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Volvo Construction Equipment has strong business focus on the Volvo Ocean Race

On October 11, 2008, the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race got underway in Alicante, Spain. This is the tenth time the prestigious round-the-world sailing race has been run since its launch in 1972. Eight boats will compete over 9 months and 37,000 nautical miles for the chance to cross the finishing line first in St. Petersburg, Russia, in June 2009. The race will visit the main markets in Europe and North America, as well as stopovers in growing markets such as Brazil, China, India, and Russia.
Volvo Ocean Race

The company will use the event to strengthen the Volvo brand with existing customers and build relationships with new customers in these markets.

The list of activities is strong and global. More guests, customers, and a strong focus on products and innovation are on show. The display in all ports includes:

  • Volvo CE’s industry leading Care Cab
  • The Volvo Group’s hybrid technology which is used in the Volvo L220E Hybrid wheel loader
  • Products include an ECR 235CL and an EC35C compact excavator
  • Environmental Challenge seminars for customers
  • Safety Information display

Up to one million guests and general spectators are estimated to have passed through the Race Village from its inauguration in September to the official race start on October 11. Each of the 11 stopovers represents a major event. All of the visitors will encounter the Volvo brand. At each stopover, there is a large Volvo Pavilion with a brand and product exhibition where customers, potential customers, and members of the public can find out more about the race, as well as about the products and services of Volvo Construction Equipment and other Volvo Group companies.

The Volvo pavilion is the hub for all of Volvo’s activities at the race village. This time it is larger than ever before, in order to accommodate thousands of guests. During the last Volvo Ocean Race, there were 2.8 million visitors and this time the race office is expecting more.

Showing the brand

At the brand exhibition, there are products on display including an EC35C painted in the race’s blue colors, an ECR 235 CL crawler excavator and a cutaway section of the Volvo Care Cab. There is also a display of the Volvo Group’s innovative hybrid technology which was unveiled to the construction equipment industry earlier in 2008 and a display showing Volvo’s commitment to safety and the environment.

Volvo’s brand values are driving the development both of new products and of the way Volvo serves its customers and the community. In most race villages, there will be brand value seminars that describe how Volvo is working to be one of the leaders in safety and environmental care.

Customer Relationship Building

During the opening weekend of the race, more than 170 Volvo Construction Equipment customers and dealers took part in the action. The largest group consisted of 120 Spanish customers, invited by the dealer Volmaquinaria.

Customers were invited to a boat tour that took them up close to the sailing, both during the in-port race and the official start. A number of activities took place in the port, focusing both on the race itself and Volvo Construction Equipment’s products and services.

Volvo Construction Equipment and the Volvo Ocean Race

Reinforcing the strong link between the race and business development, there will also be specific events held in association with the race stopovers, such as the ‘Volvo Days’ product event which coincides with the race’s stopover in Stockholm, Sweden. There are also customer visits planned to the Volvo production facilities in Shanghai in conjunction to the stopover in Qingdao, China. Wherever the race stops, Volvo Construction Equipment will coordinate a number of events to reinforce the central messages of Quality, Safety, and Environmental Care.

Seen, read, and heard

The Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 was broadcast to an audience of 1.8 billion viewers. The race was covered by the media in 192 countries and more than 17,500 articles were written. The internal attention within Volvo Construction Equipment is also in focus, with employees able to follow the race on Volvo Group devoted websites, ocean race blogs, films and articles in internal magazines. “It is very important that employees understand how the ocean race builds the brand and supports sales and take pride in the enormous undertaking the Volvo Ocean Race represents. This means we have thousands of supportive ambassadors all over the world,” says Anders Barreng, Volvo Ocean Race coordinator at Volvo Construction Equipment.

Building relations

This is the tenth race since the start and the third under the Volvo flag. The Volvo Ocean Race is now so well established that professional sailors talk about doing ‘The Volvo’. With stopovers in the main markets in Europe and North America, as well as stopovers in growing markets such as Brazil, China, India and Russia, Volvo Construction Equipment sees it as a chance to strengthen the brand with existing customers and build relationships with new customers in these markets. 

»  Visit VolvoOceanRace.org for official images of the event