Dating back to 1927, when its first model was built, Volvo Group used to build trucks and cars, as well as marine and aero engines. In 1999, it sold its car business to Ford Motor for US$6.45 billion, and focused on commercial vehicles. Ford sold Volvo to China’s Geely in 2010.
Former MAN boss takes over at Volvo
Hakan Samuelsson is stepping into shoes of the sick Stefan Jacoby immediately, firm says
Volvo Cars has named Hakan Samuelsson, the former chief executive of truckmaker MAN to succeed Stefan Jacoby as chief of the Swedish vehicle maker.
Samuelsson, a Volvo Cars board member, is replacing Jacoby immediately, the Gothenburg-based carmaker said at a press conference in Stockholm.
Jacoby said on September 24 that he would be on sick leave for about a month after suffering a "mild" stroke. Jan Gurander, Volvo's chief financial officer, had been serving as interim chief executive.
Samuelsson, a Swede, joined Volvo's board in 2010 when Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Geely bought the company from Ford Motor for US$1.8 billion. Jacoby was recruited two years ago from his position as head of Volkswagen's US operations.
Samuelsson stepped down as head of Munich-based MAN in November 2009 after more than four years at that post and nine years with the company.
To leapfrog rivals Daimler and Volvo, the executive sought to buy rival Scania in 2006 to create Europe's largest truckmaker. He was forced to withdraw the hostile bid for his former employer after the Swedish truckmaker's largest investors, including Volkswagen, balked at his €10.3 billion (HK$104 billion) offer. VW eventually took control of Scania and became MAN's largest shareholder.
Samuelsson's exit came as MAN was involved in a probe into possible illegal payments at the truckmaker. Munich prosecutors raided 59 MAN sites in May 2009, leading to the arrest of two people and more than 100 individuals being investigated.
Samuelsson and former MAN chief financial officer Karlheinz Hornung are being investigated on corruption allegations, the German prosecutors said on September 5.
The probe was opened after the former head of MAN's audit department testified in a related trial last month that both knew about "possible corrupt practices" regarding business deals in Slovenia, spokesman Thomas Steinkraus-Koch said. Samuelsson has denied all of the corruption allegations.
Volvo's sales volume this year will fall short of last year's figure, and the company will have difficulties making a profit this year, Gurander said on September 27. Volvo plans to cut 600 jobs in production and research and development, and will halt production at its Gothenburg plant for a week from October 29 because of the decline in the European car market, the company said this week.
The company said it would also stop output from October 29 to November 2, a traditional holiday week, at its Torslanda plant in western Sweden.
"Europe is the main market for Volvo Car Corporation and the continued recession is naturally affecting the demand for our cars," Gurander said.
"Against this background, it is essential for us to continue to use the built-in flexibility we have within our manufacturing system," he added.
"There are no plans for changes to the permanent work force at the Torslanda plant," it added.