ELEVATE realizes that each individual takes a unique approach to personalizing their Volvo.
For some, a Volvo that goes faster, stops harder, and corners better than most sports cars while not attracting too much attention is their definition of a perfect Volvo. Others may prefer to flaunt the unique styling aspects of an ELEVATE equipped Volvo with our body kit components, aggressive wheel fitments, and unique interior compliments. And a few want it all — to both ELEVATE Performance and ELEVATE Style of their Volvo.
It is our mission to glorify God by creating the world’s leading line of Volvo styling and performance products, unparalleled in quality, performance, and service, for Volvo owners and our distribution partners worldwide.
About the Founder
Grand-nephew and namesake of National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racing legend “Dyno Don” Nicholson, this Nicholson is no stranger to performance. Don Nicholson spent his youth immersed in the horsepower culture of performance motorsports while studying every aspect of automotive parts, systems, theories, and application thereof. Seasons of his life included competitive autocrossing and shifter kart racing while building and modifying his and others cars over the years. Hands-on experience ranging from muscle cars to European imports to exotics to Concour show cars, Nicholson got his hands dirty whenever he could and continues to do so. A ten year career at Meguiar’s (www.meguiars.com) car care products gave Nicholson the business skills to complement his automotive knowledge. A leader is only as good as those around him, and Nicholson is the first to acknowledge that he has been blessed with an awesome family and some amazing friends and mentors who have each played a role in ELEVATE’s success over the years.
Likely the most frequently asked question of Nicholson is, “Why Volvo?” Days before having his first child, Nicholson bought a 740 Volvo turbo wagon, needing something roomy and safe to get the family around town. Not able to leave any vehicle he owns alone and being new to the Volvo world, Nicholson dug into learning all he could about Volvos past and present. This was soon after the Volvo S60 had hit the market — representing a vehicle that was very much targeted toward Nicholson’s personal demographic and very much piquing his interest. Having studied car magazines and car parts catalogs since he could read, Nicholson started investigating if and how the automotive aftermarket was responding to the newest Volvo offerings. The aftermarket wasn’t responding. Recognizing an opportunity in the making, Nicholson put together a business plan and gained audience with Vic Doolan, president of Volvo Cars, North America at the time and his staff. Doolan, who has significant history leading BMW of North America for years and literally pushing BMW Germany to come to market with the “M” program, recognized the need for an aftermarket company to help bring excitement to the Volvo brand. As such, Doolan commissioned Nicholson and his team to build two Volvo S60R’s for the 2003 SEMA Show (www.semashow.com) under the EVOLVE brand name. These two show cars gained considerable media exposure due to their styling, power, and uniqueness to the market. Mission accomplished in creating excitement around a Volvo vehicle, and a brand is established with products developed and in the manufacturing pipeline.
The Company Forms
Capitalizing on the success and media exposure of the two S60R’s, the next step was to bring the products to market for Volvo owners to enjoy the same quality aftermarket “tuning” enhancements and modifications that other import owners currently enjoy. Nicholson and a handful of other like minded enthusiasts, each with their own skill set, founded ELEVATE – the first U.S.-based design and manufacturing company dedicated to maximizing the untapped potential of late-model Volvos. Their goal was to create performance-enhanced machines that imprint an individual design statement without compromising the respected Volvo heritage. The team’s vision is to create individualized Volvos that will appeal to a variety of buyers – from the young adult who wants a sport suspension coupled with an aggressive wheel/tire combination, horsepower enhancements and race-inspired looks, to the executive looking for a personalized, distinctive change from his neighbors’ import rides.
Many import car buyers opt for BMW, Audi, Mercedes or Volkswagen rather than Volvo because they’re aware of the range of styling and performance options already available in the marketplace for these makes. ELEVATE provides those same performance and styling enhancements for Volvo customers and allow them to transform their vehicles into high-performance machines that can outperform all but the purest-bred sports cars.
From 2003 to 2018, ELEVATE was strategically headquartered in Duarte, California, USA, about twenty miles from downtown Los Angeles. Southern California is the birthplace of the automotive aftermarket and remains a significant location with most major automakers (including Volvo) maintaining design studios locally. We are now headquartered near Phoenix, Arizona, where the growing car culture rivals that of SoCal. Over 93% of our products are proudly sourced in the USA.