We just announced this special program:
Our hearts go out to all of those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. We at Volvo Cars North America have seen the power and destruction from this storm first hand, as our headquarters are in Rockleigh, NJ.
While our communities are being rebuilt we would like to help get you back on the road. Whether it’s repairing your storm damaged vehicle, or replacing it altogether, we’re here for you.
• Our Customer Care Center is here to answer any question you might have. You can contact them at 1-800-550-5658 or submit an inquiry here.
• Your local retailer is available to help you with any of your automotive needs. Click here to visit our retailer locator.
• And for those of you whose vehicle was damaged during the storm Volvo will extend employee pricing over the next few weeks and contribute up to $1,000 towards your insurance deductible and other damage related costs. The details of the program are listed below.
Customer eligibility: Individuals that experienced damage/loss to their vehicle during Hurricane Sandy (10/24/12 – 11/3/12) and reside in a FEMA designated disaster or emergency area.
Required supporting documentation: Please provide proof of a claim for damage/loss to your insured vehicle from your insurance company and U.S. registration documents showing VIN, name, address and expiration date for your vehicle. Supporting documentation must be available at time of delivery.
Residency in FEMA designated disaster or emergency areas: Please provide proof of residency (copy of U.S. driver’s license) in one of the designated FEMA disaster/emergency areas. Your local retailer will be able to assist you if you need confirmation of these designated areas.
Take retailer delivery between November 1, 2012 and January 2, 2013. Hurricane Relief Employee Pricing plus $1,000 is towards a lease or purchase and is available on any new Volvo. Customer eligibility requirements must be met for Hurricane Relief Employee Pricing plus $1,000 Incentive Program. Please see retailer for details. This offer cannot be combined with the Loyalty Bonus Offer.
We hope this doesn’t come across as “sales-ey” – it’s not meant to be. Watching the news, before, during, and after Sandy, I’m amazed how people are pulling together to help. I think what we are doing will hopefully lessen the burden a little for those in our family.
danPosted in news, Quality of Life, Volvo | Comments Off
In 2010 about 50 children, along with an untold number of pets, died from being accidentally left in cars. Last year that number dropped to 33 thanks to more public awareness of the issue.
NPR reported last July that this situation often develops when our daily driving routine is disrupted: http://www.npr.org/2011/07/12/137790387/leaving-kids-in-hot-cars-foul-or-forgivable . To me, that was a surprise. In some cases, drivers switched cars, were late for a meeting, picked up stuff on the way to work and were thinking about something else besides driving (I’m guilty of that quite often). For me driving is something I consider routine, so my mind wonders to what meetings I have, what needs to be done, basically everything other than driving. Then its like, ‘snap out of it’ and I’m back to driving.
At a recent press conference in Washington DC, David Strickland, the Director of National Highway and Safety Administration, commented about aftermarket devices to detect children left in cars when he said, “While we feel these devices are very well-intended, we don’t think they can be used as the only countermeasure to make sure that you don’t forget your child left behind in a car.”
The purpose of the Safety Concept Car that we launched in 2000 (which later became C30 but that’s a story we’ve covered here before), was to test possible future safety systems, ideas and technologies. With the SCC, we showed a heart beat sensor, like version 0.0001a.
In launching the SCC, Volvo had the idea of using a heart beat sensor to detect a child left in the car. Within weeks it changed to a personal security system. Some years later we offered a heart beat sensor to detect and a key fob to alert if the key fob holder pushed a query button with our Personal Security system. That option worked once a car was locked, and if a window was bashed, or if someone, i.e. a bad person with ill intent, was hiding inside the car. It was not for detecting children left accidentally.
What happened was an inability of that system to effectively continue to alert a person holding the key fob. An active system is what we and others were working towards but it still has limits. For example: a child is left in a car, while the parent runs into the house to answer the phone and the system alerts of a child left in the car, and the parent thinks “okay be right back,” answers the phone to discuss last month’s expensive bill with the power company, slams the phone down and then being distracted from the call, goes on to do other things besides bringing in their child because the system doesn’t continuously go off.
You know how your cell phone dies in some buildings? It’s exactly the same problem with a low power RF key fob device. It works fine when it’s within a few feet of your car but the FCC limits transmission range which further restricts long-range alert systems. At this point in time, there are no easy solutions to leaving children in cars, not even according to Strickland, with aftermarket products. The best solution is that drivers must shift gears and somehow remind themselves of their baby-on-board.
