The "Truck of Texas": A Volvo?
XC90 Takes Top Spot in Texas Truck Rodeo
Irvine, CA (December 5, 2002) - When the makers of Volvo introduced the XC90 at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year as the "Next Generation SUV," few among them could have imagined that would include being named the Truck of Texas™.
And when fifty members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) began testing vehicles from more than twenty manufacturers, most of them would never have considered Volvo's first SUV to be more than a segment contender, in one of the many SUV categories.
Afterall, the winners of the past nine Texas Truck Rodeos have traditionally always been, well, trucks - usually pickups.
However, the 10th Annual staging of the event brought about a major surprise. As TAWA journalists made their way through the rigorous off-road course, ballots by their side, Mother Nature provided an extra element - just to make things interesting.
A Texas-style downpour turned hills into sliding boards, crevasses into rivers, and the usually problematic dusty paths into soupy quagmires of mud. "This was the most challenging off-road layout we've presented since the event began," noted Jonathan Mark, TAWA Board member and designer of the course. "In some respects its unfortunate the conditions were so bad, but then again, it certainly provided quite a test for these vehicles," he quipped.
Many of these vehicles became marred in the clinging Texas mud and some were actually pulled from the competition. Meanwhile, the XC90 continued to negotiate whatever was put in front of it and, along the way, continued to impress the ballot-packing journalists.
"Most SUVs will be used off-road only a small percentage of the time, but it's reassuring to know you have the capability when you need it," said Frank Vacca, Volvo Cars of North America Product Specialist. "The all-wheel-drive system in the XC90 is designed to compensate for wheel slippage as quickly as a quarter rotation of the tire. In these inclement conditions, the XC90 did exactly what it was designed to do," he said.
As the competition wore on and the positive impressions mounted, many among the group began to talk about the unthinkable: A Volvo as the Truck of Texas™? One member was heard to say, "...but it can't even carry a log!" (as a point of fact, with the flexibility to fold all seats except the driver's, the cargo space of the XC90 will accommodate a log up to 9-foot long, if one is so inclined to do so).
When the ballots were tallied, according to TAWA, the vehicle that best suited the needs of Texas was the Volvo XC90.
"The fastest growing segment of the industry is the SUV and growth is important to Volvo Cars, but we wanted to address some of the issues facing Sport/Utility Vehicles," says Vic Doolan, President and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. "With the introduction of the XC90, we have an SUV that is a true Volvo."
Adhering to Volvo's core brand values of safety, environmental consciousness and value, the XC90 also manages to accomplish no fewer than five automotive world firsts: Roll Stability Control (RSC), an inflatable side curtain for all three rows of seats, an integrated sliding center booster seat for children, seatbelts with pretensioners 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.
"They say everything is Big in Texas," said Doolan. "The XC90 as Truck of Texas™ is really big for Volvo."
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. The 2003 Volvo Cars model line-up includes the award-winning XC90, Volvo's first SUV, 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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Contact: Stephen R Bohannon
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC
One Premier Place
Irvine, CA 92618-2922
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