Several key Ford Motor Co. executives chose not to put in an appearance at Geneva.
Most notable was President and CEO Jac Nasser, who was off in Hawaii, where the weather was substantially warmer than Geneva. Nasser wasn't in Hawaii to take in the sunshine, however. He was presiding over a meeting of select, upper tier dealers from around the globe. Jonathan Browning, Jaguar managing director, and Tuve Johannesson, Volvo chief executive, joined Nasser at the event.
The group gathered to 'outline a vision for the future,' according to a Ford source.
Nasser's absence highlighted the fact that Ford's European team has taken full command of its European affairs. To highlight the newly re-emergent Ford of Europe, Chairman Nick Scheele presided at the Ford breakfast press conference.
Peter Augustsson has been named president of Saab Automobile AB - replacing Robert Hendry, chairman of Adam Opel AG. Hendry becomes chairman of Saab. Augustsson, who was also named a vice president of GM Europe, was previously chief operating officer of Saab.
Diana T. Kurylko
Visitors to the Detroit auto show in January could have been forgiven for thinking Ford was going to call its new small sport-utility the Escape. But now that name will only be used in North America. Due to objections from Renault, which sells the similarly named Espace, and other issues, Ford decided to resurrect the well-worn Maverick name for Europe. The decision was taken just a few weeks before the Geneva show. The Maverick name was last used in Europe for the Ford version of the Nissan Terrano, a sport-utility built in Spain.