Volvo Misses April Fools' Day by Almost an Entire Week

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Last night, Volvo released a teaser video for a new vehicle it labeled as its “smallest coupe ever,” and I can’t help but feel that its marketing department dropped the ball on the timing.

The video introduces it as an ultra-modern, limited edition representative of a model specifically aimed at the next generation of consumers. Then, Volvo hinted that it might even be autonomous, and I assumed this was some wild concept vehicle never to enter production — but Volvo is already building it.

Of course, I felt like a moron when the big reveal finally came.

April Fools’ Day has become a great marketing opportunity for companies. While we’re at home playing mean-spirited pranks on our friends and family, corporations are trying to work an angle to garner attention and praise. While the commercial aspect of the “holiday” is rarely funny, occasionally something comes through that doesn’t make you want to roll your eyes or go on something the newspapers will later dub a “horrific spree.”

And yet, this isn’t technically a prank on the part of Volvo; they are actually building the car. The rub is — assuming the lines about it being the “smallest coupe ever” for the “next generation” with “no license required” didn’t give it away — that this particular product isn’t aimed at adults.

It’s a pedal-driven single seater for small children called the Volvo Rider. It costs roughly $180 — €166 plus tax — and comes in silver or the unfortunately named “crash-test orange.” While I don’t know anyone who would buy this personally, or the rest of Volvo’s lifestyle products for that matter, the company should be commended for a genuinely clever bit of marketing. But, again, why wait to release this on April 6th when it was such primo April 1st material?

[Image: Volvo]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 6 comments
  • RHD RHD on Apr 08, 2017

    This one will, tragically, and to Volvo's detriment, be the only Volvo that would lose in a battle with a Fiat 500.

    • Pig Hater Pig Hater on Apr 09, 2017

      That would be cool and un-Volvo like too if they did come out with a car the size of a Fiat 500. On looks alone the 500 is one of my fave cars produced right now.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Apr 09, 2017

    The steering wheel is much higher than the one in my old fire truck. They must have designed it for ages up to twelve. When I was twelve, I was doing odd jobs for little old ladies in the neighborhood.

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.