It has already signed up 19 dealers as business centres and is set to increase this to 22 by the end of the year.
Dealers running a business centre will provide a comprehensive service to the brand’s fleet customers, with each outlet employing a dedicated business sales manager and administrator.
Additional standards that need to be met by the centres include running a corporate demonstrator fleet to cover the Volvo range, running an approved marketing plan and meeting high standards on aftersales and delivery, such as provision of transporters for deliveries of more than 150 miles.
Business centres must also operate the Volvo Rental programme. Eighty per cent of its business is generated by the corporate sector.
In return for their investment, the participating dealers will receive a fixed quarterly support package from Volvo subject to meeting the standards required.
Volvo will also feed relevant corporate leads to the dedicated centres through its business to business marketing programme.
However, the business centres will be expected to maximize any sales opportunities and generate their own leads additionally.
Through its new network, which Volvo says has been developed with significant dealer consultation, the manufacturer expects to see a 10% growth on the 18,558 corporate sales made last year.
Selwyn Cooper, national corporate operations manager at Volvo, says: “Volvo has a field team specifically targeted at the corporate and leasing sectors. We ensure a close working partnership between this team and the business centres to maximize any sales opportunity.”
Training will be delivered through Volvo’s training centre in Daventry.
“In addition to the standard programmes in place, Volvo Car Finance is developing specific training in financial solutions for corporate customers,” adds Cooper.
“These will be delivered to Volvo Business Centres from Q2 onwards and will roll out to the rest of the Volvo dealer network later this year.”
The Swedish manufacturer developed the network to recognize the enhanced requirements of Volvo’s key business customers and prospects.
However, non-business centre dealers will also continue to be responsible for corporate sales.
Dealers currently involved are Arnold Clark Aberdeen, Fawcetts Garage Newubury, Hildenborough Volvo, Kastner Exeter, Lipscomb Cars Maidstone, Motorworld Oxford, SMW Belfast, Sturgess of Leicester, Pilling Motor Group Milton Keynes, Alan Gibson Basingstoke, Doves Volvo Gatwick, Harratts Wakefield, HR Owen Volvo Colindale, Kings Southampton, Mill Garages Wessington Sunderland, Cecil & Larter Bury St Edmunds, Squire Furneaux Leatherhead, Tollbar Warwick and Riverside Motors Hull and Doncaster.
The AM view
Volvo is the latest to create a focused corporate sales network, but it has been talking about raising its fleet penetration for several years. Fleets feel poorly served by dealers, so this move should improve satisfaction levels.