Volvo Chooses Hotshot Executive to Replace R&D Lead Poached by Audi

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
volvo chooses hotshot executive to replace r d lead poached by audi

Volvo has named Henrik Green as its new head of researching and development, replacing Peter Mertens, who was usurped by Audi in November.

Green, 43, entered Volvo’s executive branch in October as the senior vice president of sales, production planning, and customer service. Volvo says the vacant position, which was created for Green specifically, will be filled eventually. With Mertens gone, Volvo is depending upon Green to implement plug-in hybrid drivetrains throughout the company’s fleet and develop an autonomous vehicle by 2021.

Mertens’s unexpected move to Audi created a vacuum the Swedish automaker needed to fill quickly, though the company seems confident in its choice. “Henrik is ideally qualified to lead our team of highly talented engineers around the world as we enter the second phase of Volvo’s transformation,” Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in an official statement.

That team of engineers totals around 6,500 people, many of whom have overseen the transformation of Volvo Cars’ technical operations after the company was acquired by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding in 2010. However, leaving Ford for Geely seems to have worked out favorably for Volvo, considering it is preparing itself for the third consecutive year of record sales.

Last year, Volvo’s global sales surpassed 503,000 units — a number the automaker expects to top this year as it pursues a goal of growing its global volume to 800,000 vehicles by 2020.

“There has never been a more exciting time to work in automotive research and development and there has never been a more exciting time to do so at Volvo. The industry is changing and I intend to make sure that Volvo leads that change,” Green said in the statement.

Green joined Volvo in 1996 and has worked as the company’s vice president of product strategy and vehicle line management in Sweden and China.

He has a background in research and development, powertrain development and other advanced areas of engineering such as software and control systems. Green was also one of the leading figures behind Volvo’s decision to move ahead using only four- and three-cylinder engines.

[Images Michael Sheehan/ Flickr ( CC BY 2.0); Volvo]

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  • Asdf Asdf on Dec 08, 2016

    "Mertens’s unexpected move to Audi created a vacuum the Swedish automaker needed to fill quickly" Volvo is a CHINESE automaker, not a Swedish one!

  • Akear Akear on Dec 08, 2016

    This is the last Swedish car company standing. Wow, they are in worse shape than Detroit.

  • Art Vandelay Interesting, the Polestar 2 I had as a rental utilized Android Automotive which is what GM said it is going to exclusively, yet it still offers Apple CarPlay according to this. Wonder if GM will do the same.
  • Stuart de Baker EVs just aren't ready for prime time for those with a single car and who take road trips. Being able to charge as soon as you arrive at a charging station, and even the chargers working on your car is a crapshoot. In the former case, you could have to wait for nearly an hour while someone else is charging.I also don't find EVs particularly fun to drive (I've driven a Tesla Model S and an Ionic 5.) I LOVE driving my '08 Civic (stick). I love the handling, the feel and responsiveness of the engine, the precise steering (the Michelin Pilot Ultra Sport tires help, but even with the snows on, the car is a joy). I have 152k on the clock, and hopefully another 25 years or so of driving (I was born early in the Eisenhower Administration and I have exceptionally healthy habits), and I'm going to try to keep the Civic for the duration.My Civic causes a less global warming emissions than some of these humongous battery operated trucks.
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