Swedish carmaker, Volvo, controlled by China's Geely, will gradually branch into web sales and spend more on digital advertising, as part of the changes it intends for its global marketing strategy.
"The plan is to have all our car lines in all our markets offered digitally," Volvo sales chief Alain Visser said on Monday. Putting to rest worries of blotting out dealerships, Mr Visser said, "We don't see a car distribution network without dealers in the foreseeable future. Vehicles sold online will still pass through the dealer network for delivery.”
Volvo raised its 2014 sales goal in August as it launched a revamped XC90 crossover, the first vehicle developed under Zhejiang Geely Holding Group ownership.
The new strategy – the “Volvo Way to Market” – focuses on four areas: marketing tools, digital leadership, dealerships and service. Part of it will be that Volvo, in future, will concentrate on three key international motor shows, one each in Europe, the US and Asia. In addition, it will conduct an annual Volvo event to showcase its products and brand. It will also place online sales and marketing at the centre of its marketing strategy and drastically upgrade its dealerships and service offering.
The company 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. All new dealerships will have a globally uniform lay-out and look and feel echoing a lot of Scandinavian features. Existing dealerships will be upgraded in a similar way.
Online shopping has taken over the world in a big way. Car shopping online has also interested a lot of customers and websites are being preferred over dealerships. So this move by Volvo Cars makes plenty of sense.