Volvo revamps global marketing strategy to include online sales

Article by Andrew Christian, on December 16, 2014

Volvo Cars will soon employ online selling as part of its overhaul of its global marketing strategy. Volvo sales chief Alain Visser told Reuters an interview that the carmaker is planning to sell all its product lines in all market directly online, a move usually not taken by carmakers as it bypasses the traditional middlemen – dealers.

While the plan sounds like the path taken by Tesla, Volvo actually has no plans to bypass its dealers. Visser remarked in the interview that dealers initially get nervous at the “e-commerce” word. He, however assured its 2,000 dealers around the world – half of which are in Europe – that vehicles sold online "will still pass through the dealer network" for delivery.

"We don't see a car distribution network without dealers in the foreseeable future," Visser said. To make its future offerings more compelling especially to Chinese customers, Volvo is making them more glitzy while donning more techs – without sacrificing key attributes like safety and uncluttered Scandinavian design.

As part of the marketing overhaul, Volvo will not present at all but one motor show annually in each of three regions - Europe, North America and Asia. In lieu, the carmaker will have its own global event.

Visser said that Volvo would not venture into city-center boutique dealerships that are being employed by German luxury carmakers BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

"We don't believe in building these big palaces," noting that around 80 percent of Volvo customers already shop online for other goods. He added that research suggests many customers will also shop online for cars in the future. [source: Reuters.com]

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