When automakers allow journalists to inspect new cars, the biggest headaches usually involve Formula One-style test drives.
But Volvo Car Corp. lost two of its new V70 models before anyone had a chance to drive them. They were stolen while a press launch support team was setting up at Le Mas D'Artigny hotel near Nice, in southern France.
'We suspect they were into shipping containers and off to northern Africa or the Middle East within hours,' said Volvo spokesman John Lefley.
Were the cars fitted with tracking devices? 'Car crime is virtually unheard of in Scandinavia - so no,' Lefley said.
It's not the first time that press events at Mas D'Artigny have been struck by thieves. A few years ago, Porsche lost four 911 Turbos late one night. Surprised executives saw the cars drive past them as they returned from dinner in a nearby village.