CHAIN MAIL: Volvo goes interactive with ‘world’s strongest truck’

“We’ve succeeded in reaching visitors who would not normally visit our website and got them to spread the news themselves,” said Niclas Hermansson, communication strategist for digital media at Volvo Trucks. “We created an entirely separate site called www.strongesttruck.com where you can compete with other visitors and download films, pictures and music. “We want to offer a fun, interactive, holistic experience of the world’s most powerful truck.”The site has approximately 10,000 unique visitors per day, thanks in large part to its availability in six different languages, and Volvo has yet to put any money into advertising it.To promote interaction between users, the site includes a number of chat rooms and blogs, as well as a specially designed game that requires speed, safety and precision.“Many visitors also download films, pictures and music from the site,” said Hermansson.“By giving visitors the opportunity to be creative and to design their own versions of the material we provide, we promote involvement, participation and promote further distribution of the material.“Some enthusiasts have even made their own film about the competition and placed it on YouTube!”The FH16 also has its own range of merchandise that can be purchased online.“By embracing new ways of communicating, we can create interest in both our products and our brand, not just among the already converted, but also among the next generation’s drivers, mechanics, customers, employees and others,” said Hermansson.The truck itself features a heavily reworked version of Volvo’s previous 16-litre D16 engine, called D16G, which powered the outgoing 660hp, 3100Nm model.Volvo says that despite the increase in power there has been no change with regard to impact on the environment.“Simply increasing engine power output is one thing, but doing so without raising emissions or fuel consumption is a far more difficult task,” said Henrik Lindeberg, chief project manager for the new D16G engine.Volvo is currently taking orders for the new truck with production expected to commence on June 1 this year.

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