• Sweden edition
 
Volvo under fire for Shanghai show 'babes'

Volvo under fire for Shanghai show 'babes'

Published: 20 Apr 2011 14:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Apr 2011 14:58 GMT+02:00

When Volvo opened their display for the press at the Auto Shanghai 2011 fair in China there were a number of women in evening dresses, high heels and immaculate make up were there to greet the gathered journalists.

It is not uncommon to see scantily clad women parading around car fairs, draping themselves over bonnets and leaning on vehicles. But so far this is something that Swedish companies like Volvo have tried to steer clear of. Until now, that is.

In the Volvo display the models moved around to assume poses around the vehicles and had their make up touched up in the unrelenting sun.

“They are our new truck-drivers," Pär Östberg, CEO of Volvo Trucks Asia said in a an attempt at a joke with the gathered journalists.

When he didn’t get many laughs, he continued by saying that this kind of thing ‘seems popular’ in China.

At the time, Östberg didn’t want to answer questions as to why Volvo was using the models to tout trade.

Later, when news of the display was starting to reach the press, he is reported to have telephoned news agency TT to make a statement.

“I can honestly say that I was rather taken aback with how it looked. It isn’t usually like that and it shouldn’t be,” he told TT.

According to Östberg, Volvo has the same respect for women wherever the company is based worldwide.

Having models pose around the trucks severely crossed the line of what they consider appropriate.

“It's not something we would endorse as a company,“ he said.

According to TT, Östberg claims to have looked further into the matter and found that it was the local organisers in China who have had their wires crossed. The models will not be staying in the Volvo display.

“We will remove them immediately. They don’t belong there,” Per Östberg told TT.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:33 April 20, 2011 by bjinger
Volvo was under fire for no show 'babes'
17:15 April 20, 2011 by apelsin000
Having browsed several mostly visited Chinese websites, i saw no news like this at all. Sometime it seems that TT just crams some news stuff themselves and it sounds really nuts.
17:17 April 20, 2011 by Decedo
I don't get it. Volvo isn't a 'Swedish' company anymore, it's a Chinese company now. What they do and how they do it are or no concern or control in Sweden anymore.
18:02 April 20, 2011 by RadioBob
Volvo Truck is Swedish. Volvo Car is owned by the Chinese. As far as the advertising content goes, look around you - Volvo is far from the only one doing this in Sweden.
20:39 April 20, 2011 by Swedesmith
Wonder how the Chinese would feel about Hooters.
21:14 April 20, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Which ones are the models and which one is the truck?
21:44 April 20, 2011 by Carbarrister
This must have been a slow news day.

All vehicle companies use "Booth Professionals." Most of them actually know a lot about the vehicles. Mostly guys attend these shows and ask about cars. They would rather ask a babe than a dweeb.

Many of them prefer to look at the the babe than the car.

If they like the dweeb then they are playing for the other team, but who cares.
05:11 April 21, 2011 by Da Goat
It was the cloths that were wrong they should be dressed as truckies: small short khaki trousers and white singlets and shiny elastic sided work boots.

they are simply over dressed! and if nobody is paying attention they should jump up in the cab and make some noise and black smoke!

perfectly fine to have some truckers there for information dissemination!
05:27 April 21, 2011 by wenddiver
Were supporting Women, by firing all the Women. Women won't have to eat under Feminism, I guess.

I personally think Trucking would benefit from large numbers of Women in evening wear.
10:14 April 21, 2011 by aaww
what's wrong with this? volvo asia is doing a good job
12:23 April 21, 2011 by swedejane
Scantily clad asian girls and a trade show...but no happy ending. A first.
14:33 April 21, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Queer... I'd have figured Volvo would've opted for male models.
19:35 April 21, 2011 by LeoKinmann
Swedesmith, Hooters already opened in China and is expanding the business.

What the hell can Swedish publicity about the sales anyway. On the contrary, if I'm the CEO I'd rather take hits from feminazists than not boosting sales by a few percent hiring babes. Pär Östberg got no balls, he only wants to keep himself clean.
20:01 April 21, 2011 by RicG
Wonder how the Chinese would feel about Hooters.

(Possibly envious.)
17:16 April 23, 2011 by jackx123
totally pathetic. it's easter around the corner and we need a lot more bunnies. ii prefer the chinese rather than the outdated grannies that sweden can supply. just look at SAS cabin crew// sweet lord they'd scare the daylight out of me any hour of the day (or night)
23:57 April 23, 2011 by muscle
ok good my girlfriend didn't read this news, otherwise I would have to listen about chinese ways, the whole week!!!
09:11 April 24, 2011 by calebian22
The real scandal is that the models weren't wearing the typical car show uniform of halter tops (covering newly installed bolt ons), hot shorts and knee high street walker boots. Evening gowns? How Victorian!
21:02 April 24, 2011 by Rebel
There are 150 Chinese for every Swede; plus, Volvo is a Chinese company. So why the fuss?
03:17 April 25, 2011 by GLO
This is NUTS!!!! I use HOT GIRLS at my Corporation Trade Shows 40 times a year, we are always first to get a look. Sorry, Thats life, our girls/college students get paid pretty well too!!!
Today's headlines
Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop
File photo: Simon Cunningham/Flickr

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop

Swedish investment giant Investor on Wednesday said its first-quarter profits slumped by a quarter, underlining Sweden's vulnerability to international instability. READ () »

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Advertisement:
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

720
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com