Geely's premium car unit Volvo Cars has named company veteran Henrik Green senior vice president (SVP) research & development.

Green, 43, is currently SVP of sales and production planning & customer service, and replaces Peter Mertens who recently left Volvo for Audi.

Green has extensive experience in research and development, powertrain development and other advanced areas of engineering such as software and control systems. He was also one of the leading figures behind Volvo Cars' decision to move to using only four- and three-cylinder engines, a decision that has been matched by other carmakers since.

Green joined the automaker in 1996, and has since held several senior management positions within R&D and product strategy in both Sweden and China.

"There has never been a more exciting time to work in automotive research and development and there has never been a more exciting time to do so at Volvo. The industry is changing and I intend to make sure that Volvo leads that change," said Green.

He inherits control of Volvo's 6,500-worker global R&D department which has overseen a complete transformation of Volvo Cars' technical operations since the company was acquired by Zhejiang Geely Holding in 2010.

This transformation includes the introduction and launch of its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) modular vehicle architecture, its Drive-E modular engine architecture and numerous new safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies.

"Henrik is ideally qualified to lead our team of highly talented engineers around the world as we enter the second phase of Volvo's transformation," said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive.

Volvo Cars also last year announced one of the automotive industry's most comprehensive electrification strategies in which plug-in hybrids will be introduced across its entire range.

It will offer at least two hybrid versions of every model in its range and introduce its first fully electric car by 2019. By 2025, Volvo aims to have sold a cumulative total of up to 1m electrified cars.

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