Volvo can use its new-found independence to react quickly to market demands and enter "the top league of premium brands", according to the firm's new CEO.

Ex-VW USA chief Stefan Jacoby started his role at the Swedish manufacturer on Monday, just under three weeks after the firm was taken over by Chinese firm Geely.

Read more on Geely's plans to take Volvo upmarket

He declined to make sales projections for the troubled brand during his first official press conference, joking that he would need "at least another 48 hours" to come up with precise figures. But he said the fact that Volvo was no longer tied to a major manufacturer would bring challenges and opportunities in equal measure.

"Scale of economies is a key factor in having a competitive manufacturer base," he said. "But what we also know is that size and volume can also bring complexities, and reduce speed. This is the opportunity that we have now, as a little 'David' in the industry of giants.

Read Autocar's full road test of the new Volvo S60

"It means that we can be lean and quick. We have advantages and we have to look for smart, intelligent solutions. There will be opportunities to co-operate with different suppliers, and with our sister firm Geely. And the Chinese investment offers the chance to source in the Chinese market."

Jacoby added, "It will be an interesting journey ahead, and it won't always go exactly how we have planned it. But I'm very committed to bringing Volvo to where it belongs - and it belongs in the top league of premium brands."

Watch Autocar's 90-second Volvo S60 video review

He also moved to quell speculation that surfaced during the Volvo sale that it could be swallowed up by the Geely brand altogether. "I think our new owner has a very good understanding of the automotive industry," he said, "and it knows the value of the Volvo brand. It makes no sense to merge this brand; instead, you need to develop it further. I think there is no misunderstanding on that point."

John McIlroy

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