For immediate release
GÖTEBORG (September 22, 2005) – The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has recently identified a set of specific safety and environmental challenges we face as a society that must be solved before we can realize a future of sustainable mobility. For Volvo Car Corporation, most of the issues identified by the council are directly linked to the company’s core values that it has been researching and pursuing for years.
“We have a responsibility to be part of the solution that brings the world sustainable mobility,” says Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Brand, Business and Product Strategy at Volvo Cars. “From a business point of view, this is also a great opportunity. We are bold enough to think that we can help create a traffic environment where most accidents can be avoided.”
Volvo Vision 2020 is a framework for the company’s aim to maintain leadership in the field of safety and the environment. At the same time, Volvo must continue to make cars that appeal to people’s emotions.
“Sustainability for us is also a matter of remaining a profitable company,” says Lex Kerssemakers. “To be considered the best in terms of safety and the environment is not enough.”
Traditionally, Volvo Cars has been associated with protective safety systems. In later years, more and more features related to preventive safety have been introduced so the company can remain competitive in the quest for appealing to safety-conscious car buyers.
“The next step is to go outside the car,” says Lex Kerssemakers. “Tomorrow’s cars will start to communicate with other road users. If we can do this so well that cars no longer collide and can avoid accidents involving other road users, we will be talking about a different kind of car than today. This would have a huge impact on the design. The car could be lighter and more efficient, which means less fuel consumption and lower tailpipe emissions.”
From common good to private good
Volvo Cars believes that society’s level of environmental awareness is growing year by year. However, many customers are reluctant to buy environmental technology because he or she consider this to be something for the “common good” – in other words, something that is everybody’s responsibility and benefits the society as a whole rather than benefit the car owner as an individual.
There is a greater willingness to rather pay for “private good”, such as engine performance, colour and trim, which attract an individual buyer.
“What we need to do is to work on concepts customers are interested in and willing to buy,” says Lex Kerssemakers. “The Volvo Cars brand is strongly connected with safety and the environment, and these assets have given the company competitive advantages through the years. It is extremely important that we continue to develop features that confirm our brand values in the future. This is what our vision is all about.”
Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 43 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company’s product range includes the flagship S80 luxury sedan, the versatile V70 wagon, the S60 sports sedan, and the completely redesigned S40 sports sedan and V50 sportswagon. For buyers looking for more rugged versatility, the Volvo XC-line of vehicles that includes the XC70 and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle.
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