Volvo Drive Lab 2018 - XC40 Dealer Training Event

By Mel Remme

January of this year Line Up delivered an ambitious 7 week dealer training event in Madrid for Volvo Cars. The DriveLab event was designed for Volvo’s dealer network from Europe, the Middle East and Africa; introducing over 4000 dealers and Volvo staff to the New XC40, over a 2 day programme. Immersing them into the XC40’s customer profile, capabilities and competitors. 

Participants stayed in the highly contemporary Hotel Silken Puerta America, where each of the 12 floors have been designed by a different, world-renowned architect, setting the scene for the innovative new XC40.

The evening began with an XC40 Customer Introduction, which explored how Volvo’s new customer is not so much a demographic, but an attitude. Through film, guests were welcomed to Madrid by Valentina; Her life in Madrid, what she loves doing and the food she enjoys was the focus for the rest of the evening.


After the presentation participants were led to the car to begin the City Test Drive. It was certainly a sight to behold for the residents of Madrid seeing 50 XC40’s driving around the city centre every night, for 35 nights! The City Drive gave the dealers an opportunity to live the life of Valentina for the evening; eating her favourite Tapas at Platea, an upscale indoor market and churros at the famous San Gines!

There were plenty of opportunities for participants to share their experience through social media during the Test Drive, with multiple “selfie-spots” set up at each stop. There was a strong focus on social media throughout the event with the emphasis being the XC40 customers habits and lifestyle and how digital media is something that permeates their lives. The event had a high social media impact through the #xc40 and #xc40drivelab on Instagram and Twitter, from the participants and the public, with one video receiving 64,500 impressions on Instagram.

At the end of the City Drive participants returned to the Hotel, arriving in the car park for a Mini Burst Event where Volvo showcased several of their other models. Guests then headed to the hotels top floor and the iconic Sky Bar with panoramic views across Madrid.

Day two was spent at the prestigious Circuito del Jarama test track where a variety of workshops and dynamic sessions were held. The circuit boasts contemporary conference spaces and a long undulating track, on which a staggering 28,028 laps of Circuito del Jarama were completed over the 7 weeks.

Line Up in conjunction with Volvo created the core content for the workshop modules. Each market could tailor these workshop modules in order to deliver the most relevant information to their dealer network. Alongside the market specific presentations were product presentations and social media sessions. The static competitor comparison allowed markets to choose which cars to compare the XC40 to. The dynamic competitor comparison session then enabled participants to compare these competitors to the XC40 on the track. To test the rigidity of the chassis the XC40 was put through its paces on the Urban Assault course by the highly talented drive activities team.

This highly complex and diverse event was a great success with participants scoring DRIVELAB 2018 an average of 4.3 out of 5. With new groups arriving daily, needless to say everyday had its challenges.  One of which being snow in Madrid for the first time in 12 years! But, one thing really stood out throughout the event and that was the dedication, focus and enthusiasm the event team showed from beginning to end. The enthusiasm for the event was infectious, and it made our month to hear that the new Volvo XC40 was voted European car of the year 2018.