Volvo Penta IMTEC98 Coverage

Volvo Penta

Clint Moore at the Press Conference

Volvo took a low key approach to the show and did a great job. They supported their customers by their presence and had a very nice press conference to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the stern drive.

I spoke with Clint Moore, President and CEO of Volvo Penta of the Americas, before the press conference. He was very relaxed and said he had many fond memories of living in Stillwater (where I live). The conference was low key and brief but two significant new services were described in addition to calling attention to the 40th anniversary.

Volvo Action Service

July 1st, Volvo announced a new toll free 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 3 language (English, French, Spanish) breakdown help line. Operators will ask for the engine serial number and brief description of the problem. They will identify the nearest dealer, give an estimate for towing and repairs, and arrange for local assistance if necessary. The service is free during the warranty period and $50 per breakdown afterwards. This new service will certainly make new customers feel more comfortable and is a great first for the industry.

Platinum Performance System

The new Platinum Performance System was exhibited. Using a cell phone and the new system, technicians can actually diagnose problems and fix them without ever seeing the boat. Customers simply plug in the provided cell phone and call Volvo's new toll free Volvo Action Service line. The operator will ask for boat and engine type. Then ask the boater to press the voice/data button on their bulkhead panel to allow the Electronic Control Module (ECM) to transmit data to Volvo Action Service. Once diagnosed the technician can re-program the engine to correct the problem or put the engine in a "limp home mode." If the problem cannot be corrected, such as running out of fuel, the coordinator can arrange for assistance. A brochure said, "It's like having a technician onboard."

RBBI Comments

I think the above two services are very significant and will reverberate through the industry once boaters become aware of them. If I knew they were available, I would demand them on my new boat.

These two services are really great things. It would have been "cool" if they could have came up with some really "rad" names, instead of Platinum Performance System and Volvo Action Service??

In addition to discussing the new services, Mr. Moore also pre-announced they would be introducing new larger gasoline and diesel engines at upcoming shows.

I thought this was by far the best press conference of the show. It felt personal, and was not just a lot of hype. It was nice to celebrate the great history of the stern drive. I also enjoyed the cake ! I even brought a piece back for Mr. Wizard !

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