GOTHENBURG, Sweden — On Dec. 15, Volvo Car Group announced a new global marketing strategy, the first leg of which will focus on selling vehicles online. The automaker said the digital push will complement its existing dealer network.
“Volvo Cars will start to sell online gradually across the globe,” the company said in a press release. “But rather than a replacement of our dealership network, online sales will complement our dealerships. Volvo Cars has worked closely with its dealer network in developing the tool in order to retain the personal touch that is so important in buying, delivering and servicing cars.”
The company took its first step toward online sales in September, when it sold 1,927 Special Editions Volvo XC90 cars exclusively online. Part of Volvo’s strategy involves the launch of a new website that will allow customers to select fully-specified cars and adjust them based on personal taste and budget rather than from scratch.
The automaker has also started to implement initiatives to upgrade existing dealerships in a similar way to “display the Scandinavian roots of the Volvo brand.” New dealerships will have a globally uniform layout.
In addition, all Volvo dealer staff will go through a training program on the automaker’s new customer service process. The process, called Volvo Personal Service, will provide every Volvo customer with a Personal Service Technician.
“At the delivery of his or her new car, the customer will be introduced to the Personal Service Technician who will take care of the customer and car throughout the ownership,” according to the release. “This programme obviously requires an extensive training and development programme, which is already underway. A number of countries have already adopted the Personal Service Technician concept as a pilot programme and customer satisfaction in these markets has increased significantly.”
The program is expected to be fully implemented in all Volvo dealerships by 2018.
In addition, the automaker plans to reduce its activities at motor shows — eventually only appearing at one motor show per region per year —and instead holding its own events.
“The car industry is one of the most conservative, least evolutionary marketing clusters in global business,” said Alain Visser, senior vice president Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Cars. “For decades, car marketing has been following a certain pattern which is followed by the entire car industry. Now, Volvo Cars chooses to defy that logic and implement a strategy that is geared towards its own needs."