Two dealerships – Murray Volvo in Edinburgh, which is part of the John Martin Group, and Alan Gibson Volvo in Basingstoke - have already undergone the transformation. Volvo Cars UK expect 22 sites to undergo complete refurbishment by the end of the year. The programme should be completed by 2008.
Nick Connor, network and ownership director at Volvo Cars UK, says: “Volvo Next Face is a modular system, providing dealers with options and flexibility.
Although dealerships share a common look and styling cues, they will not be carbon copies of each other.”
The current showroom design has been in place since 1997, and Connor says the sites that first adopted this look will be given priority.
He says the aim is to build on the ‘design language’ presented on Volvo stands at international motor shows to give a fresh, modern approach that emphasises Volvo’s Scandinavian heritage, style and brand values.
Connor says that due to the modular nature of VNF, the exact cost of each of the 139 Volvo showrooms in the UK’s network is difficult to assess.
“For newer showrooms, the outlay may just be for things like display stands, seating and carpets. But there is an option to upgrade to things such as wooden flooring,” he says.
Volvo is currently undertaking a new initiative to attract customers to its cars by holding a series of extended test drive days at country hotels.
Visitors may take any vehicle except the high-performance V70R for a 45-minute drive unaccompanied by a Volvo sales executive.
Those subsequently interesting in buying a vehicle are then referred to their local dealer. Volvo achieved its highest ever global sales in 2004, with 456,224 new cars sold. The UK is its third largest market.