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Volvo Cars trials ‘personal technicians’

Volvo Cars UK is currently trialling a concept of personal technicians, with aspirations for it to roll out across its dealer network next year.

With an aim to improve customer service, buyers will be assigned a technician upon purchase who will be there throughout ownership; taking on all servicing, parts and general maintenance required on the vehicle.

A Volvo spokesman said: “The appointment of a designated technician is to improve customer service and ownership experience, with a view to increase sales from that personal experience.

“So far, the response from dealers has been very positive as they too see it as an improved customer service direction.”

AM understands that, as part of the Volvo Retail Experience (VRE) and its plans to improve the overall buying experience, two technicians will be carrying out the work on each vehicle to improve the speed in delivery of work.

The Scandinavian brand has also confirmed that it will also be rolling out sales of its full model range online, following the success of its XC90 trial.

The First Edition of the Volvo XC90 was a limited edition, which was available to purchase earlier this year online; the available total of 1927 (to celebrate the year Volvo was founded) sold out in less than two days. Volvo now has an order bank of approximately 1200 in the UK so far, on top of that.

“This new way of buying is giving our customers the option to buy online to boost our sales figures as a whole,” said the Volvo spokesman. All dealerships will receive a complete make-over, as revealed by AM here in October, and will incorporate some of the Brand’s Scandinavian culture, with regional food and drink available to its customers.

Industry experts IHS Automotive questions the tangibility of selling through internet channels saying that many customers are unlikely to want to buy a vehicle without seeing it in the flesh first. It expects Volvo's global sales to grow by around 4.5% year on year during 2014 and anticipate growth to continue into the second half of the decade, as more models built on the XC90's new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) come to market.

Spokesperson for IHS Automotive said: "We do not anticipate that Volvo will reach the targets that it had hoped for the end of the decade, and we currently see it reaching a peak during 2019 of 630,000 units, with the main gains coming from China as demand in North America significantly lags behind where it once was."

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  • ICEAGE - 16/12/2014 15:25

    Interesting concept why doesn't the customer just go to an independent and get this treatment anyway.... Oh yes silly me they do :-)

  • Rich Bennet - 16/12/2014 15:54

    Great, but what happens if he leaves or is on holiday. Then you have the added problem of workshops do not enough techs for each customer so if yours is good, then there will be wait to get your car looked by the chosen one

  • CGH - 16/12/2014 17:09

    It's not enough to have to arrange collection and delivery and courtesy cars but, now dealers will also need to factor in the availability of a particular technician. Did this idea come from a manufacturer by any chance?

    • JDP - 17/12/2014 06:38

      @CGH - Maybe it came from the customers? Now there's a thought! As usual, the last people on our minds when it comes to change?!

    • CGH - 17/12/2014 18:27

      @JDP - Oh, I doubt that very much. This one smacks of the manufacturer. 99% of customers just want their car back, on time, work completed as promised, at a sensible price. Now, if you're saying we don't always do that, I would agree. But, this idea is likely to hinder, not assist.