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Survey of Volvo dealers about effects of small overlap frontal crash test results on business

Cicchino, Jessica B.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
October 2012

Objective: On August 14, 2012, announcement of the Volvo S60 model’s good performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s new small overlap frontal crash test was announced. A survey of Volvo dealerships in the United States was conducted to determine if dealers had experienced increased interest in the Volvo S60 from consumers.
Methods: Between August 28 and September 6, 2012, managers at 206 of the 314 U.S. Volvo dealerships were interviewed.
Results: Following the August 14 release of the small overlap frontal crash test results, 49 percent of dealers reported an increase in the number of customers calling or visiting the dealership because they were interested in purchasing a Volvo S60. Fifty-five percent of dealers reported an increase in the number of customers naming the safety performance of Volvo as a reason they were considering purchasing a Volvo, and 68 percent reported that any customer had mentioned the performance of Volvo in recent crash tests as a reason they were considering Volvo. The dealers that reported sales figures experienced an 18 percent increase in sales of all Volvo models from the week before the announcement to the week after and a 41 percent increase in Volvo S60 sales.
Conclusion: The Volvo S60’s good performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small overlap frontal crash test appears to have positively influenced consumer opinion soon after the results were released. As with other types of crashworthiness ratings, it is hoped that the increased consumer interest in vehicles that perform well in the small overlap frontal crash test will encourage all automakers to improve vehicle design.