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REDMOND, WASH., AND IRVINE, CALIF. - Dec. 2, 2001 - MSN and Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, today announced that Volvo has selected the MSN® network of Internet services for the next phase of its digital marketing initiative, culminating in the launch of Volvo's first sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Volvo XC90, in 2002 with an online presale program on MSN. The 15-month-long, U.S.-based digital marketing initiative is a multitiered effort to increase brand recognition and product affinity, and includes special offers developed exclusively for users of MSN. <P> The initiative will feature online marketing offerings available only through the MSN Advantage Marketing program, including special promotions and the first Virtual Showroom, where consumers can experience the entire Volvo model line, as well as an online content and tool area, the Volvo Digital Garage, developed exclusively for Volvo owners and enthusiasts. <P> The launch of the new Volvo XC90, Volvo's first offering in the popular SUV category, will be a major focus of the initiative. Slated for retail availability in November 2002, the Volvo XC90 represents the next level of safety and functionality in the SUV category. This initiative follows a year characterized by several innovative and groundbreaking new media campaigns from Volvo. <P> "This alliance with Volvo shows yet again that MSN Advantage Marketing continues to attract the world's leading brands with its innovative digital marketing solutions, proven technology expertise and tremendous reach," said Rich Bray, vice president of MSN at Microsoft Corp. "We're honored to be working with Volvo to develop a revolutionary new approach to digital marketing. This innovative, customized campaign on MSN will undoubtedly continue to build Volvo's brand and drive sales of Volvo's entire model line." <P> "The technology MSN provides creates an exciting and relevant environment where enthusiasts can come to deepen their relationship with Volvo," said Phil Bienert, manager of CRM, e-Business and future product strategy for Volvo. "The customized campaign we developed with MSN uniquely connects Volvo with potential and existing customers by providing them with useful and engaging information on multiple devices." <P> The Volvo Digital Garage will serve as the centerpiece of the campaign and feature relevant automotive and lifestyle content, services and information. Hosted by MSN, the Volvo Digital Garage will enable consumers to do the following: <P>•Participate in "first-look" marketing for the new Volvo XC90 and sign up to receive future communications <P>•Sign up for and download a Volvo cobranded MSN Explorer Internet browser, and receive three months of MSN Internet Access free.* The look of the browser will feature customized Volvo and automotive links and icons. Volvo is the first automotive manufacturer to use this one-to-one relationship-building technology. <P>•Enter the Volvo Virtual Showroom, hosted by the MSN Carpoint® online automotive service, featuring detailed product information and virtual tours of all Volvo models. Volvo is the first automotive manufacturer to use this new offering to enable qualified car shoppers to directly request more information from a local Volvo retailer. <P>•Sign up to receive MSNBC news and local weather alerts on PDAs and other wireless devices via MSN Carpoint and sponsored by Volvo <P>•Interact with informative and relevant special MSN content of interest to Volvo owners and enthusiasts <P> The initiative will be featured prominently throughout MSN, including a high-profile presence on MSN.com, MSN Carpoint and MSN TV service, using advanced MSN advertising technology. Volvo will sponsor quarterly promotions, such as the current MSN and Microsoft® Windows® XP Peak Performance Sweepstakes, in which MSN and Volvo are giving away a new Volvo S60 sports sedan. Volvo also will use the MSN Ad Effectiveness research service to continuously monitor and drive top results. <P> Volvo's advertising agency of record, Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro RSCG (MVBMS), along with Fuel North America, the agency's integrated marketing unit, coordinated this groundbreaking effort on behalf of Volvo. <P>About Volvo <P> Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (VCNA), is an affiliate of Ford Motor Co.'s Premier Automotive Group based in Irvine, Calif., and is a subsidiary of the Volvo Car Corporation of Goteborg, Sweden, which will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2002. VCNA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. <P> The 2002 Volvo automobile line includes the sporty S60 and the new S60 AWD, the flagship S80 luxury sedan, the versatile V70 wagon and rugged Cross Country, C70 Coupe and Convertible, and the compact S40 and V40 models. More information is available at <A HREF="http://www.volvocars.com/." TARGET=_blank>http://www.volvocars.com/.</A> <P>About MSN <P> MSN attracts more than 270 million unique users worldwide per month. Available in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at <A HREF="http://www.msn.com/." TARGET=_blank>http://www.msn.com/.</A> MSN worldwide sites are located at <A HREF="http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx." TARGET=_blank>http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.</A> <P>About Microsoft <P> Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. <P> * Details of three-month trial MSN Internet Access dial-up plan with price guarantee: MSN Internet Access is for users of the MSN Companion and Microsoft Windows 95 or later operating systems only. In addition, users must subscribe to MSN Internet Access in accordance with its subscription agreement to access the service. Offer is only available to new MSN Internet Access members in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. A major credit card is required. After the trial period and until subscribers cancel their account or select an alternative plan, their credit card will be automatically charged $21.95 per month through Jan. 1, 2003, and thereafter they will automatically be charged the current price for the MSN Standard Unlimited Access Plan. MSN is available only for personal noncommercial use. Additional telephone and/or long-distance toll charges may apply. It is the customer's responsibility to check with their phone company to determine if additional phone charges may apply. Local market network activity and capacity may affect access availability. Offer may not be combined with any other Microsoft offers or rebates. Limited-time offer. <P>Microsoft, MSN, Carpoint and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. <P>The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. <BR>
 

