Ford of Europe sales boss finds his voice

Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor of Automotive News Europe
Ford of Europe sales and marketing boss Ingvar Sviggum has become a lot more outspoken this year.

Sviggum has repeatedly chastised rivals in Europe for waging a dangerous incentives war in a bid to boost or maintain volumes without worrying about the damage it will cause to their residual values.

Sviggum and Ford's entire European team have vowed they won't participate in the race to the bottom.

"I can sell 10,000 units to a major rental company like that," he said snapping his fingers. "I could have 9 percent share or 10 percent and lose a bundle of money. We are not going to do that."

During his early days in his current job, which he started in April 2008, the approachable Norwegian with 47 years at Ford seemed a bit uncomfortable opening up to the media.

Not any more.

With nearly five decades of automotive experience, it is good that Sviggum is making himself heard – especially on such an important topic.