Doug Speck's first act as Volvo's head of global sales and marketing will be to give both the worldwide sales organization and the brand image a top-to-bottom review. On the agenda are issues, such as regional autonomy, that he faced while he was Volvo's top North American executive for the past three years.
The deep dive won't be completed until late summer, which is why Speck's new title is acting head of marketing, sales and customer service. He says his position may change if he decides to revise the sales and marketing structure.
Ultimately, his goal will be to make sure Volvo meets its goal to more than double worldwide sales to 800,000 units by 2020 -- and more than double U.S. sales to 120,000 vehicles by then.
Speck, who will move to Sweden, will continue as CEO of Volvo Cars of North America until a successor is named in 30 to 60 days. He assumes the new job on June 1, succeeding Gerry Keaney, who is leaving Volvo after more than 20 years.
Speck, 52, says the global review will consider how headquarters interacts with Volvo's five sales regions, looking at such issues as how much autonomy the regions need.
"We are not the biggest company, and that should be a strength," he said. "We should be more nimble, more quick, very creative and entrepreneurial."
On the marketing side, he said, Volvo needs to "add certain attributes to the image of our brand," such as design.
"We still own the image of the safest brand in the car business, and we intend to continue to own that," he said. "One of the biggest components of our forward strategic plan is to understand what we want our brand to mean in 2015 and 2020.
"It is not easy to evolve a brand," Speck added. "You have to know where you are going and to be diligent on the path to getting there."
Speck started his career at Ford and held sales and marketing jobs at Jaguar and Land Rover in the United States. From 2004 to 2006 he ran Ford's Premier Automotive Group in Australia.