On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Volvo Cars of Canada celebrated the grand opening of their new headquarters now located in Richmond Hill. This new building sports an open concept with lots of natural light and a working service area with lifts and all the equipment for training technicians on the latest Volvo technology.
In attendance at the event from Volvo Cars in Sweden were Wim Maes, Regional Director, Region 2, Volvo Car Corporation, and Alain Visser, VP Sales Operations, Volvo Car Corporation. Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow was present for the ceremonies as were members of Richmond Hill council. Representatives from the Swedish Trade Council and Swedish Embassy were also on hand to help launch the new-look headquarters.
When Volvo’s marketing people read about my 800,000 km, 1982 Volvo GLT on Wheels.ca, they invited me to show off my high mileage 1982 Volvo GLT at their Grand Opening. President of Volvo Cars of Canada, Marc Engelen, presented me with a Heritage Club plaque for having over 750,000 kms on my car. With 802,000 kms on the odometer and sporting its original paint, the Volvo was quite the hit with the Volvo representatives. They were also thrilled to see video footage of my Volvo in competition when I was running in the Solo (Autoslalom) Championships. They really enjoyed footage of the Volvo defeating Corvettes during the Super Car Challenge Pro Solo races.
Volvo sales have been lacklustre in the past few years and the new look Volvo headquarters reflects a resurgence in Volvo pride for safety and quality. Volvo wants to be known as the industry leader for automotive safety as they once were.
With new owners and executive staff, Volvo can once again focus on research & development and bring new safety innovations to the automotive scene. This reorganisation that Volvo Canada has gone through is to help revive that reputation for safety and reliability that Volvo’s were once famous for.
For motoring safety advocates, it is good news to hear Volvo Cars will be “thinking outside the box” (pardon the boxy Volvo pun) when it comes to providing their customers with what could be the most advanced automotive safety package.
At this opening, Volvo executives introduced a new phrase they believe will help their Canadian market. They invented “Candinavia” which is a contraction of Canada and Scandinavia to reflect the similarities of Sweden and Canada both in climate and culture. According to Dustin Woods of Marshall Fenn Communications, “Candinavia is a concept which is still in development, but in essence it is a campaign that personifies the connection between Canada and Scandinavia through depictions of the epic landscapes and breathtaking scenery that both countries share. The execution may include anything from brand initiatives, experiential marketing or visuals at the retailer level.”
The future looks promising for Volvo once again. With new management, innovations and product I think we can look forward to experiencing the “new” Volvo.
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