Lex Kerssemakers didn’t change his work style when Volvo Cars picked him a little more than a year ago to lead the Swedish automaker’s resurgence in the United States.
Kerssemakers has always been first in the office and last to leave.
“I’ve always been an early bird,” Kerssemakers said. “I love to be early. In the morning, I try to tackle the conversations with Europe, and then you have the rest of the day to focus on the U.S. and South America.”
If the new job has changed his work habits in any way, it’s in the amount of frequent-flyer miles he accumulates.
“The United States is so amazingly big. I’m spending a lot more time traveling,” said Kerssemakers, who got his start with Volvo in 1983 as a purchasing manager and now oversees operations in North and South America, including construction of the company’s first U.S. manufacturing plant in Berkeley County. The first S60 sedan is scheduled to roll off the assembly line at that campus near Ridgeville in 2018.