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Henrik Green is new Volvo R&D vice president

By raccars Published


Volvo veteran takes over role from Peter Mertens and will head-up 6,500-strong department.

Volvo Cars has announced that veteran Henrik Green is its new Senior Vice President Research & Development. He takes over from Peter Mertens after the latter chose to move to Audi.

Green, 43, is the car maker’s Senior Vice President Sales and Production Planning & Customer Services and, according to Volvo, will bring ‘extensive experience’ to his new role. His background is in power train research and development, together with advanced engineering, including control systems and software. Green was also an influential figure in the decision by Volvo Cars to only use three- and four-cylinder engines, a move which has now been followed by other car makers.

Distinguished career with Volvo

The appointment of Green reflects the two decades he has spent working for Volvo Cars. He first joined the brand in 1996 and has held various management positions in product strategy, research and development, working in both China and Sweden.

Green said he was excited to be working at Volvo in research and development during changing times. He said he intended to ensure that his brand would be leading ‘that change’. He will take control of the 6,500-strong Volvo R&D department. This section of the business has overseen the total transformation of technical operations since Volvo Cars was bought by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding in 2010.

This transformation includes a variety of what the company claims are ‘ground-breaking’ connectivity, infotainment and safety technologies, together with the launch of the brand’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and the firm’s Drive-E architecture.

An ideal man for the job

Volvo’s chief executive and president, Håkan Samuelsson, said that Green was ‘ideally qualified’ to take control of a global team as the company enters the second phase in its transformation. Volvo has just finished launching a new line-up of 90 series cars, with the last model to be introduced being the V90 Cross Country estate.

The company says that these cars show off the transformation possibilities offered by the new SPA architecture and its positive effect on design, technology and the brand as a whole. Volvo plans to replace its entire range over the next few years. This will include the launch of a 40 series range underpinned by a CMA platform.

Electrification will also play a major part in the future of the company as Volvo Cars announced a comprehensive electrification strategy last year, promising plug-in hybrids across its complete range. Volvo has vowed to offer a minimum of two hybrid variants of each model and will introduce its very first totally electric model by 2019. The company wants to sell as many as a million electrified cars by 2025.

Global investment

Volvo’s global transformation plan is being funded by record operating profits and sales. During 2015, the company sold 503,127 cars around the world, marking an eight per cent increase on the year before.

The company was founded in 1927 and now sells cars in around 100 countries across the globe. It has long been regarded as an innovator in automotive safety. Before being acquired by the Zhejiang Geely Holding of China, it was a member of the Swedish Volvo Group. In 1999, Volvo was bought by the US Ford Motor Company before being acquired by Geely a year later.

The company currently employs almost 29,000 people around the world and has its primary headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. Its cars are built in Gothenburg, Ghent in Belgium and Chengdu and Daqing in China.

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