Li has accomplished much very quietly this year: His Geely-owned Volvo Cars sold a China-built vehicle in the U.S., drawing no flak amid a contentious presidential election in which foreign trade was vilified repeatedly. In doing so, he has greatly increased the credibility of the Chinese auto industry in developed markets.
But that's not all Li, 53, has done.
His greater accomplishment was continuing to oversee the stunning rebirth of Volvo. He did so without meddling in operations. But his strategic involvement was significant, shaping a strategy that integrates Volvo, Geely and Lynk & CO in platform sharing. That strategy also includes the opening of a U.S. factory for Volvo. Lynk plans to launch a midmarket compact crossover in China in 2017, with sales to follow in 2018 in first Europe and then the U.S.