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Håkan Samuelsson, ‘World car person of the year’ award

By Mark Salisbury
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 10:07

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Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Car Group’s president and chief executive officer, has been awarded the inaugural “World Car Person of the Year” award as announced today at the World Car Awards press conference hosted by Bridgestone Corporation and the New York International Auto Show at the Geneva International Motor Show.

World Car Vice-chairman Mike Rutherford said, “World Car is delighted and honoured to announce that Håkan Samuelsson is the inaugural winner of the 2018 World Car Person of the Year award.” Håkan Samuelsson commented, “I see this award as acknowledgement of the efforts made by the entire Volvo Cars organisation in recent years.”

Rutherford elaborated, “When deciding who should win this first-time award, we weren’t concerned about the age, nationality or job title of the man or woman concerned. We simply wanted to identify the most worthy individual in the industry.

Håkan Samuelsson is someone who – against the odds – has successfully integrated his relatively small company into an automotive empire based on another continent. And, as a result of this unlikely but seemingly happy marriage, both sides have emerged considerably stronger.

At the same time, Mr. Samuelsson has maintained his brand’s identity and relative independence, as well as thoroughly reviving his product line-up to ensure that it’s a super-strong competitor in the premium sector…while still maintaining a presence at the more affordable end of the market.

In short, he has made Volvo an aspirational brand again.

He’s a car guy, of course. But more than that, he’s an engine, tech, industrial and restructuring expert. Also, he’s managed to reinvigorate his company’s public image as a clean, green, lean, safety-oriented technology leader. And as his current balance sheet proves, he knows how to create healthy profits.

Nicknamed the ‘The Disrupter’ (a label he says he’s very proud of!) he’s announced a bold electrification strategy that includes a combination of pure-electric and petrol-hybrid vehicles from next year onwards. He enthusiastically promotes the notion that there’s no need to buy his cars when you can instead take out a subscription to use them! And, for good measure, he oversees an exciting, just-launched sub-brand, too.”

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