He's the guy who made Volvos cool for the first time ever.
Peter Mertens is kind of a big deal over at Volvo. Actually, he was kind of a big deal. Audi announced that Mertens was jumping ship from the Swedish automaker to lead its research and development efforts. His new title is "Board of Management Member for Technical Development," which sounds a lot like his old title at Volvo, "Senior Vice President Research & Development," albeit more German. Why is this news? Because, Mertens was one of the key figures behind Volvo's recent revival.
He had a hand in everything from the gorgeous new S90 to the increased amount Polestar models in the lineup. This is obviously a huge blow for Volvo but we don't doubt it'll be able to carry on just fine. As for Audi, well it's gaining a heavy hitter at a time when its R&D budget could be getting cut up. Mertens joined Volvo in 2011 after its acquisition by Chinese automaker Geely, so it's safe to say that he has experience working in times of change. If you needed anymore proof that Mertens will make an impact at Audi just look at what he's done in his five years at Volvo. The Swedish company's cars are relevant in ways they never were before.
Its sedans and SUVs are becoming bigger players in the luxury segment and sales stateside are way up. Polestar isn't yet ready to tune in volume but when it is, watch out. All that being said we're excited to see what Mertens brings to Audi. The Volkswagen Group may be tightening its belt but it still has a ton of cash to dedicate to R&D and a massive parts bin to pick through.