US: Volvo makes management changes to counter slower sales image

Sweden’s Volvo Cars, a subsidiary of China’s Geely, has decided to make top executive changes at its North American offices, with US CEO Tony Nicolosi tasked with the supervision of the financing unit for the Americas and having Lex Kerssemakers, the global corporate product strategy boss to the vacated post.

Additionally, Kerssemakers, 55 will be granted extended authority – above Nicolosi’s level – as is not only CEO of Volvo Cars North America, but also the senior vice president for the Americas – his responsibility spanning across the entire North and South America, according to a recent Volvo Cars statement. Kerssemakers, a Dutch national, started work as Volvo’s chief of product strategy and vehicle line management since January of 2011 and he’s been a Volvo “lifer”, with more than 25 years of experience in the company. Nicolosi will now be president of Volvo Cars Financial Services of the Americas thanks to his previous experience – before being named CEO of Volvo Cars of North America at age 53 back in October 2013, he was leading the Volvo Car Financial Services US.

Volvo, which in recent years has lost its “American way” after the US was the company’s largest market (now it counts China as the best-selling region) is getting ready for the crucial April introduction in the North American region of the XC90 large SUV. The company’s 2014 deliveries – while the premium market boomed – retracted by 8 percent to 56,366 units after in 2013 they dropped 10%. Besides the XC90 crossover, Volvo counts on an all-wheel-drive-only V60 Cross Country to arrive this spring and spearhead the company’s sales revival, with US buyers now deeply focused on crossovers.

Via Automotive News Europe