The 2016 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview will open Thursday, Feb. 11 with the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) breakfast and feature a keynote from Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service Ford Motor Co. That afternoon, Alexander “Lex” Kerssemakers, senior vice president, The Americas region, and president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, will address the Economic Club of Chicago (ECC) Luncheon.
During the opening breakfast, MAMA President Patrick Olsen will present the MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year award and introduce Mark LaNeve, who is responsible for all marketing, sales, service, customer care and dealer relations for the Ford and Lincoln brands. His focus is on continuing to build the Ford brand through innovative new digital communications and transforming the retail experience for customers. LaNeve came to Ford after several years leading the company’s marketing and advertising agency, Global Team Ford, where he was chief operating officer since August 2012. In this role, LaNeve led not only Team Detroit, which services the Ford brand in the U.S., but also the agency’s operations in London, Sao Paulo and Shanghai, as well as Hudson Rouge, the Lincoln agency in New York City.
“The Chicago Auto Show is very important to Ford and its Chicagoland dealers,” said LaNeve. “We look forward to seeing the excitement this show generates as well as the automotive passion of all Chicagoans.”
“It’s an honor to have someone of Mark’s caliber to open the nation’s largest auto show,” said Colin Wickstrom, 2016 Chicago Auto Show chairman. “Ford has long supported the Chicago Auto Show with executive addresses, important product introductions and some of the largest displays it produces worldwide.”
Volvo’s Kerssemakers will later keynote the ECC Luncheon. Kerssemakers was appointed to his current position in 2014. He has a fundamental understanding of product strategy, purchasing and sales and marketing. He has led international teams in the U.K., Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. Kerssemakers has served under Swedish, U.S. and Chinese ownership, aligning shareholder and customer perspectives.
“Volvo has a great story to tell on several fronts,” said Dave Sloan, Chicago Auto Show general manager. “Not only has the brand re-established itself a luxury automaker with the introduction of the XC90 and S90, but Volvo has important news on the safety and autonomous fronts as well.”
The ECC Luncheon at the Chicago Auto Show is a cornerstone event of the Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, boasting past speeches from Bill Ford, Jim Press, Henrik Fisker, Ralph Gilles, Jonathan Browning and Yoshi Inaba. Last year, José Muñoz, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and chairman, Nissan North America, Inc., was the Luncheon’s guest speaker.
Founded in 1927 to serve as a forum for Chicago’s business community, the ECC is one of Chicago’s finest business groups and has had a decade-long association with the Chicago Auto Show. The ECC has grown to become a premier institution, providing elite members of the business world a platform to express and discuss economic, business and social issues.
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