For Release - March 7, 2003
...project My Concept Car (MCC) to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, 2004
IRVINE, CA - March 7, 2003 - What better source for the first concept car developed exclusively by women, than the company with an industry leading 25 percent of its assembly plant workforce comprised of women: Volvo. Long associated with safety, environmental care, and quality, the Swedish automaker launches a targeted initiative that addresses the additional concerns of the most rapidly growing segment of the population: women.
The idea of creating a car where women decide about engineering and design was initiated by a number of female employees at Volvo Cars. Last year the concept and pre-sketches, resulting from the input of a global all-women team, were presented to Volvo's executive management team. The project was summarily given a green light.
Beginning with the well-researched premise that men and women have different priorities when it comes to cars, Volvo began gathering information from representatives of this very influential and extremely important market segment. "Volvo Cars aims its products at customers who demand premium. And if you believe that by meeting the expectations of women, you often exceed the expectations of men, we're looking at our targeted solutions appealing to both genders," says Tatiana Butovitsch Temm, Volvo Cars Corporation, Public Affairs - Director of Safety.
Regardless of how debatable that assertion, the emerging concept car is a concrete example of change management within the company. It represents a new way of thinking and different priorities. It also lends high visibility to the number of competent women in the company.
In an industry environment that is undeniably male dominated, Volvo has gathered skills and ideas from hundreds of women within the company in an effort that's gathering momentum. "Virtually everyone - both men and women - shows great interest in this concept car concept," says Elna Holmberg at Volvo Car Chassis Development.
Enthusiasm for the MCC goes all the way to the top of the organization, "This project is important to Volvo Cars for a variety of reasons. It thinks along new lines and maintains a sharp focus on customer needs. We see it as a way to reach new customer segments. What's more, it demonstrates the breadth and depth of women's expertise in this company," says Volvo Car Corporation President and CEO Hans-Olov Olsson.
"Of course we're not doing anything that men couldn't do - we're all professionals in the auto industry," says Maria Widell Christiansen of the Volvo Car Design department. "What the new concept car will look like, along with new features and technology, are well-guarded secrets until next year," she says.
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 United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
The 2003 Volvo automobile line includes the award-winning XC90, the sporty S60 sedan, the flagship S80 luxury sedan, versatile V70 wagon and rugged Cross Country, the C70 convertible, and the compact S40 and V40 models.
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For More Information, Contact:
Stephen R Bohannon - 800.970.0888
Public Affairs, Volvo Cars of North America, LLC
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