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Design of tomorrow's cars in Barcelona

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The importance of the local knowledge, awareness and presence that Business Sweden assists with proves once again invaluable when Geely Design took over operations from Volvo Cars Spain in Barcelona.

Geely Design is a legal entity under CEVT AB, a Swedish-registered company owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and was established in 2013. CEVT is Geely Auto and Volvo Cars joint engineering and development centre for future C-segment cars. Activities cover vital parts of car development - from chassis to engine and transmission, to top hat engineering and the vehicles’ exterior design.

At the turn of 2013/2014, the design and development studio in Barcelona was released from Volvo Cars Spain and CEVT took over the business and existing staff. Facing this, CEVT considered they would need assistance with practical and legal issues such as labour law.

Karin Naremark, Vice President Human Resources at CEVT, who earlier in her career has been starting up companies with sales operations around the world in cooperation with Business Sweden, contacted Business Sweden's office in Spain to get support regarding the business establishment and employment law issues in Spain.


- It was natural for me to get in touch with Business Sweden who previously helped me with establishments abroad, says Karin Naremark.

In addition to the establishment and transition of employees and contracts from the previous entity, Business Sweden also provides Business Support Office services such as ongoing support for human resources and payroll, accounting and financial management.

- Business administration in Spain is very different from the one we are used to in Sweden. Another potential issue is that language barriers often occur when doing business here, even in English, says Åsa Barrio, Consultant at Business Sweden

- My lesson learned from international projects is to attain support of those who have knowledge and understanding of the local market. Things are more complicated than you think regarding establishments abroad, says Karin Naremark.

Local presence and knowledge is everything

Karin also notes that the distance is one of the difficulties in establishing and operating a business overseas. It is therefore important to have close contact between the head office in Sweden and the company abroad, as well as with the local Business Sweden team.

When problems occurred during the establishment process, Business Sweden was able to both put measures in place in order to get ahead with the issue, as well as provide CEVT in Sweden with explanation and full understanding of underlying causes. CEVT also feel secure knowing that Business Sweden always has an eye on the running BSO-work to ensure goes on as it should, and get in touch as soon as something unexpected happens.

After three months and a complicated process, the CEVT's establishment in Spain was completed. The Business Sweden-collaboration with HR and financial management continues and opportunities to extend cooperation in the future are considered.

- It is always easy to get in touch with Business Sweden to get things done and to get good advice on what can and cannot be done on the Spanish market, says Karin Naremark.

Illustration: CEVT AB

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Åsa Barrio

Business Developer Madrid Business Developer, Madrid
+34 91 444 26 00