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  • NATALIA SOUSA

Volvo Announces a Former Tesla Leader as their New Head of Research and Development (R&D)

On December 16th Anders Bell assumed the Head of Research and Development (R&D) role at Volvo Cars. Anders will report to Javier Varela, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO, and be a member of the Engineering & Operations management team and the Group Management Team (GMT), responsible for the performance and execution of our direction in-line with our purpose and strategy.

Anders brings nearly 25 years of engineering experience in the automotive sector into the Engineering and Operations team, with many of those years spent within Volvo Cars, and the last six with Tesla.


The role as Head of R&D is key to lead, drive and delivering on the car manufacturers' ambitions in core computing, electrification, connectivity and autonomous drive. As the automotive industry is in the midst of a technological revolution, this makes the R&D contribution to Volvo Cars all the more important.

Anders, together with his team, will have the responsibility to reduce the cost and complexity in Volvo products and services, keep the life cycle perspective and remain focused on continuous development and customer value. He will be responsible for all functional areas within R&D, working to transform ideas into innovations that meet the high standards of future vehicles.

“Bringing Anders back home to Volvo Cars will help our company strengthen our existing capabilities, speed up and enhance our deliveries” says Javier Varela, COO & Deputy CEO. “I look forward to working closely with Anders and the full team as we continue our journey to full electrification.”

During his 18-year stint at Volvo Cars starting in 1998, Anders worked on a variety of projects including the development of the first XC90, overseeing the launch of XC60 production in China and launching interiors for our 90 series. Most recently at Tesla, Anders served as the Head of Vehicle Engineering for EMEA – working to build up the engineering organisation and facilities as they aim to operate more globally.

“I’m really looking forward to picking up my relationships with Volvo Cars and the people within it,” says Anders Bell. “Hopefully I'll be able to bring and convert all of that into energy and opportunities to help Volvo in the continuous journey to electrification. I wouldn't have joined without that commitment that the leadership team, and the company has done to go electric. It's absolutely the right thing to do.”

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