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  1. #1
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    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Volvo Announced Concept Car by Women, for Everybody

    ...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.

    &nbsp; &nbsp; 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&#39;s executive management team. The project was summarily given a green light.

    &nbsp; &nbsp; 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. &quot;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&#39;re looking at our targeted solutions appealing to both genders,&quot; says Tatiana Butovitsch Temm, Volvo Cars Corporation, Public Affairs - Director of Safety.

    &nbsp; &nbsp; 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.

    &nbsp; &nbsp; 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&#39;s gathering momentum. &quot;Virtually everyone - both men and women - shows great interest in this concept car concept,&quot; says Elna Holmberg at Volvo Car Chassis Development.

    &nbsp; &nbsp; Enthusiasm for the MCC goes all the way to the top of the organization, &quot;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&#39;s more, it demonstrates the breadth and depth of women&#39;s expertise in this company,&quot; says Volvo Car Corporation President and CEO Hans-Olov Olsson.

    &nbsp; &nbsp; &quot;Of course we&#39;re not doing anything that men couldn&#39;t do - we&#39;re all professionals in the auto industry,&quot; says Maria Widell Christiansen of the Volvo Car Design department. &quot;What the new concept car will look like, along with new features and technology, are well-guarded secrets until next year,&quot; she says
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Source: Volvo Cars North America
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  2. #2
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    I thought the XC90 was the first volvo car designed and engineered (by and) for women. &nbsp;

    Are men and women really that different in their preferences or has it been stereotyped for all kinds of reasons (marketing amongst them &nbsp; &nbsp

    interesting to see that new concept....
    2008 V70 2.4 Classic Sports Edition




  3. #3
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    On a related matter, I recall reading an article sometime ago about a group of women who called themselves the &#39;Damsels of Design&#39;. They were hired by GM back in the mid-fifties to work on the interior designs of the car division.

    I also hear there is a push on designing a seat belt for pregnant women.

  4. #4
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    Good idea&#33; &nbsp;Doesn&#39;t hurt in the PR department either.
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  5. #5
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    Let me tell you about kitchen knives. Web sites that sell knives are generally started by women. Women have smaller hands than men so they choose knife blade lenghts that has handles that fit women. It took me 20 years to figure this out. All my initial knife pruchases were from what the catalogs listed. I eventually obtained the full Wustoff catalogs and ordered every knife I ever wanted, about 6 with blades longer than I had originally purchased. What I found out from comparison, was that the longer the blade the longer the handle and the longer handles were more comfortable for me. So if a group of females are going to design a vehicle, I won&#39;t purchase it because it won&#39;t fit, period. -Dick
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  6. #6
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    In fact, I think &quot;gender design&quot; is very dangerous for car makers because when a car becomes identified with male or female, they can see their market shrink quite a bit. Some years ago, in a canadian car magazine, I read that Toyota realized that the Corrola, in North America, was owned by more women than men and was becoming stamped as a &quot;family oriented woman car&quot;. They turned around quickly, put mag wheels, spoilers, black paint and some stripes on an ordinary Corrola, put up a big ad campaign and prayed... Voilà&#33; They had a sporty &quot;male&quot; car&#33;
    I&#39;m not an expert, but I think there is a tiny line between marketing strategies to attract new customers and commercial flop: creating a &quot;specail&quot; car that pleases women and doesn&#39;t displease men appears very tricky to me&#33;
    To say that woman have different concerns than man is one thing. Using it as a marketing tool is another one. And although men and women showed an equal interest in this project, would men, as Dick said, buy it knowing its a &quot;woman car&quot;?
    Raynald
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  7. #7
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    I do except that women and men view cars and their appointments or lack of them with a different eye. I can&#39;t see that unless the gender engineering/designs are in fierce competition that there&#39;s anything to lose.

    I remember my wife really being ticked off when we looked at a Volvo that didn&#39;t have a vanity mirror for the driver That one small omission left a strong impression in my wife&#39;s mind after leaving the showroom -- and that was Volvo wasn&#39;t considering women driver&#39;s needs.

    The MCC approach should help Volvo avoid making this type of mistake.

    I believe women either on their own or with their partners have a stong influence in the car purchase decision when it comes to colors, interior design, exit/entry conditions, price, fuel economy and comfort. The man looks at wheels, engine, underneath, instrumentation, price, exhaust pipe (one or two ), tires, outward styling, handling, HP figures, etc. You get the idea, right?

    Sooooo, having both genders involved with the car&#39;s design make sense to me.

    Now if the MCC evolves to manufacturing and delivering cars to dealership lots it will certainly be interesting to see what the men think of it especially given that many will not be aware of it being designed exclusively by women.

    I agree that if Volvo makes a big marketing issue about the all-women designed car it will cause men to surely shun it without even taking a look even.

    Take the Apple laptop of a few years ago. It&#39;s design quickly created the name of &quot;handbag&quot; and even &quot;toilet seat&quot;, plus it&#39;s rather femine colors were ridiculed. Sure, some men bought it but most shunned it from what I read. Then Apple evolved it to the white iBook or ice iBook and it amazingly appealed to both genders -- they got it right. Volvo needs to take a hard look at the Apple product rollout and more importantly because it wasn&#39;t related to an all-women design even.

    What does a lady&#39;s car look like -- is it pink? Does it look more aerodynamic than aggressive? Does it have non flashy looking wheels, more storage for tissue boxes and makeup, far more color choices, a radio operation that doesn&#39;t confuse, elimination of Geartronic, reduction in toggle switches, a cockpit that doesn&#39;t resemble that of a jet plane, more automated car operations requiring less driving skills, removal of the tachometer ?

    Here&#39;s a ref to Don&#39;t Paint It Pink article -- Agenda for Volvo?s worldwide magazine, distributed to 27,000 of it&#39;s employees



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  8. #8
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    I was hoping that this thread might raise a few eyebrows and commentary from the fairer membership.

    How about it gals?

    More here from one woman&#39;s perspective.

  9. #9
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    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (barrysharp @ Mar. 14 2003,16:13)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Take the Apple laptop of a few years ago. It&#39;s design quickly created the name of &quot;handbag&quot; and even &quot;toilet seat&quot;, plus it&#39;s rather femine colors were ridiculed. Sure, some men bought it but most shunned it from what I read. Then Apple evolved it to the white iBook or ice iBook and it amazingly appealed to both genders -- they got it right. Volvo needs to take a hard look at the Apple product rollout and more importantly because it wasn&#39;t related to an all-women design even.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Is that cracking sound the thin ice we&#39;re standing on? &nbsp; &nbsp;As for the Apple analogy, the original iBook was aimed at students and succeeded. It was a design counterpoint to the big, black, aggressive-looking G3 PowerBook popular with adults. The latter Titanium model and the current iBooks switched to a cleaner design to appeal to a broader audience and to focus on the new operating system and other features. I imagine Volvo and every other niche manufacturer has looked to Apple for inspiration; they have survived, even flourished in some ways, against an incredibly difficult competitor.
    '04 XC90 2.5T, ~170K miles, ash gold/graphite, 7-seater, towing, nav
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  10. #10
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    A &nbsp;professor of mine did work for BMW and in the process he found out that VW &nbsp;sees the new Beetle as a bit of a failure as it is seen as a woman&#39;s car. BMW has tried to avoid this &quot;problem&quot; with the Mini by sporting it up (mags, agressive looks, no auto trans). I am not sure it has worked.
    JasonA

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