Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Volvo XC60.

Read in sur la terre (Kuala Lumpur) on Volvo's XC60's test drive write-up:

Other safety features that come standard in the XC60 is a list that reads like an encyclopedia on auto-mobile safety (you ready? Take a deep breath, here goes...): dual stage driver and front passenger air bags, SIPS, dual chamber SIPS at the front, inflatable curtains, whiplash protection system, seat belt pre-tensioners, electronic all-wheel drive with instant traction, anti-lock brake system, electronic brake distribution, hydraulic brake assist, ready alert brake, fading brake support, dynamic stability and traction control, roll stability control and roll over protection system (phew... if we keep braking somemore, we'll never get anywhere!).

Non-italics mine.

While the Volvo brand has been synonymous with 'safety' for the past half a century since they invented the three-point safety belt which obviously revolutionized the automotive world to what it is today, but the above 'encyclopedic' verses of safety features just... didn't bring an ounce of imagination to my head at all if I were a potential buyer. If at all, it sounded like a really boring vehicle. While I think it's great to know that I'm almost completely protected from head to toe while driving/riding in a Volvo, but what is life without a bit of excitement?

Anytime, I'd prefer the marketing proposition to say something like this instead:

"Nobody rides tourist class in a Volvo; everybody rides at least business class. All five seats are a priority."

Nooow we're talking. Immediately a sense of luxury is provoked in the mind. Luscious interior that speaks with assertive elegance of contemporary Swedish design with an uncluttered, ergonomic dashboard that makes everything look so... pleasing to the eye. By the way, the above statement wasn't made up. I'm sure you wouldn't have guessed that I could have come out with something so smart (as yet) but it was the very thought of Peter Horbury, Volvo's former Vice President of Design that brought about this exceptional comfort to all occupants in a Volvo. Now doesn't that sound more appealing?

Side note: Volvo will soon evolve to become one of the preferred brands for the 'alternative gender' market (albeit unintentionally). Understated, 'alternative' to luxury that's not German, sleek lines and detail to design, these are all the cues, we think.

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