Tags Enlarge ImageCare By Volvo started with the XC40, but now encompasses five different model lines. Volvo Care By Volvo, the Swedish automaker’s monthly subscription program, has arguably been the only such plan to gain significant traction in America’s new-car marketplace. Now, Volvo is doubling down on the program, announcing expansion details that include more markets and more vehicles for its all-in-one, flat-rate monthly payment plan.Developed as an alternative to traditional vehicle leasing and purchase financing, Care By Volvo hasn’t been without its hiccups and controversies. The novel program has labored to overcome regulatory hurdles while slowly expanding state by state, and the plan has even rankled some members of the company’s dealership body. In fact, the California New Car Dealers Association asked the automaker to stop offering CBV in the Golden State back in 2018, and the California DMV is investigating the program for possible violations. Despite these obstacles, Care By Volvo appears to be meeting with greater consumer interest than any other automaker subscription program, and Volvo is understandably keen to capitalize on that momentum. First offered on select versions of Volvo’s entry-level XC40 crossover last year, the program recently expanded Care By Volvo to include the company’s new S60 sport sedan. Now, CBV is adding 2020 XC60 and XC90 SUV models, along with its V60 Cross Country lifted wagon. Interestingly, despite wide spreads in vehicle prices, there’s very little variation in Care By Volvo monthly pricing. For example, an XC40 T5 AWD in Momentum trim retails from $37,340 delivered, and runs $700 a month through CBV. The XC90 T6 AWD in Momentum trim retails for $57.940 delivered, but only costs $800 in installments — just $100 more per month. In other words, if you’re considering joining the program, bigger might be better from a value perspective.Care By Volvo pricingPer monthXC40 T5 AWD Momentum$700S60 T5 FWD Momentum$700XC40 T5 AWD R-Design$750S60 T6 AWD R-Design$750V60 Cross Country T5 AWD$750XC60 T5 AWD Momentum$750XC90 T6 AWD Momentum$800Care By Volvo involves a two-year agreement, with customers given the option to change to a different vehicle in the program after the first 12 months. When CBV was first announced in late 2017, the program started at $600 a month.At a media ride-and-drive event in Banff, Alberta, Volvo spokesperson Jim Nichols confirmed to Roadshow that “…well over 95% of Care By Volvo subscribers are first to the Volvo brand.” Converting first-time customers and so-called conquest buyers (those who presently own vehicles from other brands) is a difficult and particularly sought-after accomplishment among automakers, making 95% a very impressive statistic. 36 Photos 2020 Volvo XC90 is a slicker, safer Swedish SUV According to Nichols, Care By Volvo is now offered in 49 of 50 US states. New York — notoriously viewed as America’s most problematic auto insurance market for regulatory reasons– remains the lone holdout. The program recently launched in Canada, as well.While Volvo officials Roadshow spoke with declined to estimate how many customers are signing up for Care By Volvo on eligible vehicles, Nichols did offer some context, stating, “I will say the percentage is in single digits.”Volvo has been working to remove bottlenecks in the Care By Volvo signup and vehicle selection process, too. For starters, the CBV app, available on Android and Apple IoS platforms, is now a one-stop shop for both credit and insurance approval. According to Volvo, it’s possible to apply and be approved for a subscription within five minutes. 2019 Volvo S60 review: More competitive than ever Volvo More From Roadshow 2020 Volvo XC90 first drive: An improvement worth subscribing to 1 Roadshow’s long-term 2019 Volvo XC40 after three months 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country first drive: Small changes make a big impact 53 Photos Comment Share your voice Car Industry Mobile Apps Additionally, Volvo is working with its insurance partner, Liberty Mutual, to reorganize and streamline the plan’s insurance component. At present, individual policies are issued to individual customers, and as a result, it takes 24 to 48 hours for a policy to bind, delaying subsequent vehicle deliveries by a day or more. The automaker is working with Liberty Mutual on a new arrangement where an insurance card can be printed out right at the dealer in order to speed up the transaction. Right now, that process is in place in seven states, with plans calling for nationwide rollout by year’s end.Getting an insurance card doesn’t mean much if there are no vehicles available, of course. “We’re continuing to work with our retail partners on not only the subscription process, but also the delivery process,” says Nichols. At present, Care By Volvo vehicles all come from central stocks held at shipping ports. If you’re near to the ports (Newark, New Jersey and Los Angeles, California), you can probably get a car in 24 hours, but for other markets, it can take days. Volvo is working to change its process so that vehicles can be pulled directly from dealer stock for quicker delivery. Volvo says a vehicle can be applied and subscribed to within five minutes. Volvo Other automakers’ pilot subscription programs have functioned very differently from Volvo’s scheme, including Book By Cadillac, which was halted, only to be rebooted after a cold reception by consumers. The initial program called for hefty $1,800 monthly payments, but allowed users to swap vehicles 18 times per year to suit their needs, from sedans to SUVs. Mercedes-Benz Collection, the German automaker’s subscription plan, has a similar structure, with varying vehicle access by tier, costing between $1,595 and $2,995 a month. While Volvo has not disclosed how many customers have signed on to Care By Volvo, it looks like it will become an increasingly important tool for the automaker going forward. The key to the program’s long-term success may not just be convincing consumers about the merits of the program — it might just be getting more dealers and regulators onboard. Volvo
Pope Francis at Suhrawardi Udyan in the capital. Photo: ReutersPope Francis, the spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, joined a prayer service at the Suhrawardy Udyan in the city on the second day of his visit to Bangladesh, reports UNB.Thousands of Catholics from different parts of the country attended the mass prayer seeking harmony and peace in the world.Besides, 16 priests were ordained during the mass prayers.Earlier on Thursday, Pope Francis arrived in Bangladesh on a three-day state visit, aiming to promote peace and reconciliation.On Saturday, the Pope will have a private visit to Tejgaon Mother Theresa House and meet priests, religious and consecrated men and women in the Holy Rosary Church.He will also visit the Parish Cemetery and the ancient Holy Rosary Church and meet the youth in Notre Dame College.Pope Francis will leave for Rome at 5:05 pm on Saturday after an official farewell at Dhaka airport.A planned meeting with a small group of Rohingyas is expected to be a high point during the Pope’s Dhaka visit.However, there is no mention of such meeting in the draft programme schedule of the Pope.