The way we look at future safety systems is to decide what gives us the best return towards saving lives. When our first Blind Spot Identification System launched in 2004, we followed with City Safety (low speed accident avoidance in XC60), then added Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, Distance Alert and Lane Departure Warning. This year, we have added Active High Beam and Road Sign Identification systems. All combined in a way to help Volvo reach our goal of no deaths or serious injuries in a Volvo by the year 2020.
On average about 15,000 people are killed in pedestrian accidents each year, with about 4,000 being children. So with Pedestrian Detection and Full Auto Brake, we have a system that aims to significantly reduce pedestrian deaths. As other manufactures tackle this issue as well, there will be significantly less deaths. Maybe there will come a day when all cars help protect occupants and those around them in a way that there are no deaths or serious injuries.
danPosted in Quality of Life, safety, Vision 2020 | Comments Off
Palm Springs, Calif. was the ideal location last month for the very first Heels and Wheels, a media event dedicated specifically to women automotive journalists and manufacturer representatives. With its beautiful views and sun drenched landscape, we knew the C70 would be the perfect vehicle to bring for the group of more than 20 journalists… but maybe we didn’t realize just how much of a hit our convertible would be. The biggest complaint we heard was that it was always out on the road!
We were one of 11 vehicles the group of journalists got to test over the course of the event, and there really was a great mix of vehicles to fit a variety of needs. We all met up in L.A., paired up, and started the two hour drive to Palm Springs. Note to self: next time this girl from Jersey needs to remember to pack sunscreen when heading to the desert… in a convertible.
Once we got to P.S., the nitty gritty testing began. It wasn’t all just highways, though. There was also some real world testing like simplicity of Bluetooth cell phone pairing, stuffing shopping bags in the trunk, car seat installation ease and let’s not forget buckling in Fido. All things you probably do in your daily life, but maybe what you wouldn’t expect from a typical automotive event.
Thanks to Christine Overstreet for arranging the event. The C70 and I had a great time cruising the streets of Palm Springs, hearing first-hand what women are really looking for when buying a car. After all, 62 percent of new car purchases are made by women — and women influence about 80 percent of purchases.
-Laura DiStefanoC70, luxury, Quality of Life | Comments Off
We get some of the nicest pictures from our friends in the media. The two here are from Danica Laub and Alan Hasemeyer.
Danica used to work in PR at Mazda. She finally realized she was never going to be able to afford that ski chalet in Aspen working in the car industry. She picked up stakes and headed east. Along the way she had an adorable little girl. She’s the cutie you see below.
To help fund the Aspen home (which hasn’t quite happened yet), Danica started www.Lullabiesatrushhour.com. Volvo being Volvo, we were immediately attracted to her concept and gave her the use of a XC60 T6 R-Design for three months. It was kind of a semi-long-term loan. The picture you see is Danica’s daughter kissing her XC60 goodbye.
Next up is LeeAnn Hasemeyer who, along with her husband Alan (nice picture, Alan), recently purchased a gently used XC90. Lee Ann and Alan are the proud parents of Bradley Hasemeyer, who runs a fantastic site, www.gearpatrol.com, which focuses on all things cool. We recently asked Bradley to join us for the media launch of the S60. It was his first Volvo press trip and he did an amazing job of capturing the car on video.
Bradley says, “This is a picture of mom, well…being mom.” Trust us Bradley, we all know how moms can be. We also know moms are amazing in the kitchen and always dote on us when we have a cold.
Turns out LeeAnn and Alan have being racking up the miles in their XC90, taking trips to Alabama, Tennessee and Florida.
If you’ve got any cool Volvo pictures with your loved ones, send them our way. Tell us a little bit about the picture and maybe we’ll post it.
JamesPosted in luxury, Quality of Life, XC60, XC90 | Comments Off
We just had a nice comment posted on our New York Auto Show entry – from Chris Shultz. Thanks Chris.
For those of you who wonder how many employees work at Volvo, we’re a small company compared to probably 80% of car brands. We’re small enough that I’ve seen fellow employees marry fellow employees (I did), have kids (we didn’t) and watch those kids grow up and come to work with us at Volvo. Life is amazing.
Chris’ father, Bengt, is the Manager of Market Intelligence and Business Analysis (great title) in Rockleigh, and Chris is a college student living in Gothenburg, Sweden. During auto show season, Chris takes a break from school, along with a couple of other students, and helps us at the autos shows. He and his classmates answer thousands of questions from guests who visit our stand. Good group of kids.
