Mark LaNeve was promoted to president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America as part of a shake-up at the top executive level.
That makes LaNeve, 41, the first American to run the North American sales and marketing subsidiary since Joe Nicolato retired in 1992. LaNeve's predecessor, Hans-Olov Olsson, has been promoted to president of Volvo Car Corp. worldwide, the automaker announced in June.
LaNeve also announced four newly created business units: car, aftermarket, corporate support and marketing, each to be run by an executive vice president. The leaders are: Peter Butterfield, car business unit, with responsibility for regional sales offices; Paul Welander, aftermarket; and Necip Soyak, corporate support. The marketing executive vice president will be named later.
'This is a critical time for Volvo,' LaNeve said. 'We're introducing a whole new generation of product, and we're getting ready to take the brand to a whole new level.'
Volvo expects record U.S. sales of 145,000 units this year, about 19 percent higher than record 1999 sales - on the way to a goal of 200,000 units a year by 2004.
LaNeve joined Volvo in late 1997 from General Motors. He was rare because he was promoted from outside of the company and rarer still because he came from one of the top three North American auto companies. At the time, LaNeve was Pontiac Bonneville brand manager.