NEW YORK - Mark LaNeve has been promoted to president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America Ltd., part of a shake-up at the top executive level.
LaNeve, 41, becomes the first American to run the North American sales and marketing subsidiary since 1992. LaNeve's predecessor, Hans-Olov Olsson, has been promoted to president of Volvo Car Corp. worldwide.
LaNeve also announced four newly created business units: car, aftermarket, corporate support and marketing, each to be run by an executive vice president. The business unit leaders are: Peter Butterfield, car business unit, with responsibility for regional sales offices; Paul Welander, aftermarket; and Necip Soyak, corporate support.
The marketing executive vice president will be named later.
'The is a critical time for Volvo,' LaNeve said in a telephone interview. 'We're introducing a whole new generation of product, and we're getting ready to take the brand to a whole new level.'
Volvo expects record US sales of 145,000 units this year, about 19 percent higher than record 1999 sales - on the way to a goal of 200,000 units a year by 2004.
Under parent Ford Motor Co., Volvo is moving its North American headquarters from Rockleigh, New Jersey, to new Premier Automotive Group headquarters in California, to be completed in the third quarter of 2001. Volvo will soon move many of its top jobs to temporary offices.
Premier Automotive Group includes Jaguar, Aston Martin, Lincoln and Land Rover.
LaNeve joined Volvo in late 1997 from General Motors. He was a rare outside hire, and rarer still because he came from one of the US carmakers.
At the time, LaNeve was Pontiac Bonneville brand manager. Before that, he was director of advertising and market planning for Cadillac. LaNeve joined GM in 1981.