Volvo has opened a new £6 million training and development centre in Daventry to help support its ambitions to become a leading premium brand competitor in the UK.
The new centre replaces the 35-year-old original site and Kevin Meeks, Volvo Car UK head of customer relations and quality, said that if the brand expects dealers to upgrade to the latest Volvo Retail Experience corporate identity standards (VRE), then the company needed lead the way with its own facilities.
Jon Wakefield, Volvo Car UK managing director, added: “The new training facility represents a significant commitment to both our operations in Daventry and our retailer network throughout the country.
“The site is a fitting accompaniment to Volvo’s transformation into a true premium car brand that is a technological leader, as well as the big improvements we are introducing to the customer experience.”
The training centre will facilitate the rollout of VRE throughout the dealer network, as well as a recruitment drive to attract 300 new technicians to the business before 2020. It will also provide training for the brand’s retailers, head office staff and supplier partners across the UK.
The increased recruitment into Volvo’s dealership aftersales teams will see, on average, eight technicians per site by 2020, with fast-track development opportunities available through innovative web-based training and one-to-one assessments.
The new site has multiple classroom spaces, a 16-bay vehicle workshop, webinar facilities and a video studio to support Volvo’s training programmes on and off-site.
Volvo is part way through transitioning its 102-strong dealer network to the new VRE style of showroom.
This includes introducing the Volvo Personal Service aftersales initiative that makes technicians customer facing.