The Volvo XC40 was awarded European Car of the Year 2018 and re-defined the small SUV category. Our brief was to fully prepare EMEA retailers to successfully introduce XC40 – a car that lives in the city. It’s at night that cities look their most spectacular, their architecture floodlit to best effect – and Madrid is no exception. With a reputation for great cuisine and a vibrant nightlife, Madrid also has a unique ability to swallow vast amounts of traffic. Gleaming alongside the city, the fleet of XC40s looked amazing. As the cars drove down boulevards or along cobbled lanes, they literally turned heads. Sending 50 cars into an unfamiliar, busy city five nights a week for seven weeks takes a lot of planning – there were many things to consider and many opportunities for things to go wrong. Securing suitable changeover points, plotting routes that avoid confusing junctions and gaining local authority permissions where challenging enough, but it was the safe execution – every night that was the real challenge.
Our team monitored GPS-trackers, ensuring that everything ran smoothly and on time. This was an intense four hours for the whole team – all the time remembering that this was supposed to be a pleasurable experience for the guests. Thankfully, a lot of the other planning we did; incident planning and emergency procedures weren’t needed – over 4,000 alcohol tests, 24,000 barcode scans and 2,000 successful “car-sharings” later, our city test drive scored 4.3/5. A whole team of marshals were monitoring the cars, just out of sight, all evening, occasionally stepping in to ensure a lost driver made it back to the route. It is a source of great pride to know that the guests had no idea the amount of effort that was put in to ensure that their experience was effortless and pleasurable.