But, if Volvo is to increase sales it must also improve its relationships with customers by increasing investment and competence inside Volvo and through its dealer network, according to Dieter Laxy, senior vice-president, marketing and business development. Last year, Volvo sold almost 40,000 cars in the UK and this year plans to sell 42,000-43,000 units. A Volvo spokesman said: 'We want to consolidate on our sales performance but we also want to encourage people, particularly in the fleet market to reappraise estate cars.'
Volvo has a long estate car tradition, but sales in the sector fell last year and the spokesman said: 'People have gone from a saloon into an MPV or a 4x4 and we want to encourage them back into estate cars. People have moved into an MPV or a 4x4 because they see those vehicles as being both a family car and a business tool, but we are saying that an estate car can do just the same job and is often more appropriate for their needs.'
More than half of Volvo UK sales are S and V40 models and this year the company expects to sell around 13,000 V70 models in Britain. In a bid to win new business, Laxy said Volvo must improve communications with its dealer network and customers - including utilisation of the internet - and spread and expand the company's core values of quality and safety as well as its environmental strengths.