Volvo Cars will only sell all electric cars online in the future, announcing a major shift in its retail model. Is this the beginning of the end for car dealerships as we know them? Is this an unforeseen side effect of the pandemic?
The Company aims to be a fully electric car company globally by 2030, joining Ford and Jaguar in this commitment. Focusing on the fastest-growing segment in the global car industry, the premium electric market, they will launch a completely new family of electric cars in the coming years. all of which will be available to ‘Subscribe’ or buy online only.
As part of its new commercial strategy, Volvo Cars will invest heavily in its online sales channels with the aim of reducing the complexity in its product offering. By providing transparent and set pricing models, Volvo Cars together with it’s retail partners, will focus on a complete convenient customer offering, all under the Care by Volvo name.
“The future of Volvo Cars is defined by three pillars: electric, online and growth,” says Lex Kerssemakers, Head of Global Commercial Operations at Volvo Cars. “We want to offer our customers peace of mind and a care-free way of having a Volvo, by taking away complexity while getting and driving the car. Simplification and convenience are key to everything we do.”
The strategy is focused on the fastest-growing segment in the global car industry, the premium electric market.
Retailers still key?
Volvo stated that retailers remain a crucial part of the customer experience. They will continue to be responsible for a variety of important services such as preparing, delivering and servicing cars. The question is how commercially viable this relationship will be for retailers?
“Online and off-line need to be fully and seamlessly integrated,” added Lex Kerssemakers. “Wherever the customer is in their journey – online, in a showroom, in a Volvo Studio, or driving the car – the customer experience needs to be top-notch.”
When buying or ‘Subscribing’ to an electric Volvo online, it will come with a convenient care package. This will include items such as servicing, warranty, roadside assistance, as well as insurance where available and home charging options. With Care by Volvo, you get a 30-day trial without any notice period. After that, when you want to change or cancel, you only need to give 3 months’ notice.
On its flagship online store, volvocars.com, the company will radically simplify the process. Thus reducing the number of steps involved in signing up for an electric Volvo. Customers will be able to choose from attractive pre-configured electric Volvos that are ready for simple and convenient ordering and quick delivery.
Further convenience and simplification comes through transparent and set pricing models. This eliminates the need for negotiations, increases transparency and builds trust.
Volvo’s vision is to be admired, making the customer experience simpler and straightforward. The question on how viable this is for retailers remains to be seen.