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Volvo XC90 Heavy Weight SUV Champion - Named North American Truck of the Year by Top Automotive Press



XC90 honoured at 2003 North American International Auto Show

DETROIT-January 5, 2003 - Almost one year to the day after being introduced at the North American International Auto Show as the "Next Generation SUV," the Volvo XC90 has been named North American Truck of the Year.


"We are very proud to receive this prestigious award for Volvo in such a competitive segment within such an important market," said Hans-Olov Olsson, President of Volvo Car Corporation. "With Volvo's first entry into the rapidly-growing SUV market, we wanted to be true to our brand core values of safety, environmental care and quality."


The competition - judged by 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada representing newspapers, magazines and the electronic media - honours vehicles that set new standards or become new benchmarks in their class.


Each vehicle is judged on items including: general design; safety; fuel economy; handling and general roadworthiness; performance; comfort; assembly quality; functionality; technical innovation; driver satisfaction; and price.


"The XC90 isn't exactly a truck, but it is a vehicle that successfully answers most of the criticisms aimed at today's upscale SUVs. From the boron-reinforced roof, to the technology monitoring occupants, to the anti-rollover system, the XC90 actually has managed to swing the technology pendulum in favour of SUVs as compared to conventional sedans. It does this with an elegant, long-lasting design and a highly functional interior package. In short, it does almost anything you would want a vehicle to do, save pull a really big trailer up a mountain grade," commented Popular Science editor and North American Truck of the Year juror Dan McCosh.


The XC90 features no fewer than five automotive world firsts: Roll Stability Control (RSC); an inflatable side curtain for all three rows of seats; an integrated sliding centre booster seat for children; seatbelts with "pre-tensioners" in all seating positions; and the availability of a Dolby 5.1 Pro Logic II surround sound stereo system featuring a 305-watt Alpine amplifier and 12 premium speakers.


"We are extremely pleased with the response by the media and by consumers to the XC90," said Vic Doolan, Volvo Cars of North America President and CEO. "In addition to recognition for design, for performance, and for safety, the XC90 has been met with great customer acceptance, with a waiting list that extends through the first quarter of 2003."


The XC90 was recently named Motor Trend 2003 Sport/Utility of the Year. Other awards in the United States and Canada include: SUV of the Year, Guide de L'Auto; Best New Sport Utility Vehicle over $45,000, Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, 2003 SUV of the Year,; Best New Large SUV, Kiplinger's Personal Finance; Traffic Safety Achievement Award, World Traffic Symposium; SUV of the Year/Mudfest Champion, North West Automobile Press Association; Truck of Texas™, Texas Auto Writers Association.


Volvo Cars of North America, LLC is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.


In addition to the award-winning XC90, the 2003 Volvo Cars model line-up includes the rugged XC70 (Cross Country) and the versatile V70, the sporty S60 sedan, the flagship S80 luxury sedan, C70 convertible, and compact S40 and V40 models.


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Doug Mepham

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