GM's Lyon quits days before becoming Opel design boss
General Motors designer Dave Lyon has left the company less than a week before he was scheduled to become design chief for the automaker's struggling Opel/Vauxhall unit.
Lyon was due to replace current Opel design boss Mark Adams on Wednesday, Aug. 1. GM had appointed Adams as the new global design director for Cadillac and Buick.
An Opel spokesman said today that Lyon is no longer employed by GM. He declined to say why Lyon left.
Adams will still take up his new post with GM in Detroit but will remain Opel's design boss until a successor is found, the spokesman told Automotive News Europe.
Lyon's departure adds to management turmoil at Opel as the unit struggles to become profitable amid Europe's slumping car market.
Earlier this month, Karl-Friedrich Stracke stepped down as CEO. He was replaced on an interim basis by Opel management board member Thomas Sedran, who helped GM negotiate the sale of Saab to Spyker Cars while working for consultancy AlixPartners.
Lyon was due relocate to Opel's headquarters in Russelsheim.
The Detroit Free Press reported on Saturday that Lyon left GM on Thursday, adding that it is not clear why he had gone.
Lyon, 43, joined GM in 1990 and had been overseeing designs for Buick and GMC and GM's North American interiors.
New CFO, engineering chiefs
On Sept. 1, a new finance chief, Michael Lohscheller, and a new engineering boss, Michael Ableson, are scheduled to take up management board posts at Opel.
Lohscheller moves from Volkswagen Group of America where he was finance boss. He will replace Mark James. Ableson was previously global vehicle line executive for compact cars at Opel's headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany. He succeeds Rita Forst.
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