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Former Volvo CEO Jacoby to Run GM International Operations

Former IO chief Tim Lee now to head GM’s huge China empire.

by on Aug.02, 2013

Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby duing an appearance at the LA Auto Show.

With nearly two out of every three General Motors products now being sold outside of North America, the maker is stepping up its efforts to keep momentum building, especially in China and other emerging markets – and that’s led to some key personnel changes that include the hiring of an industry veteran to run GM International Operations.

Stefan Jacoby, who most recently served as CEO of Volvo Cars after the Swedish maker was purchased by China’s Geely, will come aboard as Executive Vice President Consolidated International Operations for GM, a fittingly long title considering he will oversee operations in over 100 countries in the maker’s Asia/Pacific, European, Middle East and African regions.

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Meanwhile, Tim Lee, who had been running GM IO for four years will become chairman of GM China, a position that will put him in charge of a fast-growing universe of 12 join ventures, two foreign operations, a major new R&D center and more than 55,000 employees. GM is currently battling it out in China for the number one sales slot against Volkswagen AG where, coincidentally, Jacoby spent a chunk of his career.

“The GM team has plans to win in every market, and I’m eager to contribute,” Jacoby said.

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Volvo Line-Up Will Be Dominated by Battery Power

Maker adding two plants in China, but U.S. production still under study.

by on Mar.08, 2011

Volvo plans to offer the world's first diesel-electric plug-in hybrid in 2012.

Long identified with the latest in safety technology, Sweden’s Volvo is putting an increasing emphasis on battery power.  By the end of the decade, in fact, the majority of its products will be driven by hybrid-electric, plug-in or pure battery-electric powertrains, Volvo Chief Executive Stephan Jacoby reveals.

Until now lagging behind many of its competitors when it comes to the “electrification” of the automobile, Volvo is rapidly making up for lost time.  It is preparing to launch its first battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, a version of the compact C30.  And Volvo is using its stand at this month’s  Geneva Motor Show to give the public a look at the plug-in diesel-hybrid version of its bigger V60 wagon, which it plans to bring to market in 2012.

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“I would say the majority (if Volvo products) would use some form of electrification” by 2020, Jacoby, a former Volkswagen executive, revealed.  “I think the CO2 regulations will lead to that.”

Jacoby joined the Swedish maker last year after Volvo was acquired by the ambitious Chinese Geely Holding Co.  Last month, the parent firm revealed plans to invest as much as $11 billion into its new subsidiary, part of a global growth strategy that it expects to double Volvo sales. (more…)

Volvo Aiming To Double Sales by 2020

Swedish maker counting on big growth in China – but U.S. remains critical.

by on Nov.23, 2010

The hare beats the tortoise? Stefan Jacoby plans to get Volvo moving fast under its new Chinese owners.

According to Aesop, it took the slow but steady tortoise to beat the hare.  Don’t count on it, says Volvo Cars’ news CEO, Stefan Jacoby.  In today’s ever more competitive auto market, “the fast ones are eating the slow ones.”

Never known for setting a benchmark pace, the former Volkswagen executive says Volvo now plans to be “leaner, better, smarter and, especially, faster,” as it adjusts to life under Chinese ownership.

Sold earlier this year by Ford Motor Co., which decided it needs to get back to basics, Volvo hopes to more than double sales – to 800,000 annually – by 2020.  That goal will not only require speed by a shift in focus, Jacoby told TheDetroitBureau.com.  Look for Volvo to put more emphasis on emerging markets, including places like Brazil, as well as China.  But, Jacoby cautioned, don’t expect the maker to walk away from the U.S., which has traditionally served as its largest single source of sales.

The sale of Volvo to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group came at a critical came, said Jacoby.  The maker has suffered a significant slide, in recent years, only partially to blame on the global economic downturn.  Global sales are expected to reach just 380,000 for all of 2010, and in the U.S. demand is off almost 60% from its 2004 peak – from 140,000 down to just 60,000.

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But Jacoby is the proverbial optimist, looking at what he sees as a half-full glass.  “We are standing at the bottom looking up,” he said.

Part of the challenge will be to find the way to take advantage of the resources – and potential – offered by the Swedish maker’s new parent and Volvo’s Chinese sibling, the Geely brand.

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