Thomas Sedran.

Sedran is known for helping GM negotiate the sale of Saab to Spyker Cars while working for consultancy AlixPartners. According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, Lyon left GM on July 26, but did not state the reason for his exit.

Lyon, who joined in 1990, had been responsible for designs for Buick and GMC as well as for GM's North American interiors. Opel’s new finance chief Michael Lohscheller and new engineering boss Michael Ableson will formally become part of the unit’s management board on September 1, 2012. Lohscheller will replace Mark James while Michael Ableson succeeds Rita Forst.

Topics: gm, opel

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