The Detroit Free Press says Dave Lyon, who had recently been appointed as design chief for GM’s troubled Opel and Vauxhall brands, has left the automaker for parts, and reasons, unknown. The Freep said Lyon’s departure took place last Thursday, less than a week before Lyon was to report for duty at Opel.
Lyon, who had been with GM since 1990, was due to assume his new duties on Wednesday, August 1. He would have relocated from Michigan, where he had been managing interior design for Buick, GMC and GM North America, to Opel headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany.
The 43-year-old Lyon was appointed to replace Mark Adams, who has been named the new global design director for Cadillac and Buick. Adams will assume his new duties as scheduled but will remain the head of Opel design until a replacement for Lyon is found.
The abrupt departure adds to the problems facing GM and its money-losing European brands. So far this year, combined Opel/Vauxhall sales are down 14.9 percent and market share has dropped from 7.5 percent to 6.8 percent, just ahead of Fiat.