VISTA is Volvo's technical awards program. "Volvo International Service Training Award". It's a competition run every two years, pitting technician and service advisor teams against one another for a chance to go to Sweden for a week.
I was lucky to win VISTA for the second time this year (I won last in 2012), so I spent an all-expenses paid trip to Gothenburg last month with about 200 other Volvo teams from around the world. The last couple years, they added a World Championship competition, with one team from each country competing. We were the "runner up" team from Canada, so we got an extra free day, rather than competing, which I was more than ok with.
Here's a bit of a mash-up of photos from my trip. (some are my own, others are official photos from the event)
Nice Polo GTI outside the hotel
Crash Centre (new S60 still under wraps)
City Tour & Liseberg
I won this 2kg Chocolate Bar, which assisted in my gaining of ~10lbs last month.
Hallered - High Speed test track, Polestar experience (driven on track by Formula 2 drivers), & private Saab Gripen* Airshow
We had to build our own go-karts and race them, with pointers from various pro racing drivers, including Formula 1 driver, Marcus Ericsson
We also were well fed and lubricated throughout the events
Lots of sight seeing, nature stuff, etc
The Volvo Ocean Race was also stopping in Gothenburg while we were there
On our free day, one of the guys from Connecticut and I took the train to Trollhatten to check out the Saab Museum
In the end, Canada placed 4th in the competition, that was won by Estonia this year.
VISTA is one hell of a unique program, especially for a "small" automaker. I've been very lucky to perform well enough to be involved, and hopefully I can keep it up and go back again in the future.