Talks between Volkswagen of America and chief executive Stefan Jacoby over his employment contract are ongoing as it's likely that he will soon take over as the CEO of Volvo Cars. Meanwhile, two executives have been appointed to accomplish Jacoby's responsibilities for the time being.
In a statement made by VW, Michael Lohscheller will take interim responsibility for Volkswagen Group of America, while Mark Barnes will manage the Volkswagen brand until the contractual matters are resolved. It was German newspaper Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung that broke the news about plans for Jacoby to replace Volvo CEO Stephen Odell, who will soon function as the head of Ford Motor Co.'s European operations.
Last May, a report came out about Odell moving on to head Ford of Europe but Ford commented that this was only "speculation." Back then, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Odell will take the place of current Ford of Europe CEO John Fleming with the completion of Ford's sale of Volvo to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
Spokesman for Ford of Europe, John Gardiner, said that it will be up to Geely to confirm who to include in Volvo Cars' new management team.
Since September 2007, Jacoby has worked at VW as its top US executive. His achievements include having cut costs, designed the first models for the US market, put up an assembly plant in Tennessee and transferred the headquarters from Michigan to Virginia.
Both Lohscheller and Barnes have held significant positions in VW Group since 2007, with Lohscheller serving as the CFO of the Volkswagen Group and Barnes as the VW of America COO.
Geely is purchasing Volvo from Ford for $1.8 billion. Whoever leads Volvo will have to exploit to the fullest the growth in China and meet the challenging task of making the company profitable once again amid plunging sales.
Based in on Torslanda in Gothenburg, Sweden, Volvo Cars was set up in 1927 as a 100-percent subsidiary of AB SKF. In 1927, name Volvo was used both as a trademark and auto company name.
In 2000, Ford, looking for a profitable prestige mid-size European carmaker, acquired Volvo Cars from the Volvo Group. Volvo Cars then became a part of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group (PAG).
Ford disclosed in December 2008 it was considering selling Volvo. In March 2010, Geely agreed to acquire Volvo from Ford. Ford CEO Alan Mulally had already divested Aston Martin, Land Rover and Jaguar. Volvo’s sale to Geely waits approval from the European Commission and China's Ministry of Commerce.