The Truth About Cars » Jacoby The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:27:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Jacoby New Volvo Boss Comes Highly Qualified: Under Investigation For Bribery Fri, 19 Oct 2012 17:59:55 +0000

Further on the news that Stefan Jacoby is out at Volvo and that Hakan Samuelsson is in, the parties decided to forgo the face-saving explanation that the change was due to medical reasons. They confirmed that is was a boardroom brawl which Jacoby lost. In a press conference today, Volvo Vice-Chairman Hans-Olov Olsson said “that Jacoby’s illness had nothing to do with the decision to remove Jacoby,” Reuters says. Olsson also claimed that it wasn’t personal animosity between him and Jacoby. Which leaves only that Jacoby was sacked for underperforming.

The 70 year old Olssson is a Volvo veteran. He was reactivated by Geely Chairman Li Shufu as his  representative on the board in Sweden. Li Shufu does not speak English, Olsson is his mouth and ears. Olsson and Jacoby quickly clashed.

“It’s just been a mess,” an ex-Volvo executive told Reuters. “Jacoby has not been able to run Volvo the way he wants to.” Volvo insiders suspect vis-a-vis Reuters that “friction with Olsson may have added to an unhealthy level of stress” for Jacoby, and indirectly blame Olsson for Jacoby’s mild stroke that left an arm and a leg impaired.  With Li Shufu’s approval, Olsson ditched Jacoby and put fellow Swede Samuelson in charge.

Hakan Samuelson has been on the Volvo board since 2010, after he left MAN in 2009 in disgrace. MAN was involved in a large bribery scandal. German prosecutors last month said that Samuelsson is being investigated for aiding and abetting bribery. MAN is seeking millions of euros in damages from Samuelsson because of the scandal. Maybe he should move to China.

Volvo  finds itself in troubled waters, both in Europe and in China. The EU market is a tough place for any automaker. Volvo’s EU sales are down  12.3 percent for the year and 17.4 percent in August. China suffers from overcapacity and is no longer desperately waiting  for new car brands. In the U.S., Volvo’s sales are down slightly, a bad sign in an otherwise strong market.

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Volvo: No, Jacoby Will Not Run Opel Mon, 06 Aug 2012 19:49:20 +0000

“There is no substance behind the rumors about Stefan Jacoby leaving Volvo Car Corporation,” a spokesman for Volvo Cars told Reuters. He had to, because Sweden’s Dagens Industri named Jacoby as a candidate for the dangerous job as Opel CEO.

Since Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke was fired by Dan Akerson last month, the ailing company had two interim CEOs, first Steve Girsky, then Thomas Sedran. Opel is looking for someone to fill the post more permanently. However, the posting is said to be lacking job security, and has a hard time attracting five star talent. Knowing the former Volkswagen of American CEO Jacoby, he would not have taken the Opel job even during the better days of the company.

Naming Opel CEO candidates has become a sport of the auto press during the silly season. It looks like Sweden’s Dagens Industri simply wanted to bring fellow companies into play. Its second candidate is the former Saab and later GM executive Bo Andersson. He doesn’t need a new job, he is safely ensconced as CEO of Russia’s GAZ.

Pretty strange, but working for a Chinese (Li Shufu, Geely) or Russian (Oleg Deripaska/BVasic Element) oligarch is said to be safer than working for Dan Akerson and GM.



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Quote Of The Day: Killer Instincts Wed, 02 Mar 2011 12:36:40 +0000

“Why would you even ask that question? Do you think the Chinese want to kill people on the road?”

Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby after a reporter had asked him in Geneva whether Chinese ownership could hurt Volvo’s safety image.

From Automotive News [sub]

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Guess Where The Other Volvo Factory Will Be. You Are Getting Close … Thu, 18 Nov 2010 16:52:03 +0000

Stefan Jacoby, CEO of bought-by-Geely Volvo needs to bring down the cost of Volvo’s European-made cars.

So where will the new Volvo factories be? You have two tries.

China? Check. Volvo might actually open three factories in China, Stefan Jacoby said recently in Stockholm. Details should be forthcoming within the next weeks.

Ok, now for another country …

Would you have guessed the U.S. of A? “Our first priority is to extend production to China,” Jacoby  said. “The U.S. is also a priority.” The Freep says that Jacoby has experience in building a plant in the U.S.  The former head of VWoA  “oversaw site selection and construction of a $1-billion assembly plant outside Chattanooga, Tenn.”

Who would have thunk it? The Chinese buy Volvo, and jobs come to America. As a second alternative.

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New Volvo Boss Wants A Bentley Sun, 22 Aug 2010 08:54:23 +0000

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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Volkswagen Wants To Triple U.S. Sales By 2018 Mon, 11 Jan 2010 11:08:12 +0000 In your dreams. Picture courtesy

Volkswagen has grand plans for the U.S.A. Volkswagen wants to “increase sales and market share in 2010.” Ok, who doesn’t.  Now, for the delusions of grandeur part: By 2018, Volkswagen wants to more than triple annual car sales in the U.S. to 1 million a year, with  Audi accounting for 200,000 sales, reports the Wall Street Journal. Seen any flying pigs lately?

Why 2018? By 2018, Volkswagen wants to rule the world, and trounce Toyota in unit sales, profitability, customer satisfaction, innovation, and most likely size and quantity of cup-holders also.

Everybody in the company has to do his or her share for the grand plan.

Volkswagen Group China already made a huge contribution. More than 1.4m vehicles were delivered to Chinese customers in 2009, an increase of 36.7 percent from 2008. “Based on our excellent performance in 2009, we are confident about achieving our objective of doubling the sales to two million vehicles, laid down in our Strategy 2018, much earlier than planned,” said Winfried Vahland, President of Volkswagen Group China.

Jacoby doesn’t have numbers like that, but he has tall predictions.

Jacoby prognosticated that Volkswagen will be profitable in the U.S. in 2013 , when annual sales will be between 450,000 and 400,000 vehicles.

In 2009, VWoA sold 297,537 vehicles in the U.S., down slightly from 313,581 the year before. Considering the bloodletting of other brands, this was a heroic effort. Market share rose to 2.9 percent from 2.4 percent the year before. (If you go back to the WSJ article, you will see different numbers. The WSJ only counts Volkswagen brand sales and forgot about Audi.)

According to the WSJ, “growth in the fiercely competitive U.S. market is crucial for Volkswagen’s long-term expansion plan in coming years.”  We beg to differ.

Volkswagen’s lackluster performance in the USA (the highest group sales in the last 10 years  were 424,496 units in 2001, and it was steadily downhill from there) cushioned VW from the debilitating effects of the American carmageddon. Toyota on the other hand was hit hard. ToMoCo’s sales dropped to 1,770,147 in 2009  from 2,217,660 in the year before, down a painful 21 percent.

For all of 2009, Volkswagen had been feted as second largest manufacturer in the world. Last November, it was reported that Volkswagen had already passed by Toyota. Toyota demanded a recount, and nosed ahead of VW. We’ll see what OICA will have to say when they release the official 2009 tally.

Depending on how creative everybody gets with their bookkeeping, VW already could be king of the unit hill.  They bought 20 percent of Suzuki, and with Suzuki ‘s 2.36m units a year added to VW’s more than 6.2m units, Toyota would be toast by a wide margin.

Unfair? More than a million of the 1.83m Chinese GMs sold in 2009 have been made by the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture that specializes in cheap trucks and vans, popular in China’s countryside. GM holds a 34 percent stake in the joint venture, but counts 100 percent of the sales as theirs.

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