Volvo UK rejigs to boost share

Volvo Car UK has promoted sales and marketing director Gerry Keaney to chief operating officer.

Keaney takes control of the management of the company, which has experienced a steady fall in UK market share in the past two years – from 2.2 per cent in October 1994 to 1.51 per cent in the first nine months of this year.

The sales and marketing functions of the company have been split. All advertising and marketing responsibilities now lie with Craig Fabian, the new director of marketing communications, who has been promoted from communications manager. Fabian will control the 20m advertising budget which is spent through Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO.

Malcolm Wade becomes director of sales and dealer operations, taking responsibility for all Volvo’s sales activities.

The restructure has been triggered by managing director Charles Hunter-Pease’s shift to the role of vice president network in Europe. Hunter-Pease will take charge of developing the Swedish car maker’s European dealer network.

In May, Volvo launched the S40 with a 40m pan-European campaign to rival the BMW 3 series and Audi A4. But it has yet to reverse the company’s falling UK market share.

“From January our new network will be in place,” says Hunter-Pease. ” I am very confident that the new management team can build successfully on the foundations laid and ensure continuity during this critical period of change.”

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