When we launched S80, around 1998, we invited all our employees, globally, to visit our HQ in Sweden and learn first hand what our S80 was about. From warehouse staff on up…everyone. Probably 98% of those attending had never been to Sweden, much less out of their home country. When we arrived, we were greeted by Volvo support staff dressed in red coats. They were our guardian angels, helping people find what they needed and showing them where to go. They became known as Red Coats.
As we started upscaling our auto show presence, we added groups of Red Coats. Today, their Red Coats are gone, but their hospitality and warmth is not. Some have even come back to Volvo when they finished college.
Nice cycle – people helping people – it is what we are about.
Have a good weekend.
danPosted in Auto Shows, customer care, Quality of Life, volvo employee | Comments Off
Shown are 1973 144′s (thin bumper and door handles recessed) decked out in Police trim ready for delivery outside, I think, our Torslanda factory. I suspect all the shady characters in Sweden were running in fear when Gothenborgs Posten ran this photo. Thanks Ulf for letting us run this photo.Posted in Quality of Life, Volvo History | Comments Off
No one really buys a car expecting to get in an accident. Years ago I was talking to a car insurance guy about accident frequencies, ‘about once every 12 years’. I don’t even want to go there with thoughts on timing.
Here’s a story we just received. The accident was with our first generation C70 Convertible. This was the first time we used ultra high strength steel (boron treated steel) in our cars. Inside the ‘A’ pillar is a tube structure designed to keep the A pillar in place and when coupled with rear pop-up ROPS (like roll bars), they give the driver a good zone area that helps protect in a roll over. Also around the belt line is more of that steel to help create a caged structure. Yellow is ultra high strength steel:
My name is Kasey, and I am lucky to be writing this email. If it was not for my Volvo C70, I have no doubt that this would not be possible at this time. On Friday, January 21st, 2011 I was driving my usual route to work during rush hour traffic. I live out West, so of course it was 75 degrees and sunny, which for me means I am driving with my top down. Since I was traveling on a major highway, I was traveling at speeds around 70 MPH… when out of nowhere another driver moved into my lane. I swerved to avoid being hit by the other driver, and in upon doing so, my car went into a fishtail. I was not able to regain control, and my car veered off the side of the road, where it proceeded to flip 4 times, slide down the gravel embankment on the driver’s door, and then flip once more to land be back on what was left of my tires. Imagine my surprise when I opened my eyes and I was alive. Not only was I alive, but coherent. I was rushed to the hospital, were upon running all necessary test, the conclusion was that there was nothing wrong with me. Other than some bruising and muscle soreness, I just walked away from a high speed roll over with my convertible top down. To say the least, the doctors, police and ambulance teams were shocked to see that I was fine. There was one common theme that I heard over the next 2 weeks, and that was “Thank God you were driving a Volvo.” Everyone from my co-workers, to Facebook friends, to strangers I meet that hear my story, all believe that I owe my life to Volvo. I KNOW I owe my life to Volvo, and my children, my husband, and my family all thank you. How do you thank a car manufacturer for saving your life? I have no idea how to go about this process, other than to spread the word to every person I come into contact with that Volvo is the reason I was given a second chance. If not for your ROPS, this story would not be possible. I do not know if I will be able to afford another Volvo, but If I am, you just made me a Volvo customer for life.. I have attached photos of my car after the accident, once you have viewed these, I am sure you will agree that you have done nothing short of a miracle in saving my life. I want my story shared will every single employee at Volvo, so they will know I want to personally thank every engineer, every line worker and every office member that makes Volvo possible. I want all Volvo employees to know that the work they are doing today is saving lives. Please promise me that you will thank every single employee at Volvo and send them my heartfelt thank you.
danPosted in C70, customer care, Quality of Life, safety, Volvo Saved My Life | 8 Comments »
This Valentines Day do something with love for you family and friends.
danPosted in distracted driving, Quality of Life, safety, texting | Comments Off
I can tell you, Irv gets more interview coverage than just about anyone here at Volvo. I know he does at least two interviews a week with TV, print, or radio. He and his Volvo will, in couple of years, reach 3 million miles. He probably knows every good food stop in America.
Don’t miss this special feature, “Can My Car Live Forever?” airing January 26, 2011 on PBS.
