For Immediate Release
In Reaching Online Auto Buyers
NEW YORK, January 12, 2001 - Volvo Cars of North America and America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), the world's leading interactive services company, announced today that the first online launch of a new car model has surpassed Volvo's initial goals in reaching online auto buyers. Recognizing the increased power of the Internet in consumers' daily lives, Volvo chose AOL to create awareness and interest in the launch of its sporty new S60 sedan, bypassing the broadcast media traditionally employed by the automotive industry.
Volvo and AOL teamed up to launch the new car on October 15 with a special offer available exclusively to AOL members. Through this promotion, members are exposed to the Volvo S60 through a variety of areas throughout the service, including the Welcome Screen, banner placements, and special content areas. All of these link to the REVOLVOLUTION.COM website, where users can view the new car model, customize their vehicle choices, receive information, and incentives toward purchasing an S60. AOL members who purchase a Volvo S60 are able to create their own customized accessories package worth up to $2,100.00 at no additional cost.* The Volvo promotion is also featured on AOL's new Autos Channel, which offers AOL members a wealth of reliable, accurate information, services, and tools for car shopping, buying, and maintenance throughout the ownership cycle.
Since the October 15 launch, more than 1 million users have visited the REVOLVOLUTION.COM website, yielding over 41 million website hits. As a result, more than 20,000 people have configured their own S60 online and contacted a Volvo retailer.
"These preliminary results once again confirm Volvo's belief that the Web has a powerful influence on informed auto buyers' decisions," said Mark LaNeve, President and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America. "While others saw the decision to choose online media over national TV and radio as a risk, we saw it as an opportunity to advance the role of the Web in marketing. Volvo customers are educated, discerning consumers who seek meaningful information. This promotion provides them with the tools to explore the advantages of the S60 and be rewarded with incentives that matter to them."
Myer Berlow, President of Interactive Marketing, America Online, Inc. said, "Volvo took a clearly innovative path when they opted to give our more than 26 million members the "first look" at the S60, and the results thus far speak for themselves -- and confirm the tremendous value of online marketing. We look forward to continuing to work with Volvo to create future successful interactive marketing programs."
This AOL program highlights the growing trend of consumers going online to research and buy cars. According to the Roper/Starch Cyberstudy, 62% of online consumers use the Internet as part of the process of making any major purchases, like a car. In addition, Volvo's statistics show that more than 80% of Volvo's customers go online as part of the car-buying process.
The AOL/Volvo promotion and associated Volvo S60 Website all carry the unifying theme of "REVOLVOLUTION" -Volvo's new "rallying cry" that has been developed to redefine the way the Volvo brand is viewed by consumers. The Volvo S60 exemplifies this theme by offering impressive performance, beautiful design, and Volvo's legendary safety - all in one vehicle.
The 2001 Volvo S60 is a sophisticated European sedan that marries sporty performance with state-of-the-art safety. The S60 adopts the fluid styling of the new Volvo design language in a mid-sized car that looks more coupe like than sedan and is expected to be a core product for the company. The Volvo S60 is the third completely new product introduced by Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. in the past 12 months.
Volvo Cars of North America is working on the "REVOLVOLUTION" initiative with its agency of record, New York-based Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG (MVBMS), and FUEL North America, the integrated marketing communications unit of MVBMS. The REVOLVOLUTION.COM website was created by Heavy Water, located in Long Beach, California.
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Goteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to 328 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The 2001 Volvo automobile line includes the flagship S80 luxury sedan, versatile V70 wagon and rugged Cross Country, C70 coupe and convertible, the new sporty S60 sedan and compact S40 and V40 models.
About America Online, Inc: Founded in 1985, America Online, Inc., based in Dulles, Virginia, is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.
* Program ends March 31, 2001
Bruce C. Harris, AOL Communications 1-703-265-1408
Daniel Johnston, Product Communications Manager 1-800-970-0888
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