Peter Ewerstrand loves to play on the water -- no matter what form it takes. He can often be found behind the wheel of his motorboat during the summer. During the winter, he and his family are either on the slopes skiing or at the rink playing ice hockey. The Swedish-born 44-year-old has been with Volvo since 1983. He has held numerous posts with the automaker including climate-testing engineer, interior design project director and most recently project manager for the S40 and V50. The S40 -- the first all-new Volvo since Ford Motor Co. bought the Swedish carmaker in 1999 -- is a product of Ford's C1 Technologies, which also produced the Focus C-Max and Mazda3. How customers perceive the S40 and other C1 cars will be the measure of Ford's success.
Ewerstrand believes the S40 could become the best-selling model in Ford's Premier Automotive Group. The luxury-car division also includes Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin.
Name: Peter Ewerstrand.
Title: Project manager, Volvo S40 and V50.
Languages: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, German.
Family: Wife Kristina; two sons Henrik, 14 and Jakob, 12.
Countries lived in: Sweden, Germany, US.
Education: Master of science at Chalmers Technical University Gothenburg, Sweden.
First car: I extensively repaired a 1968 Mercedes-Benz 250SE and owned it for almost five years.
What is in your garage now?
A Volvo V70 2.4D, but I also test drive Volvo cars.
What was different or difficult about bringing the S40 to production?
This was the first time that the whole development of a small Volvo took place in Gothenburg. Most of the work was done in Holland in the past. Almost all the engineers came from developing our larger cars, and wanted to do a better job than last time, so I had the "luxury" problem of keeping them within the time and cost frames of an entry-level Volvo.
What S40 features are you most proud of?
The center stack, the audio system, the driving experience.
How important is the S40 to the Premier Automotive Group?
The S40 is an entry-level PAG car, and has the chance to become one of the best-selling sedans within PAG.
If you could work in another industry, which one would you choose?
One that combines applying car industry standards to the development and building of boats.
What was the most fun you had last year outside the auto industry?
Spending time with my family, skiing in the Alps; spending time at our summer house on the Swedish west coast; and going to the Bruce Springsteen concert in Gothenburg in June.
What is the greatest holiday you ever had?
After a number of winters skiing in Scandinavia, in February 2001 our family went to the steeper and longer slopes of the Alps. We were a bit hesitant about whether the boys would manage Chamonix (a resort area of the French Alps), but we ended up skiing all the slopes.
What is your greatest personal regret?
There is a saying that you spend more time regretting the things you didn't do than the things you did. I decided early that should not be the case for me. So if I get a chance, I take it, and I seldom look back for any purpose other than to learn for the future.
What is your greatest extravagance?
We have spent, and still spend, a lot of money renovating the summer house we bought in 1999. Once a year, I spend a lot of money renting a 50-foot sailboat with friends from university. On the bright side, I am the skipper.
Which talent do you most regret not having?
Henrik has started playing the guitar and I would like to be able to play with him. And I wouldn't mind a lower golf handicap.
How do you relax?
My favorite winter sport is downhill skiing, and I also cross country ski and ice skate. Both boys play ice hockey and I spend a lot of time on the rinks with them. We spend summers renovating our house on the coast, and swimming and boating. I have a 22-foot motorboat with a Mercruiser V-6, but I had a 28-foot sailboat and would like a sailboat again if I had time. The whole family plays golf, and we enjoy spending time with friends.