Ingvar Sviggum, Ford of Europe's head of marketing, sales and service, faced many negative pressures last year ahead of the launch of two key models, the Fiesta and the Ka.
An economic crisis, political uncertainty in key eastern European markets and upheaval in the auto industry all added to the enormous challenges the Fiesta and Ka would face in an already ultra-competitive European environment.
But Sviggum helped Ford to meet big challenges with big results.
Aided by Sviggum's creative marketing and sales strategy, the Ka and Fiesta have helped Ford to record six straight months of market share increases across its 19 main European markets.
The Fiesta is Ford's best-selling car in Europe with more than 300,000 units sold since its sales launch last autumn.
In March, the Fiesta even outsold the new Volkswagen Golf, which has been Europe's most popular car for decades.
Since its launch earlier this year, Ford has sold more than 51,000 units of the Ka, its best performance since 2003.
More than 4 decades with Ford
Sviggum is a native of Norway and a veteran Ford executive who joined the company as a trainee in 1963. He has held key posts in some of Ford's top European markets, serving as vice chairman of Ford Germany and managing director of Ford in Spain.
Before being appointed to his current job in April 2008, Sviggum was in charge of Ford's European sales operations.
During the current industry crisis, Sviggum has had to call on all of his vast knowledge of the European market.
He led the successful marketing of personalization packaging for Ford's Mondeo, S-Max, Galaxy, Fiesta, Ka and Focus models and worked with dealers to generate more showroom traffic in countries where local governments have introduced scrapping incentive programs to encourage car buyers to swap older models for new cars.
Sviggum also helped to craft Ford's message as a brand that appeals to many different car buyers.
Sales have followed.
Sviggum says Ford of Europe has its strongest ever vehicle range and is "taking a larger slice of a smaller cake."
But the cool-headed Scandinavian is wise enough not to take such success for granted.
"We're still a long way from a sustained and healthy market," he said when announcing Ford of Europe's June sales results.