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Volvo themed browser? I wonder how that's going to look. I just went over to MSN and Carpoint and couldn't find anything yet. Too bad, I was hoping to find pics of the XC90's interior.<P>Did you guys see they are giving away some S60s, and they are giving away a V70 at FAO Schwartz. Too bad they're not giving them to me <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/wink.gif">.
 

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Eewwwww.<P>What a disappointment to see Volvo teamed with Microsoft. Here's Microsoft, charged with running a monopoly & the case was proved by the Feds, and only by the wiles of their slippery lawyers did they evade serious harm. <P>Now Volvo is getting into bed with these slease-artists. To me, Volvo can only come out with a tarnished image with such an association. (I go out of my way to avoid Microsoft's partners. Can't avoid their operating system products, but I sure can boycott their internet service and partnered products.)<P>I did like the AOL deal with the S60, but I had to gripe personally to the VNA Marketing Manager to give me the CD changer and the other goodies when AOL reneged at the last minute because I was using the TDS delivery. (Once the marketing manager learned I'd bought an S80 for my wife and was buying an S60, they promptly urged the powers that be to give me the incentive package when I got back from Sweden.)<P>Alack and alas, I probably won't be buying any more Volvos in the future because of the sunroof problems I'd mentioned before (they're now standard in the models I'm interested in and I don't want the things because they leak and I can't fit inside the car.)<P>So I'll guess I'll hang out here until, like my T-Bird, my S60 gets smashed by a careless driver, then I'll be off to other things.<P>It's an odd feeling to know that however much I'd love to buy another, I can't because I can't fit into it. I look at my S60 without a sunroof and wonder if it's the only T5 in the USA without one.<P>It's really sad to know these will be the last Volvos I'll ever own. (My wife's S80 doesn't have a sunroof, either, and even she hates the idea of them.) I just hope they last 10 years (or more)<P>I'm griping. You can ignore me. <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/frown.gif">
 

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I think Keystone Phil mentioned in the XC90 forum that they custom order cars through a new experimental Volvo program. Perhaps they can custom order you a no sunroof car....or you could always have your dealer find you a non--sunroof early model at auction.<P>In regards to Microsoft, from the sounds of that press release, it's Volvo's ad agency that handled it, and it doesn't sound too bad (even though I'm not a Microshaft fan myself), and even though it doesn't offer free accessories.
 

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T5 Dave - <P>You should be able to order a car with exactly whaqt you want on it without any problems.<P>I did it with my V40 - like you no sunroof because I wanted the headroom. I also wanted a specific colour too.<P>The only thing was having to wait two months for the car - which wasn't a problem since I knew when my previous car's lease was up.<P><P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dghamilt:<BR><B>T5 Dave - <P>You should be able to order a car with exactly whaqt you want on it without any problems.<P>I did it with my V40 - like you no sunroof because I wanted the headroom. I also wanted a specific colour too.<P>The only thing was having to wait two months for the car - which wasn't a problem since I knew when my previous car's lease was up.<P><BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>DGH, <P>Thanks,<P>Oh, believe me, I did order it to spec when I did the TDS (overseas) delivery. I ordered the car the week of thanksgiving last year, got the order confirmation in December, and then learned in January that the T5 was only available without the sunroof with the manual tranny. (I'd ordered the Geartronic) I was sweating bullets until April when I picked up the car--thank goodness it had no sunroof!!!<P>So even the day I picked it up I couldn't order it the same way ever again because the factory mandated the sunroof with the Geartronic.<P>For 2002 they made the sunroof 'standard' in the S60 T5 and is not even available as a 'delete' option. I think they did this to save production costs to try and eliminate production differences (the more options, the tougher it is to keep things straight on the production line--the assembler has to read the build sheet as the car moves down the line and see if the car has a sunroof or not. Honda learned that if you equip every car with all the desired 'options,' it's cheaper just to put it in every car.)<P>I can only hope someone doesn't wreck the car. I really like driving it, and I'd feel sad to think I could never get another.<P>But I just don't like sunroofs. Hate 'em. It's just me, but I don't like the thought of getting a concussion when I hit a pothole. <P>But thanks. <P>Can the Volvo sales folks confirm the S60 T5 sunroof story--it's not available as a 'delete' option?<P>It's my last Volvo. Gorgeous cypress green. Can't even get that in the T5 anymore, either. (Available in the base model, but not the T5. Huh?!)<BR> <BR> <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/frown.gif"><p>[This message has been edited by T5 Dave (edited 12-04-2001).]
 
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