Volvo Cars has named Anders Gustafsson as chief of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) unit, which will one of three global business regions that the carmaker has created along with the Americas and Asia. Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement that the carmaker plans a significant volume increase in the medium term, thus the need for a market-focused management structure.
Gustafsson has been chief of Volvo’s operations in Sweden since 2009 and was CEO of the Hertz car rental company in the country. He is a director of Volvo’s finance bank.
On the other hand, the Americas region – covering North America and South America -- will be headed by Lex Kerssemakers, the carmaker’s former chief of product strategy and vehicle line management.
The Asia region, meanwhile, will include China and other fast-growing regional markets in Asia and will be led by Lars Danielson. According to Volvo, all three regional senior vice presidents will carry full operational responsibility for their region.
Samuelsson said in a statement that the new structure will bring Volvo closer to its markets and allow it to react faster to the needs of individual markets and regions. Volvo saw its global sales in 2014 jump 8.9 percent to 465,866 cars, led by an 11-percent gain in western Europe volume to 218,567 units.
The Western Europe figure was boosted by strong demand in the UK (26 percent) and Germany (18 percent), as well as in Sweden (17 percent). The carmaker logged a 33-percent surge in sales in China to 61,146 units. It, however, posted a 7.9-percent drop in deliveres in the United States to 61,233 units.