As part of a management reorganization under new CEO Stefan Jacoby, Steven Armstrong will vacate his position as chief operating officer of Volvo Cars and will return to Ford of Europe.
Freeman Shen has also been named as the head of Volvo’s Chinese operations. Shen had been the adviser to Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., which purchased Volvo from Ford last September.
In the statement, Jacoby said that Volvo Cars is going through a “very important and turbulent period.” He said that the company management has to be broadened in order to “quicken the decision process.”
Jacoby has set a target to double Volvo's global sales to 800,000 cars in 10 years. At the Paris Motor Show, Jacoby said that China (where Volvo plans to build local production plants) has the biggest growth opportunity.
However, he said that Volvo needs a long-term US strategy. Last year, Volvo sold 334,808 cars worldwide. This is an 11% drop from 2008 and a 27% decrease from a peak of about 460,000 in 2007.
Under this management reshuffle, the position of chief operating officer has been eliminated and the heads of product development, production, purchasing and quality will now report directly to Jacoby. [via autonews - sub. required]