“Irv Gordon, a retired science teacher from East Patchogue, New York, has managed to keep his 1966 Volvo P1800 going for four decades and over 2.7 million miles. How has he managed it, and can this recipe for longevity help the human body go the extra mile? Neil deGrasse Tyson visits Irv and takes a spin in his one-of-a-kind car.”Posted in Irv Gordon, news, Quality of Life, Volvo History | Comments Off
Jame Hope has been working with Champion Tools (they make ‘Jaws of Life’ kind of equipment) for, gosh, probably the last 4-5 years to provide them Volvo cars to rip apart (see http://www.volvoblog.us/2009/08/26/champion-rescue-tools-and-volvo/). First, he had to figure how to tell accounting, our customs people, and scores of others that what he was doing wasn’t easy, but today, it’s a piece of Swedish coffee cake.
Even with Volvo providing cars, there is more demand than we can supply from an increasing group of accident responder schools. So James, creatively thinking as always, wrote this to all US PR guys.
He’s good at begging and also a darn good writer.
Hi all, (meaning hello to fellow PR people – dj)
First things first: This isn’t a pitch and I don’t want you to even respond to me.
I only ask that you take 30 seconds from your very busy day to read on. What you do following this note has no impact on me or Volvo. It may, however, help a first responder save the life of one of your customers.
It is well known that passengers are better protected with each evolution of passenger compartment technology, and that this safety took a huge leap forward with the incorporation of newer metals and metal combinations that the industry is using today.
But because of this great leap in safety technology, firefighters are increasingly arriving on the scenes of serious accidents involving today’s modern vehicles and discovering that their existing vehicle extrication techniques and tools are inadequate. This can delay the time it takes firefighters to get victims (your customers) out of these vehicles.
There is more background below. However, I’d like to cut to the chase so you can get on that conference call. If you have a proving ground in the U.S. where cars are moldering away in the sun, never to be sold and set to be scrapped, the Five Star Extrication Academy will gladly take these cars off your hands at no expense. They cover pick-up, transport and U.S. Customs-approved disposal (along with supporting paperwork). It’s no muss, no fuss. If you’re interested, simply shoot an e-mail or phone Brain James with the Five Star Extrication Academy. He can be reached at: Brian James – Simpatico Communications – 415-312-8746 or email@example.com. I’m sure you’re wondering if I’m working for Simpatico. Rest assured, I’m not. I’m gainfully employed at Volvo and have no affiliation with Brian or the academy. However, if you’re not sure you want to reach out to him, by all means call me. I can give you the skinny.
If you’re down with this idea it costs you nothing but a few e-mails and has the potential to gain some media exposure. I know this because I’ve been handling it for Volvo for the last couple of years and Volvo continues to provide vehicles to the academy and other fire departments whenever we can. The problem is I don’t have enough cars!
Now, if you’re still hanging on every word, please read on.
The real issue is that firefighters have no problem finding junk cars at the nearest salvage yard. But finding modern cars built with today’s safety systems are problematic. The older the car, the more likely you are to find one in the junk yard. But how many 2010 Volvo S80s are just lying around Bob’s Barnyard of Broken Cars? Not many. And the same goes for any manufacturer.
Two years ago, Volvo partnered with the Five Star Extrication Academy. The vision for the pilot Academy was to offer firefighter training officers a day-long, no-cost training program about and with today’s tough new vehicles. Firefighters would then use this training to help reduce the time to extricate victims of today’s vehicle accidents which often leads to improved medical outcomes for accident victims.
Because Volvo is all about preserving life, we eagerly joined this effort. In the first two years, Volvo provided over $750,000 worth of vehicles from our Arizona proving grounds to the Five Star Extrication Academy, vehicles that would otherwise have been discarded. The firefighter training officers who attended these academy classes were then able to share their knowledge with thousands of firefighters who rescue vehicle accident victims daily.
This two-year pilot met with overwhelmingly positive responses from firefighters and their departments, and received a good bit of positive local television and emergency services’ trade media coverage. But that was simply frosting on the cake.
Now, as a result of the pilot program, there are more than 80 large fire departments in the United States and three Canadian provinces presently that want to offer the Five Star Extrication Academy classes to their rescue personnel, including New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Additionally, governments in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, including China, have offered to host this program for their national firefighting commissions.
Obviously, this initial idea to help save lives has blossomed into a global opportunity.
I just wanted to make you aware of the opportunity to support the growth of this training program for firefighters by providing test vehicles to this program. The growth of this program is only limited by the supply of donated five star crash-rated vehicles.
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC