There are going to be some pretty happy people at Volvo HQ tonight knowing that the former head of design Peter Horbury is coming back.
Plenty of high-ups at Volvo that I’ve been speaking to have privately sounded off about the company’s current direction. Their feeling is that the Swedes have now spent a decade chasing BMW and Mercedes and failed miserably. Witness the losses, falling sales and the fact that parent company Ford wants to sell them, probably to a Chinese car company.
The glory days, they reckon, were when Peter Horbury was radically changing the look and image of Volvos in the early 90s, giving them a unique character and they want it back. It looks like they’re going to get their wish.
Whether the undoubtedly talented and extremely personable Horbury can help change the company’s fortunes in this environment and under new management is another matter. But I, for one, am looking forward to finding out.