(A) Pair of oviraptorid Heyuannia eggs (NMNS CYN-2004-DINO-05) from the Chinese province of Jiangxi before sampling. Porosity measurements and calculations of water vapor conductance are based on these eggs. Pieces of eggshell from each of the four zones depicted in (B) were used in porosity measurements. (B) Egg model separated into four zones used for zonal porosity measurements. Credit: PeerJ (2017). DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3706 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Germany and the U.S. has found that a non-avian dinosaur living in what is now China laid colored eggs. In their paper published on the peer-reviewed site PeerJ, the team describes their study of the egg fossils and what their findings suggest about the evolution of colored eggs in modern birds. More information: Jasmina Wiemann et al. Dinosaur origin of egg color: oviraptors laid blue-green eggs, PeerJ (2017). DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3706AbstractProtoporphyrin (PP) and biliverdin (BV) give rise to the enormous diversity in avian egg coloration. Egg color serves several ecological purposes, including post-mating signaling and camouflage. Egg camouflage represents a major character of open-nesting birds which accomplish protection of their unhatched offspring against visually oriented predators by cryptic egg coloration. Cryptic coloration evolved to match the predominant shades of color found in the nesting environment. Such a selection pressure for the evolution of colored or cryptic eggs should be present in all open nesting birds and relatives. Many birds are open-nesting, but protect their eggs by continuous brooding, and thus exhibit no or minimal eggshell pigmentation. Their closest extant relatives, crocodiles, protect their eggs by burial and have unpigmented eggs. This phylogenetic pattern led to the assumption that colored eggs evolved within crown birds. The mosaic evolution of supposedly avian traits in non-avian theropod dinosaurs, however, such as the supposed evolution of partially open nesting behavior in oviraptorids, argues against this long-established theory. Using a double-checking liquid chromatography ESI-Q-TOF mass spectrometry routine, we traced the origin of colored eggs to their non-avian dinosaur ancestors by providing the first record of the avian eggshell pigments protoporphyrin and biliverdin in the eggshells of Late Cretaceous oviraptorid dinosaurs. The eggshell parataxon Macroolithus yaotunensis can be assigned to the oviraptor Heyuannia huangi based on exceptionally preserved, late developmental stage embryo remains. The analyzed eggshells are from three Late Cretaceous fluvial deposits ranging from eastern to southernmost China. Reevaluation of these taphonomic settings, and a consideration of patterns in the porosity of completely preserved eggs support an at least partially open nesting behavior for oviraptorosaurs. Such a nest arrangement corresponds with our reconstruction of blue-green eggs for oviraptors. According to the sexual signaling hypothesis, the reconstructed blue-green eggs support the origin of previously hypothesized avian paternal care in oviraptorid dinosaurs. Preserved dinosaur egg color not only pushes the current limits of the vertebrate molecular and associated soft tissue fossil record, but also provides a perspective on the potential application of this unexplored paleontological resource. Citation: Non-avian dinosaur found to have laid blue eggs (2017, September 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-09-non-avian-dinosaur-laid-blue-eggs.html Explore further Journal information: PeerJ © 2017 Phys.org Tracing the evolution of bird reproduction Many modern birds lay colored eggs—some are monochrome, like blue robin’s eggs; others are multi-colored like those of the dove. But until now, it was believed that all dinosaur eggs were white because dinosaurs laid their eggs in protected nests. In this new effort, the researchers have found an example of a dinosaur that laid blue or green eggs.The team reports that theirs was the first effort to seriously study color in dinosaur eggs. It came about after the team noted some Heyuannia huangi fossilized eggs that had a bluish tint—researchers had previously assumed the tint was due to mineralization, but the new team thought maybe there was more to it. Prior research had shown that Heyuannia huangi were dinosaurs with parrot-like beaks that walked on hind legs. The team used mass spectrometry and chromatographic separation to take a closer look at the eggs and detected traces of biliverdin and protoporphyrin, pigments commonly found in modern colored bird eggs. The eggs were also dated back to the Late Cretaceous period, which ran from 100 to 66 million years ago.The oviraptor Heyuannia huangi were also feathered dinosaurs—many of their fossils have been found over the years, but until now, no one suspected that they laid colored eggs. The coloring, the team suggests, is a strong indication that the eggs were laid in open nests—the coloring would have served as camouflage. In modern birds, only those that lay them in open nests are colored. Their finding also shows that egg coloring began before the evolution of modern birds—it started with non-avian dinosaurs and was passed down to modern ancestors.The researchers report that as a result of their find, they are taking a look at other fossilized dinosaur eggs to see if perhaps some of those also were colored.