Volvo offers a unique experience for buyers overseas interested in purchasing a new vehicle. They combine picking up your new car in person with a personal trip in which you get to test drive the vehicle. Then when you are finished exploring Sweden, simply drop your car off and Volvo will ship it to your USA address.
Here are the fun details: visit volvocars.com and design a digital version of your car. Then purchase your desired Volvo through the company’s Overseas Delivery Program and save up to 8% off the US MSRP. Volvo throws in two complimentary round trip tickets to Europe with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), one free hotel night in Gothenburg Sweden (where you will pick up your vehicle), and a fifteen day European Car Insurance coverage (including Swedish temporary registration).
That is not all! Volvo pays for the shipping (the cargo ships hold up to 7,000 vehicles), handles all clearance for customs and even pays for and arranges inland transportation to your home.
After growing up with our family’s “fleet of Volvo’s” it was a real treat to actually be at Volvo’s world headquarters. It almost didn’t seem real. Normally visitors picking up their new cars are treated to a factory tour. However, during our visit – one of the few days the factory is completely closed – we instead were treated to the Volvo Brand Experience Centre – a walk-through and explanation of some of Volvo’s key safety features.
During the Volvo Brand Experience tour we quickly realized that as a company Volvo has always been a leader in safety technology as it relates to their cars. Today they are on the cutting edge of implementing a number of safety measures as well as state of the art collision-avoidance technologies within the vehicles. “City Safety” is standard in nearly all their vehicles. Part of this package includes a laser sensor that recognizes stopped vehicles in front of your car – and if you are approaching too rapidly at certain speeds, it will begin braking for you.One quickly realizes just by opening and closing the door on some of the vehicles on display how solid and well made these are in comparison to doors of many other vehicles. Many examples of how serious Volvo takes safety in their vehicles include, the types of steel used, a vehicle that was involved in a horrific accident (passengers suffered fairly minor injuries in relation to the crash), a demo of the force taken by someone at even slow crashes of 3-4 mph and a new generation vehicle with the state of the art safety prevention features including radar and even airbags under the hood in case of frontal pedestrian accidents.
Volvo is on a mission to build all of their vehicles to be zero accident free by 2020. Their focus is to design vehicles should not crash. With a database of over 36,000 crash reports collected since 1970 – they have studied safety in great detail. Their safety crash center is known worldwide and is one of only two of its type in the world. Their crash simulator is a 30 ton behemoth that moves on rails.
Volvo is challenging not only itself as it works towards this mission but also the automotive industry in general as well as governments to improve safety standards in vehicles around the world.
We enjoyed test driving a new Volvo C70 for a week. This car has a near perfect safety record. Western Sweden is the perfect venue for testing out a new car – the roads are excellent and typically are not crowded. Gothenburg, a city of around 300,000 people has good shopping, hotels, restaurants and museums (as well as beautiful botanical gardens). After some urban time head north along Sweden’s west coast and enjoy some of the country’s finest towns on the ocean, fishing villages, local cuisine and unique history.
Or to the south is the agricultural breadbasket of Sweden – where you can visit local artisans, wineries and farms, not to mention beautiful beaches, old cities located right on the Baltic Sea and a number of historical attractions.
Photos below are just some of the picture perfect scenery that Western and Southern Sweden offers!