Starting this week, Volvo aims to target smaller fleets with a raft of measures intended to make the brand a more attractive choice. A key part of the strategy will be free upgrade to SE trim, with a higher level of standard kit for the same price as an entry-level S.
John Wallace, Volvo UK’s corporate sales and leasing manager, said the upgrade offer was for “customers who do not have an end-user agreement with us”, and believes it will make choosing a Volvo better value.
He said Volvo was determined to woo more user-choosers with a major test drive programme aimed in particular at putting the S80 on the shopping list.
It will use a fleet of 50-plus S80s, out of a total demo fleet of some 180 cars, to target car drivers who would not normally consider a Volvo.
The intention was to ensure more people had the opportunity to experience what Volvo had to offer, said Mr Wallace. “It is a truism in the motor industry that you need to get bums on seats, and we need to do that for the brand to break through.
“With any Volvo, the more time you spend with it the more you get hooked on it, and if we are to ramp up sales we need to give people that opportunity.”
Mr Wallace acknowledged the strength of the competition in the S80 market sector, with rivals like the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
He added: “There is a certain type of customer for whom brand is everything, but we need to find more people who are willing to consider an alternative.
“Volvo’s offer has always been the best value premium brand, and we need to do more to get that message across.
“On the S80, our SE model includes leather and fantastic additional equipment that you pay more for with other brands.”
Another new measure is a free servicing plan covering five key models, including the S40 and V50, the two best-sellers in Volvo’s car range, as well as the C30, C70 and XC90. This was being brought in as a measure to manage wholelife costs, he said.