In December, LDV assembly was cut back to three days a week but that did not prevent last year’s production averaging 300 units a week – twice the 2006 level.
An LDV spokesman said: “Steve Young led the company for 15 months through a period in which productivity was raised by 38% the range was extended, new overseas markets were opened up and 200 jobs were added. His personal reasons for leaving were understood by his colleagues.”
Young, put in charge when Russia’s Gaz group acquired LDV, said: “It was a most difficult decision to leave but it was necessary. I would have liked the chance to continue leading LDV’s development.”
The former head of automotive practice at management consultancy AT Kearney is pursuing a number of projects that were underway before he joined LDV. His company is IndeGo Consulting.
Martin Leach, executive chairman of LDV, is acting as interim chief executive until a replacement for Young is appointed.
LDV is at a crucial point of its development in Gaz, and next year will start building a modified version of its Maxus range in Russia.
Changes include strength undersides because of road conditions. Gaz will sell the Maxus in Russia and other countries that were in the Soviet Union – LDV will distribute in all other markets. By 2011 or 2012, Gaz and LDV intend to build a new combined range of vehicles that will be adapted for each market.
Gaz is Russia’s largest vehicle manufacturer, producing cars and trucks as well as light commercials, buses, diesel engines and road-building equipment.