Volvo dealers expressed a list of concerns at their make meeting, but almost all of them stemmed from a single concern — Anders Gustafsson is stepping down as CEO of Volvo Car USA.
Volvo dealers have enjoyed a heyday with higher profits, better sales per store, good product mixes and good communications with the global decision-makers in Gothenberg, Sweden, said Ernie Norcross, chairman of the Volvo Retail Advisory Board. "And dealers are concerned about the change in continuity," he said. "Anders has helped us. We're on a profit run. We want to make sure things continue."
The meeting was punctuated by applause as Gustafsson recapped the brand's improvements over the past five years, including a doubling of sales volume, a doubling of used-car sales and a 52 percent increase in service business. Factory officials repeatedly reassured dealers that business will carry on the same under Mike Cottone, a 21-year Volvo veteran and Western Region vice president, who will take over Gustafsson's top job for the U.S. and Canada on March 1.