Volvo's next concept car - Your Concept Car ('YCC') - which will debut in 2004 is being undertaken by a team of female engineers, designers and project managers to accommodate the differing priorities, sizes and strength of both men and women, as well as to demonstrate the breadth and depth of female expertise in Volvo.

'YCC' has received the first 'Golden Spark Plug' award from the Women and Motoring section of the Swedish Automobile Association.

Volvo says it recognises that modern, independent men and women are key customers of the future, so as well as focusing on stylish design, performance and quality engineering, YCC also explores intelligent ergonomics and personalised, adaptable solutions for its interior and exterior.

"It's been said that if you meet women's expectations, you often exceed the expectations of men. That's why we're targeting our concept car to appeal to both genders," says Tatiana Butovitsch Temm, from Volvo's public affairs department.

Commenting on the Golden Spark Plug award, Maria Spetz, president of the Swedish Automobile Association added: "The car industry has dragged its heels over giving recognition to women as car buyers. With just over one million women owning cars in Sweden alone, this should be reflected in product development, so we feel Volvo is doing absolutely the right thing by showcasing women's competence and know-how in the development of the YCC project."