Volvo creates U.S. and Canada division; Gustafsson will step down

Volvo Cars is restructuring its US operations, splitting the US and Canadian markets into separate units.

Anders Gustafsson, 54, head of Volvo Cars America and CEO of Volvo Cars USA, will abdicate responsibility on March 1, according to three people briefed on the matter. automotive news.

Michael Cottone, a 21-year Volvo veteran and Vice President of the Western Region, will assume the top positions in the United States and Canada. Mr. Cotton, 43, will report to Volvo Cars’ commercial executive rather than CEO Jim Rowan.

It is unclear if Gustafsson will continue with Volvo or return to Sweden.

Volvo Car USA confirms restructuring automotive news.

“To support and ensure the focus on Volvo Cars’ ambitious goals of growth, full electrification and an omnichannel customer experience, we will evolve our structure in the Americas region and expand into the United States,” a spokesperson said in an email. and create a Canadian professional organization.”

Gustafsson’s departure came as a surprise to Volvo retailers.

“Dealers are sick of it. They don’t get it,” said the dealer. “It is rare in your lifetime to meet a charismatic leader who can lead and deliver results. [Gustafsson] One of them. “

The promotion of Cottone is an important milestone for the business.

As Volvo transitions to an all-electric brand by 2030 and tests new sales models, Cotton faces a dealer network that still understands what the new strategy means for its business.

The Swedish automaker has developed a strategy to sell its battery-powered models online through and dealer websites.

The pandemic and supply shortages have been good for retailer margins, but the new year brings a change. Cotton and his team must navigate economic headwinds as inflation and interest rates eat into demand for expensive luxury cars.

In 2021, Volvo Cars said it plans to sell its battery electric cars through an online model and deliver them to dealers, rather than letting retailers stock hundreds of new cars.

Cotton, on the other hand, will have to execute an aggressive product rollout for the brand while maintaining the brand’s current market momentum.

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