Humble Volvo

Whilst in Gothenburg we had the pleasure of spending a day at the Volvo Car Corporation Headquarters. Not only did we hear from Volvo Cars’ VP of Human Resources, Björn Sällström, but we managed to take a lovely factory tour with our guide, Jonas, and spend an hour test driving some of their different models on their scenic demo track.

Throughout the day it became clear just how much Volvo adhered to doing business the “Scandinavian Way”. When asked questions as to how Volvo compared to competitors or whether the company made superior vehicles, the response was along the lines of we'll show you what we do, and you can make the judgment for yourself. There was no bashing of the competition, or inflation of their activities and products. In all public presentations, there was more of a simple relation of their competencies and innovations, which all gear towards improving the driving experience. To be more specific, Volvo’s entire philosophy surrounds fitting the car to the driver's needs and concerns, which as of late, largely involve social connectivity and safety. As a result, the company pours resources upon resources into R&D to help create vehicles that exceed expectations.

To look at a specific example, in terms of safety, they have set the ambitious goal of having no death or serious injury involving a Volvo by 2020. ‘Involving a Volvo’ encompasses the wellbeing of not only the drivers, but any pedestrians and passengers as well. Given the company’s past performance in rapidly decreasing the number of serious injury or death involving Volvo's, they see this is a realistic possibility, which they have the responsibility to pursue. In terms of the present, they have some of the safest cars on the road, with intuitive standardised features such as City Safety. Behind the design and features of each vehicle is a clear function, which caters to the driver’s desire or need from their car. This combination creates a complete experience of comfort born out of utility.