Volvo plans to create 12 ‘super-sites’ for the UK at a cost of more than £30m over the next four to five years.
Costing £2m-£3m each, they will be in locations such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.
Kevin Meeks, Volvo UK’s network and business development director, told AM that he wanted more stand-out dealers to handle higher volumes.
The average annual new car sales for Volvo dealers is 270 units, but he wants the super-sites to achieve 500 units per year or more, plus the same again in used cars.
“The super-sites will involve very large sums of money and we want to make it easier for private and public dealer concerns plus family operators to get up and running in major metropolitan areas” he said.
“We will take the initial financial start-up cost worries away from them by way of head-up lease assistance.”
Meeks insisted that Volvo would not reduce its present network of 109 dealers and 15 authorised repairers to get more throughput from each dealership.
Support for urban start-ups
Buyer accessibility to the network, customer loyalty and staff retention are all strengths which must not be jeopardised in any drive for sales growth.
Volvo’s registrations are on course to reach 40,000 units this year, potentially taking the UK past Germany into third place for the brand’s global sales, behind Sweden and the USA.
He added: “We have fantastic customer retention and excellent locations just now but, to continue to improve returns for our outlets, we need to continue to sell more volume, provided it is real and realistic business.
“Our priority is to build on what we have already got but there are those who would find it hard to start from scratch in really big urban areas and we aim to help them – especially in high commuter areas,’ he added.
Motor industry experts reckon Volvo can hit 60,000 new cars a year in the UK within the next half decade.
Volvo hopes new models like the well-equipped C30 hatchback will fuel its sales surge and Meeks says the current C30 TV campaign is crucial to attracting customers into showrooms.