Swedish automotive giant Volvo Cars engages IDEA Communication as PR partner in bid to strengthen corporate branding efforts in APAC region

In a move to boost the company’s corporate communications efforts in the APAC region, Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars has signed a partnership with Singapore-headquartered public relations consultancy IDEA Communication. Volvo Cars joins a list of global brands that have enjoyed success working with IDEA, including big names such as Fosun, UCommune, and BASF – each a major player in their respective industries.

In the automotive industry, however, change is the only constant. The injection of artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies into the industry has seen the advent of alternative fuels, hybrid technology, all-electric cars, and even self-driving cars. Clearly, the global automotive industry is in a state of disruption and evolution. Despite these technological advances, however, the global automotive industry is expected to face multiple challenges in 2019, and China has already seen a decline in vehicle sales for the first time in over 20 years. With China constituting one of the world’s largest market for carmakers, Volvo identified a pressing need to revitalise its APAC arm, with a focus on internal communications and corporate branding. It is no coincidence, of course, that IDEA – led by Chinese entrepreneur Helena Ma, whose experience includes stints in Sweden – has offices in both Beijing and Singapore. As a global PR consultancy with a local touch as well as an intimate knowledge of cultural sensitivities, IDEA is uniquely placed to navigate the potential pitfalls that a Swedish business may encounter in Asian markets.  

Volvo Cars is a Swedish luxury car manufacturer headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. With a storied history spanning 92 years, the Volvo brand is known all over the world, in particular for its reputation as a maker of safe, reliable, and well-made luxury cars, encompassing sport utility vehicles (SUVs), station wagons, sedans and compact executive sedans. Characterised by intuitive, human-focused, functional Scandinavian design and unmatched craftsmanship, Volvo is a household name in the global automotive industry.

IDEA will bring its considerable expertise to bear in the development of corporate communications strategy for Volvo, overseeing direction, implementation and execution. IDEA will be responsible for creating a brand message that resonates not only with Volvo’s customers, but also its employees at every level within the organisation – thus helping to inculcate a company-wide culture of clear, consistent, and capable communication – a tool integral to any business, and in any sector. In particular, IDEA’s work for Volvo will revolve around brand-building, unifying the company’s multinational employee roster under a singular, coherent brand identity.

“We have identified a need for a more effective and consistent corporate communications strategy in our Asian area of operations,” said Mr. Yuan Xiaolin, President of Volvo Cars APAC. “IDEA Communication, with an international track record of success across Asia as well as in Sweden, is the ideal partner in our bid to strengthen our internal communication policies and practices in the APAC region, where cultural differences mean that we need a partner with both global experience and a local touch.”

Helena Ma, owner and managing director of IDEA Communication, added, “At IDEA, we know the lay of the land – our international experience means we know exactly what works in both Beijing and Stockholm, as divergent as these cities may be. We are delighted to be embarking on this journey with Volvo Cars, and we can’t wait to get started. I believe that Swedish businesses, with their unique approach and focus on sustainability, have a lot to offer to emerging markets in Asia – and I hope that Volvo Cars’ growing presence in Asia is the beginning of something bigger.”