Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (VCNA) announced Nov. 7 the launch of the "Drive for Life - Owner Experience," which it called a new approach to improving driver behavior through the use of an interactive behind-the-wheel program.Developed in conjunction with the Volvo Security Driving Academy in Sweden and Skip Barber, specialist in automotive education and performance driving schools, the program is included at no additional charge to buyers of new Volvo XC90s and, according to Volvo, is the first program of its type to be offered exclusively to SUV purchasers.Volvo said it is addressing the issues of drivers, safety and SUVs with the same kind of "You think and then you build" philosophy that resulted in including Roll Stability Control in the XC90, which Volvo says is the first anti-roll system introduced in an SUV."As Volvo continues to develop vehicle safety, we feel the Drive for Life - Owner Experience is a logical next step. And that next step begins with the person behind the wheel," said Thomas Andersson, executive vice president of marketing, VCNA. "Every owner of a new Volvo XC90 will be invited to experience, first hand, all of the technology the vehicle has to offer and to help them avoid an accident in the first place."With minimal classroom instruction, the Owner Experience is designed to focus on the driver, maximizing seat time behind the wheel of their vehicles. The program teaches drivers how to best utilize the XC90's active safety systems and how to respond during accident avoidance situations, according to Vic Doolan, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America."We pride ourselves on building safe cars," Doolan said. "This program, however, is developed to improve driver behavior, which is integral to safety on the road. Very few consumers have the opportunity to test vehicle control and understand their vehicles' limits in a controlled environment. This program addresses the final frontier of road safety - the driver."The "Drive for Life - Owner Experience" is scheduled to roll out during the first quarter of 2004, and will initially be available in five regional locations: Laguna Seca (northern California); California Speedway (southern California); Road America (Wisconsin); Daytona Beach (Florida); and Lime Rock (Connecticut). The program is included at no additional charge with the purchase of any new XC90.About Volvo Cars of North America
VCNA, part of the Volvo Car Corp. of Gothenburg, Sweden, provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.In addition to the award-winning XC90, the 2003-04 Volvo automobile line consists of the S60 sedan - including the performance sedan, S60 R, and its performance wagon counterpart, V70 R; the flagship S80 luxury sedan; V70 wagon and XC70 (Cross Country); the C70 convertible; and the compact S40 and V40 models.