Volvo has appointed Shandwick public affairs on a contract basis to
raise its profile on safety and environmental issues with political
Volvo has not used a lobbying agency before. The Swedish car firm has
built its brand on safety and Shandwick’s appointment comes a few weeks
after Volvo’s decision to sell its car arm to the Ford Motor
Following the deal, Volvo and Ford will share the Volvo brand.
Shandwick will communicate Volvo’s record on safety and the environment
to the Government, including members of its cleaner vehicles task force
and the advisory committee on transport and safety, as well as think
tanks and consumer journalists.
Shandwick won the contract earlier this month after a non-competitive
pitch. The account will be led by Shandwick public affairs director Jon
McLeod, who will report to Volvo’s PR director, John Lefley. Volvo does
not have any dedicated, in-house government relations staff and the
function comes within Lefley’s remit.
Commenting on Shandwick’s appointment, Lefley said: ’This is to help us
on safety and environment issues, which are high on the consumer
It’s an area in which we have something to say. We feel we’ve been ahead
of legislation in this area - it’s one of the benefits of having a
Swedish parent company.’
Volvo’s UK arm is located in Marlow in Buckinghamshire and the company
uses Marlow-based agency Gordon Bruce for its consumer PR.
Volvo’s Swedish parent company registered a turnover of over pounds 14
billion for 1997 with profits of over pounds 800 million.
The company struck a deal with Ford last month to sell it Volvo’s
worldwide passenger vehicle business for around pounds 4 billion. Volvo
will retain other arms such as its lorry division. The deal is subject
to shareholder approval.