Unveils Car Designed by Women
Cars unveiled a concept that's never been attempted in the more than 100 years
of auto manufacturing: the first car designed and developed almost exclusively
Concept Car" (YCC) already made its worldwide debut at the Geneva Auto Show
in Switzerland, but it will make its North American public debut on April 9 at
the New York Auto Show. After New York, it will tour select U.S. cities before
continuing its worldwide tour.
created from a woman's perspective, the car includes features appealing to both
sexes -- including easier maintenance, clever storage solutions, a better line
of vision, computer-aided parking and a bold, yet elegant, exterior.
idea for the car began two years ago, when a group of women -- including engineers,
designers and marketers -- at Volvo's global headquarters in Sweden attended a
seminar that focused on how to better cater to women customers. Inspired by the
event, the women began questioning two facts: Women purchase about 65 percent
of cars and influence about 80 percent of all car sales; yet, for a century, men
have made most of the decisions in the design, development and production of a
conclusion: If women -- whether they are single professionals, soccer moms, homemakers
or grandmothers -- do the bulk of car buying and driving, they should have a voice
in car design. After successfully lobbying Volvo management, they received approval
to create "Your Concept Car," designing it faster and at less cost than
most concept cars. Beginning today, the women are unveiling it to the world.
car includes features not typically found in man-made cars. Among the dozens of
unique items: no hood; no gas cap; easy-clean paint; numerous exchangeable seat
covers of various colors and materials (linen, leather, felt, etc.); compartments
for handbags; gull-wing doors that make it easier to load and unload larger items
and children; computerized assistance for parallel parking; and improved sight
lines. Owners carrying large items can set the doors to open automatically when
they reach the doors.
the point-of-purchase, retailers can conduct a body scan of the driver measuring
height and length of arms and legs. The data is stored in the vehicle's key, and
the car recommends a seat position for the driver that provides her or him an
optimal line of vision and reach. The car also electronically notifies the owner's
chosen service center when maintenance is due, and the service technician contacts
the owner to book the appointment.
it's a concept car, there is no assurance the car will ultimately be mass-produced
for retail. Nevertheless, Volvo expects many of its ideas will find their way
into future cars.
goals with the YCC are to introduce important automotive ideas to the market and
show the vast female brain trust within the automotive industry," said Tatiana
Butovitsch Temm, YCC project team member. "It would also be great if we could
inspire other women - and men - to question traditional business methods and create
positive change within organizations. Great ideas always come about when people
look within their personal and professional lives and ask: What could I do that's
never been done before?"
Influence Strong in Volvo
Women are forming an increasingly important
customer group for Volvo Cars. In the United States, 54 percent of all Volvo buyers
car is a fantastic opportunity for us. We can concentrate on the fast-growing
group of women customers without losing the men," said Vic Doolan, president
and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars of North America.
has a long-standing tradition of listening carefully to what women want. In the
1980s, Volvo formed a women's reference group to test and assess new models within
their early stages of development. A women's focus group convened in California
played the key role in the distinctive functions and features of Volvo's most
recent commercial model, the XC90 sport utility vehicle.
More than 120 Volvo employees participated in the design,
development and production of YCC. All final decisions were made by women. The
YCC Project Team Leadership, who are all employees of Volvo Car Corp. in Sweden,
Palmertz, Project Manager
"Our aim is that you should feel great in
Andersson, Project Manager
"A car is a very technical product. Still,
your buy is based on emotions."
Holmberg, Technical Project Manager
"A car is your choice. Therefore
it is very important that you can put your demands and wishes into it."
Widell Christiansen, Manager, Design
"We are convinced that this car
also, definitely, appeals to men."
Butovitsch Temm, Communications Manager
"The hallmark of a good idea
is that people ask why this hasn't been done before."
Ekelund, Deputy Technical Project Manager
"In the YCC, we have retained
our focus on customer needs, not compromised it in favor of flashy technical solutions."
Rosen, Exterior Design
"We wanted to create a beautiful car. Not brutal,
Charwick, Interior Designer
"The first impression you get of the car
is a feeling of grace and space."
Uggla, Color and Trim Designer
"One way of being in control is that
you have the opportunity to influence your environment."
more information, visit www.volvocars.com.