As of November 2003, Volvo Car China has been running an active campaign in China aimed at increasing car and traffic safety awareness. The most recent initiative is to invite about 300 Chinese owners of new Volvo cars, together with and their partners, in total about 500 persons, to Göteborg for training in driving and traffic safety, in a programme lasting from the middle of May to early June.
The idea is that these Volvo owners will return to their country as ambassadors on issues relating to car and traffic safety.
With a higher general standard of living and a considerable rise in the number of private cars on the roads, driving and traffic safety have become an important everyday matter for increasing numbers of Chinese. Statistics from the Chinese Ministry of Public Safety’s traffic department reveal that traffic-related fatalities accounted for 78.5 percent of all accidental deaths in China in 2002. In the first half of 2003, the corresponding figure was 76.3 percent.
During their visit to Göteborg, the invited Volvo owners will visit Volvo’s car safety centre and they will also undergo practical driving safety training at the company’s demonstration facility in Torslanda. The programme includes information about Volvo Cars’ approach to car and traffic safety, and the Chinese visitors will also receive training on the various safety systems that are built into Volvo’s cars.
“We feel it is important for the Volvo owner to receive information about his or her own car’s safety systems and also general training on traffic and driving safety. If we can get a few Volvo owners to serve as ambassadors, this may help raise widespread public interest in traffic safety issues in China,” says Ingrid Skogsmo, head of Car Safety at the Volvo Car Corporation.
The 300 or so Chinese Volvo customers and their partners (about 200 persons) will be invited to Göteborg from 16 May to 5 June. For logistical reasons, they will be hosted in seven groups with about 75 participants in each group. In addition to their visit to Volvo Cars, the groups will also visit the East-Indiaman ’Götheborg’, famous for its sailing ventures to China. The first group of Volvo customers will be followed by 20 or so representatives of the Chinese media.