Volvo Headed Back to New Jersey

March 7, 2008
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Pack up the lutefisk (maybe in a new XC60 crossover) and leave the keys to the PAG building behind--Volvo's calling it quits in California and heading back to New Jersey.

Ford's upscale brand--likely the last Ford European brand left in the company, once Jaguar and Land Rover are finally sold to Tata this month--is setting its sights for Rockleigh, N.J., where it has a customer service center.

Before the Swedish brand was absorbed into Ford's old Premier Automotive Group (PAG), Volvo had its headquarters in the Garden State. But the grand Ford plan under former CEO Jac Nasser was to combine Volvo, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover (along with office building cohorts Mazda) to create a new southern California power base for the company.

Aston Martin was the first to vacate--and with Jaguar Land Rover's imminent sale to the Indian concern, it was considered a given that Volvo would move its base back to the East Coast, closer to the company's European time zone and a bigger slice of its American buyers.

"We have evaluated the situation in the U.S. market and decided to consolidate our headquarters operations in one location," said Gerry Keaney, senior vice president of Marketing, Sales & Service for Volvo Car Corporation. "It is a natural choice to go back to Volvo Cars' original location in New Jersey as we already have major operations and facilities there."

In the move back, Volvo will also make Doug Speck its new CEO for North America. He replaces Anne Belec, who is now Ford's director of global marketing and will move to Dearborn to report to Jim Farley.

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