Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Car Group's president and CEO, was honoured with the inaugural "World Car Person of the Year" award today at the Geneva International Motor Show.
World Car Awards Vice-Chairman, Mike Rutherford presented the award at the annual World Car Awards Geneva press conference, hosted by Bridgestone Corporation and the New York International Auto Show.
"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,” said Rutherford.
“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's 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 (Polestar), too."
The World Car community brings together a large cross-section of experts and professionals from every segment of the automotive industry. At the same press conference, the organization announced the ‘Top Three in the World’ finalists for the annual World Car vehicle awards, which will be presented at the New York International Auto Show on March 28.
World Car Awards partners include the New York International Auto Show, Prime Research, Bridgestone, Autoneum, KPMG and Newspress.