Fleet News

New rental operation complements service from larger players

NICHE markets play a key part in Volvo’s plans for the future, with the launch of a new rental operation.

The dealer-based rental programme was piloted at the end of 2002 and launched this year with 19 dealers in a bid to react to market demand.

Wallace said: ‘The rental market is big enough for everyone. We are not trying to compete with the national providers. This is intended to be complementary to their offerings.

‘It showcases Volvo test drives via a flexible and competitive offer and we can offer services such as one-way rental.

‘It is not quite the spot rental market, but more longer-term rental if customers have a mobility need, with average rental lengths of 18 days.’

The service, managed by Network Automotive Management, had a live fleet of about 300 at the start of the year and is expected to grow over the next few months.

Police fleets are also playing a major part in Volvo’s plans, marking its 11th year serving the sector.

In fact, Hampshire Constabulary operated the first Volvo police cars 41 years ago, with the 120 series Amazon estate.

Wallace said: ‘Every force has at least one Volvo, according to latest surveys, and the V70 T5 has a 60% share of the high-performance sector covering traffic and armed response vehicles.

‘In total, we have 450 sales to the blue-light sector each year.’

Developments for 2005 include expected growth in demand for the XC70, with its off-road capability, and the new S40 and V50, which have generated more than 30 police force orders.

It is also expecting orders from the ambulance sector for rapid-response vehicles that are more cost-effective than larger ambulances, but have a large amount of space.

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