Volvo has ambitious plans to grow its fleet business by 60-70% by 2020.
Selwyn Cooper, Volvo UK's national sales manager, believes that product, along with engine developments, will help Volvo to achieve this. In 2010 it achieved just short of 20,000 company car registrations, a 20% rise on 2009.
“Product on its own won’t do it for us but it is certainly the bedrock for the growth we are looking to achieve,” he said.
“If you can tick the CO2 box and deliver a stylish car and make it affordable with plenty of power that’s a winning combination. I think with the D5 engine that’s something we’ve got. 215hp is an increase over last year’s model and on the S60, which is our latest saloon, emissions go as low as 124g/km. And it can deliver 60mpg.”
Cooper said that Volvo also wants to “attack the market a bit more aggressively” and is particularly targeting SMEs, which it classifies as fleets of 5-100 cars.
“We have a team of six business development managers that can go out and talk to that target audience in conjunction with our dealers,” Cooper said.
The carmaker is putting its corporate sales team and business centre dealers through taxation training with fleet consultancy firm Business Car Finance Wessex.
“Our goal is for any customer that goes into any of our dealerships to receive proper and sound advice around the right car to buy and the impact of that car on the funding decision, on personal tax, on company tax, national insurance and writing down allowances,” Cooper said.
Volvo is also offering value added services such as driver training through its partnership with Ultimate Car Control, which came about last year.
The one day course, using Volvo vehicles, is a combination of classroom and driving experiences. Although the focus is on equipping company car drivers to be safer the course also looks at ways drivers can mitigate the cost of repairs.
Volvo is also doing a number of ride and drive events with leasing companies.
“A lot of people say that you’ve got to drive a Volvo to really appreciate it,” Cooper said. “We want to banish any negative perceptions about what the car is all about.”