Fredrik Arp will be the next CEO of Volvo Car, taking over from current boss Hans-Olov Olsson, the Swedish carmaker said Thursday.
Arp, currently the head of Swedish supplier Trelleborg, starts October 1.
The announcement came as a relief to Volvo employees, who worried that parent Ford would appoint a manager from outside Sweden to run the company.
“It certainly is not a disadvantage that it’s a Swedish person who will be running a Swedish company,” a Volvo insider said.
Arp, 52, has been CEO of Trelleborg since 1999. Earlier, he held several other management positions at the supplier.
Olsson, 64, will become chairman of the Volvo supervisory board. He has been CEO for the past five years and has been with Volvo for 39 years.
A senior Volvo executive who worked closely with Olsson said the CEO had been a key player in the integration of Volvo into Ford.
The US carmaker bought Volvo in 1999.
“It was because of Hans-Olov’s successful management style, that Ford has been looking for another Swede rather than choosing an American type of executive,” he said.
Olsson pursued a clear strategy for the expansion of Volvo volume since the company became part of the Ford empire.
The close associate of Olsson said: “He targeted a 600,000 unit volume. His successor was clearly chosen to complete this mission.”
Volvo, which employs 27,500 employees, has plants in Sweden and Belgium. It sold about 456,000 cars in 2004.
Like Olsson, Arp will report to Mark Fields, the head of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group. Volvo is currently the only profitable brand in the Ford luxury-car division, which also includes British brands Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin.
– Wim Oude Weernink contributed