By on August 22, 2010

Stefan Jacoby, formerly chief of Volkswagen of America, took over the wheel at now Geely-owned Volvo. That answers the question raised a few weeks ago whether he still has the job. He does.

Jacoby moved with his whole family to the Hissingen district of Göteborg, Sweden. close to Volvo’s headquarters. That answers the lingering question whether Volvo will be dismantled and moved to some city in China nobody has ever heard of and nobody can spell.  Not going to happen. At least not for the moment. Volvo will be managed from Sweden by a German who answers to Chinese owners. And who daydreams of a Bentley …

Barely arrived in Sweden, the usually very careful Jacoby already caused the first scandal. He was asked what his favorite cars are.

Jacoby’s most favorite car is a Bentley, reports Das Handelsblatt. He said that his biggest wish was to own a Bentley not later than by his 50th birthday. He’s 52 now, and (hint, hint) he still doesn’t own a Bentley.

Favorite car #2 is the BMW M5, a “fantastic” car.

Jacoby favorite #3 is the whole Prius range of Toyota.

Favorite car he personally owns? A 1976 vintage VW Beetle rag-top (the original, not the New Beetle.)

At the end of the reverie, Jacoby recalled that he now works for Volvo. He quickly mentioned that the Volvo Amazon could also be ranked amongst his most favorite cars. Remarks a snide Handelsblatt: “The car was discontinued in 1970.”

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16 Comments on “New Volvo Boss Wants A Bentley...”


  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    At least he gets points for honesty… if you want a non-Swedish, upper-scale customer, then you probably have to offer something more Bentley or M5-ish, if you want to avoid new-entrants co-opting your reputation (and market-share) for environmentally-intelligent cars, then you need something more Prius-ish…

    I see his answers also point to where he wants VCC to go:
    - Bentley means offer something way upscale and luxurious (enter Mercedes territory);
    - M5 means offer something far upscale and dynamic (enter BMW territory);
    - Prius means expand on VCC’s green creds (defend own territory).

    Beetle here, is a throw-away, the winning combo here, or at least in the mid-term, is M5 and Prius…

  • avatar
    Paul W

    In Swedish automotive press, Jacoby is greeted as a savior. The comment he made about Volvo Amazon is interpreted as Jacoby being a HUGE Volvo fan (no, I’m not exaggerating), and the fact that he is moving to Gothenburg is seen as another sign that he truly cares about the brand (reading between the lines: in contrast to the blood sucking leeches in Detroit who never gave a damn and stole all of Volvo’s money and know-how). The atmosphere is VERY positive.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      In 1999, VCC was cash-poor, but was just coming off the big investment in the then new P2 program… Volvo corp could not see the future with the car side of the business, so that is why it was sold.

      In the time between, Ford greenlighted and approved investment for the C30, V40, C50, S60 XC90, 2nd gen C60, V70, S80, a new crash test center, the 5-cyl Diesel, expansion into China…

      Ford paid what, 4G USD for VCC? And how much did they invest into all those projects mentioned above? By my guess, between 5 and 10G USD total…

      For that anount of money, Ford would have been able to duplicate anything that VCC was doing … and probably less money too…

      So, objectively speaking, how can you say that Ford was bad to and ripped-off VCC? It’s just not true.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul W

      Robert.Walter: I just want to clarify that I merely tried to reproduce the atmosphere of the articles, editorials and reader comments in the Swedish automotive press. My personal opinion is somewhat (and by “somewhat” I mean “completely”) different.

      The initial fright of Geely buying Volvo has been replaced by a very cheerful optimism I don’t think anyone could have foreseen a few months ago. Comments like “Ford got world leading auto safety technology from Volvo, and used creative bookkeeping make it look like Volvo was losing money (the same is being said about Saab and GM, by the way)”, “Geely will open the Chinese market for Volvo and all will be well”, “Jacoby is just the leader Volvo needs – he even loves the Amazon!” are quite common. Yellow peril is definitely over.

  • avatar
    colin42

    If he turned up and said his favourite car was a c30 and a v70 who would have believed him?

  • avatar
    Stingray

    What does Swedish news say about Saab?

    • 0 avatar
      Paul W

      News reports about Saab focus mainly on the Saab 9-4X’s premier at the LA Auto Show in November, and how it’s not a rebadge of the Cadillac SRX. The fact that Saab is about to release two new models in a very short time span is seen as proof that the brand is still alive and kickin’, and that everyone who ever doubted Saab’s survivability must now admit that they were wrong (again, I’m not exaggerating).

  • avatar
    John Horner

    There has been talk that Volvo is thinking about doing a New Beetle like interpretation of the Amazon. That would be cool!

    Now if only Volvo would dust off the old 240 tooling, send it to China, put a modern engine in it and start selling the things for $19,999 :).

  • avatar
    SomeDude

    “Jacoby favorite #3 is the whole Prius range of Toyota…”

    I’m not quite sure I understand this sentence. There’s only one Prius, or does the Lexus HS 250h also qualify as a Prius? Then again, the HS 250h is not sold in Europe, or is it?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      The Prius is now in its 5th generation, with 3 distinctly different recognizable versions.

      Gen 1: JDM only
      Gen 2: updated model exported to USA and elsewhere
      Gen 3: first “cheeseblock” hatchback version
      Gen 4: facelift and update of Gen 3
      Gen 5: Current model.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      There has been talk, off and on, of creating a line of Prius-badged vehicles spanning several categories (kinda like Chrysler once called nearly every car LeBaron, but not quite.)

      Jacoby’s possibly refering to Prius like this make take this thought into consideration, or he too, may be affected by the commodization of the name Prius meaning hybrid, just like many germans refer to 4WD vehicles as jeeps.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeDude

      @Steve65

      Yeah, but the M5 is also in its 4th or 5th generation now. Though, on second thought, he probably excluded the Bangle era M5, hence no mentioning of the whole M5 range of BMW…

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Good for him. The last person I’d want to lead a company is someone who isn’t aware of what the competition is doing.

    A Bentley isn’t out of reach for even a Volvo salesman, a quick Autotrader search for a 2004 Continental GT shows they’re around $60,000, and used Arnage Red Labels seem to hover around $40,000.

    Not that you should (the upkeep over just 3-5 years would match the purchase price), but you could.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    Bertel, just FYI: “Hisingen” schreibt sich mit nur einem ‘s’.

    HTH!

  • avatar
    Lokki

    I think the bottom line here is that he’s a CAR GUY, not an accountant, safety geek, or green freak.


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