The brand image – “Safety”:
When referring to Volvo, the customers are always connecting the word “safety” in their minds.
“Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is and must remain, safety”, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson 1927 (Robson, 1983).
As its founders Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson said in 1927 when the company was reactivated, the brand Volvo has been always persisting in building strong associations between the safety concept and their products. Since then, Volvo has remained at the forefront of car safety and innovation. As a result, the company has made lots of attempts in this way and the brand is perceived by the media and the car market quite well, as more of the typical cars with outstanding conditions of safety.
Safety is a founding principle and living philosophy since 1927 and we work hard to stay at the forefront of the industry by taking an overall approach to safety, which has proven effective in real traffic situations (Volvocars.com, 2013).
The broad knowledge of Volvo is the foundation of their development and derives from real traffic situations, in which they try to understand how and why accidents happen. Having a close collaboration with an insurance company Volvia, has helped Volvo to get detailed information about incidents and the outcome of accidents with Volvo cars in Sweden. Their Traffic Accident Research team, established in 1970, has collected accident data from more than 40 000 accidents involving Volvo cars. In addition, they perform real life accident reconstructions in their state-of-the-art crash laboratory. Then they apply this valuable data and unique knowledge when designing new Volvo cars.
Modern Volvos have an almost 60 per cent lower injury rate than the average car sold in Sweden (Business Car Manager, 2013). By 2020, our aim is that nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo. In the longer perspective our vision is that cars should not crash at all (Volvocars.com, 2013).
In fact, the current Volvo V40 was awarded Euro NCAP’s highest ever score when it was subjected to the organization’s stringent crash tests back in 2012. And the future looks brighter still, as Volvo continues its aim for no one to be killed or seriously injured in any of its new cars by the year 2020.
Volvo’s world firsts to safety (Telegraph.co.uk, 2013):
1959: Three-point lap/shoulder seat belts introduced as standard equipment in front seats
1972: First manufacturer to create rear-facing child seat
1978: Child safety booster cushion created
1986: Three-point lap/shoulder seat belts introduced in rear centre seat
1990: Integrated child safety booster cushion in rear centre seat
1991: Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) introduced
1994: SIPS airbag introduced in new models
1998: Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) introduced; full-length Inflatable Curtain (IC) introduced
2002: Rollover Stability Control (RSC) introduced
2003: New patented front structure; Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) introduced
2004: Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) introduced
2005: Door Mounted Inflatable Curtain (DMIC) introduced in the Volvo C70; Volvo MultiLock research project
2007: Integrated two-stage booster cushion with extended IC and force limiter adapted for children
2008: City safety system for avoiding low-speed collisions
2010: Introduction of Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake in the Volvo S60 and V60
2012: Introduction of pedestrian airbag technology in the all new Volvo V40; Safe Road Trains for the Environment (Sartre) introduced on public roads
2013: Cyclist detection with full auto brake
Coming soon: Wild animal detection with full auto brake
This video takes you through Volvo’s history of safety development, focusing on their groundbreaking features.
Robson, G. 1983. The story of Volvo cars. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]: P. Stephens.
Volvocars.com. 2013. Safety at Volvo Cars. [online] Available at: http://www.volvocars.com/intl/top/corporate/safety/pages/default.aspx [Accessed: 05 Nov 2013].
Telegraph.co.uk. 2013. Volvo: putting safety first throughout the years – Telegraph. [online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/volvo-business/10273994/volvo-safety-history-video.html [Accessed: 05 Nov 2013].
Business Car Manager. 2013. Volvo aims to be default safety car choice | Business Car Manager. [online] Available at: http://www.businesscarmanager.co.uk/volvo-aims-to-be-default-health-and-safety-company-car-choice/ [Accessed: 05 Nov 2013].
Volvogroup.com. 2013. Safety – Safety : Volvo Group Global. [online] Available at: http://www.volvogroup.com/group/global/en-gb/volvo%20group/ourvalues/safety/Pages/safety.aspx [Accessed: 05 Nov 2013].
Volvocars.com. 2013. Safety – Accident research, active safety, reducing injuries. [online] Available at: http://www.volvocars.com/uk/top/about/values/pages/safety.aspx [Accessed: 05 Nov 2013].