Ford appoints new CEO to save Volvo

The American owners of Swedish car manufacturer Volvo could be planning to fix its problems rather than sell it, according to industry analysts.

Ford has appointed veteran British executive Stephen Odell to head its Volvo Cars operation, naming him president and chief executive officer of the company effective from October 1.

He replaces Fredrik Arp, 54, who led the company for three years but has decided to leave.

Volvo was bought by Ford in 1999, but has been struggling against a weak US dollar, rising raw material prices and declining demand.

Mr Odell, 53, is the first non-Swede to run Volvo. He was chief operating officer of Ford of Europe and had served as its vice president of marketing and sales. He also held senior level positions at Mazda, of which Ford owns a large share.

Ford said it would try to change Volvo's image to attract more upscale luxury buyers, after taking the company off the for sale market in November.

Erich Merkle, an auto analyst with Crowe said Ford are likely to supply parts that are common to Ford vehicles to help cut costs.

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