1. Which design elements of the Volvo YCC are most valuable to female consumers?
In 2002, an all-female team of project managers and automobile designers was assembled to design the Volvo Your Concept Car (YCC) with female needs. Thus, the car has various elements that are very valuable to female consumers, including smart storage solution, easy to get in and out, good visibility, personalization, easy to park.
First, smart storage concern more about than where to put the handbag. It is about the mobile phone, keys, notebook, gym bag and many others things people carry to the car. Actually, a center console has a shallow compartment for keys, mobile phones. In addition, there is also a space for a notebook, a “cook box,” and a wastepaper basket. Besides, the back seats are designed like movie theater seats that fold upright until needed for passengers, freeing room on the back for luggage. Furthermore, the gear lever and handbrake are movable for better storage. Since female always carry a lot to their car, especially when they shops, so this element is really valuable to them.
Second, YCC is designed for easy to get in and out of. The gull wings doors are designed so that the consumer never has to climb into the back seat. The ride height is automatically returned to Hi mode for door opening, the driver’s seat moves back automatically and the steering wheel moves upwards, the sill of the door will also drop down to expose a clean interior, so that you can get in more easily. Besides, auto open is also available when you have a lot to carry. Because female sometime wear dress and high-heels, cars that are easy to get in and out of are very valuable to them.
Third, the car is with good visibility. An “Ergovision” system at the dealership scans drivers’ bodies and configures optimum driving positions based on the data. The settings are stored on the key unit. When the key is docked, things like the seat, steering wheel, pedals will all automatically move to the designated positions. The customer can also add additional data sets, but the car watchfully notifies the consumer if a data set creates a less-than-optima line of vision. Besides, the car will change mode itself, “Hi” for a commanding view of the road and “Lo” for a sporty low ride. Apart from the “Ergovision” system, the exterior has been designed with a low front end and along rear window so that all four corners of the car are visible to the driver. Since women usually do not familiar with driving skill as male, good visibility provides more safety when they are driving.
Next, Volvo designed a car that can be personalized. Apart from the “Ergovision” system, the appearance of the interior is also customizable. It has eight interchangeable upholstery options ranging from leather, linen, and wool boucle and a shimmering embroidered seat pad, all with matching carpeting. Consistent with Scandinavian tradition, the interior is light, open, and uses materials associated with fine home interiors. Since females usually play more attention to the style and the appearance of a car, so this element is very valuable to them.
After that, minimal maintenance is also one of the most valuable elements to female consumers. First, the YCC’s exterior finish is similar to that of a nonstick pan, with easy-clean paint that repels dirt and is easy to wash. The seat covers and carpets are also washable. Furthermore, the windshield washer fluid filler is located right beside the gas filling point, both with ball-valve fillers that eliminate the need for caps or latches. When the service is due, the car automatically notifies a designated service center and even suggests an appointment time. The car also carries out its own diagnostic checks and informs the service center of what parts and materials will be required when the car arrives for service. As most of the women are not really interested on the “Car things” and do not have the relevant knowledge about car, so this element helps women a lot.
Finally, easy to park is almost an element valuable to female consumers. Parallel parking is two button clicks away. The first push of the parking assistance button determines if there is sufficient space between two cars to park. If the answer is “yes”, second push steers the car into the space but leaves the driver in control of braking and accelerating. For the people do not good at parking, this element allows them to drive in the crowded street and save their time. As most of the shopping malls are in the center of the city and most of the women are not good at parking, this exactly fulfills their needs.
To conclude, the Volvo YCC is very valuable to female consumers as the above elements.