Revising its line-up, which will include an estate car in the S80 class, and providing services to all sizes of fleets, are moves expected to boost fleet sales from a current level of 15,500, nearly 50% of total UK sales, to more than 20,000 in four years' time. It shows just how vital fleet business is to Volvo, which has seen its corporate sales double in the last six years.
The manufacturer has been concentrating on emphasising to fleet that front-end discounting and screen price is not the sole basis on choosing a fleet car. Sales have been pushed up steadily with the success of the S and V70 and the S and V40, a tradition Volvo is expecting the new S80 to continue. Hand-in hand with Volvo's growing sales goes its commitment to the environment, according to Alistair Murray, corporate sales manager for Volvo.
In bidding for fleet and private business, the company is trying to make sure that an alternative fuel option is always available alongside petrol and diesel. Latest in the line-up is the new S80 bi-fuel, built specifically for use with liquefied petroleum gas or compressed natural gas. Fuel tanks are housed in the chassis of the vehicle, so no boot space is lost. It is a move which Volvo believes will spark a trend of similar designs from rival manufacturers as they respond to demands from the alternative fuel market.