While buyers have long been able to choose from "Bright Blue Dot in a Really Red State," a pictographic of the word "Coexist," and "Kerry Edwards," most buyers were unaware that such decals were optional. Volvo hopes to rectify this misconception as a part of a broader push into new demographics, including Top Bracket Taxpayers, Obama Critics, and People Who Wouldn't Go Further Left Than Subaru or Maybe VW.
|Left to right: Fully-equipped V70; C30 with Sticker Delete|
"I just figured it was part of the elitist New England mentality required to own a Volvo," says suburban Kansas City mother Kathy Bryant of her 2006 XC70. "I usually vote Republican or Independent, but never realized I had any control over what my car was saying to other drivers."
Dallas-based trucker Jimmy Shoals echoes, "I always thought those Germans [sic] made some pretty nice cars, but I'd probably get my ass kicked for driving one into the parking lot. My church is pretty serious about that stuff."
Volvo hopes to further distance itself from politicization with their new "Blood for Oil" campaign, offering customers 10 free gallons of gas for every pint of blood they donate to the American Red Cross. The company hopes the effort won't be misunderstood in the way Volkswagen's "W: The Engine" campaign was mistaken for an endorsement of former President George W. Bush. VW blames the misunderstanding for the complete failure of the Passat W8 and Phaeton W12 in the US market.
Fellow Swedish carmaker Saab, which recently broke free from years of GM ownership, has absolutely no plans to broaden its appeal. VP of product development Bjorn Larsen states, "On the contrary--we plan to go back to nothing but two-door hatchbacks, center console ignition, and a confusing series of dash buttons you've never seen in other cars." He claims this move will link Saab with its history and require a high IQ simply to operate the vehicle. "When it comes to elitism, we prefer a tangible and direct approach."