Many automakers want more female buyers, but often are uncertain exactly what women want. Volvo took a new approach: Let women design the car.
Volvo will unveil a concept car designed by about 100 women -- 80 percent of the development team -- at the Geneva auto show in March.
So what do women want? The team at Volvo suggests it's an easy-to-park, easy-to-maintain sporty coupe with gull-wing doors, 225hp and lots of storage space. The concept has dirt-repellent windows and paint, machine-washable seat covers and a sensor that tells the driver if the car will fit into a parking spot. Instead of a gas cap, the car has racecar-style fueling with a roller-ball seal. And the windshield-washer fluid is poured into a port next to the fuel. Because scheduled maintenance including oil changes is only every 50,000km, the front end is designed to be lifted by mechanics only -- no hood.
The E26 million, 15-month effort was Volvo's fastest and least-expensive concept development program ever -- and the best managed too, the company adds.