Volvo Car Corp. is shaking up its manufacturing team ahead of its launch of car production in China, the automaker announced Thursday.
Lars Danielson, who currently manages Volvo's main factory in Torslanda, Sweden, has been chosen to lead the automaker's new manufacturing operation in the fast-growing China market, which is home to its new owner, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
Geely bought Volvo from Ford Motor Co. in August, marking China's biggest ever overseas auto acquisition.
Danielson, 61, may wind up overseeing a network of factories in China as a Geely spokesman told Reuters last month that there could be as many as three Volvo plants opened in the country with a combined capacity to make 300,000 cars a year. That would nearly equal Volvo's total production in 2009.
Possible locations of the three Volvo plants are the Jiading district on the outskirts of Shanghai, the southwestern city of Chengdu, and the northeastern city of Daqing, the spokesman said, adding that the final plan still needed the approval of Volvo's board and the Chinese government.
Danielson took charge of the Torslanda plant in June 2006 after having spent most of his career at General Motors Co. and its former Swedish subsidiary, Saab, which was sold to Dutch niche car maker Spyker Cars NV in February.
Danielson will report to both Freeman Shen, who this week was named to the newly created post of senior vice president of China operations, and Magnus Hellsten, Volvo's senior vice president in charge of manufacturing.
"I feel very honored to be given responsibility for ensuring that the Volvos made in China will meet the same high standards as the cars from Torslanda and Ghent," Danielson said in a statement.