Volvo is developing a fleet-focused aftersales initiative as it looks to retain more service and repair business within its franchised dealer network.
The programme, expected to launch in April, could include national or regional pricing and guaranteed parts availability.
Kevin Meeks, Volvo network and business development director, told Fleet News: “Servicing is where the pressure points will be in the coming years.”
Volvo retains around 80% of servicing for cars up to three years old. However, it recognises that some fleet business is already drifting away into the independents.
Price is the primary reason, although Meeks contests the perception that independents are cheaper than franchised dealers.
“Independents are no cheaper than dealers on a like-for-like basis,” he said. “But there is a requirement on us to make sure we can genuinely say that our dealers give better service at no higher price than independents.
“We will try to learn from the experience of companies like Audi – we are analysing national pricing terms to see if it works from a fleet manager’s perspective.
“If we can keep them for the first three years, we have a chance to keep them for the extended part of the contract as well.”
Meanwhile, Volvo is looking to reduce its presence in Motability as it looks to exploit interest from end user fleets and leasing companies in its growing range of DrivE model variants.
DrivE already accounts for 44% of sales for C30, S40 and V50. This year, Volvo will launch DrivE versions of S60, V60, S80 and V70. Each is expected to emit less than 120g/km CO2.
However, it does not intend to widen the DrivE option to other engines. All DrivE models feature the 1.6-litre diesel, apart from CX60 and XC70 which have a 2.0-litre engine.
“DrivE will only be the most efficient car in the range,” said James Shires, Volvo national corporate sales operations manager.
Volvo has also ruled out, for now, extending some of the efficiency technology, such as revised gearing ratios and stop/start technology, to non-DrivE branded models.
Motability share, currently running close to Volvo’s total market share of 1.84%, will fall this year. Daily rental will remain at low volumes.
Volvo’s business development team has been tasked with increasing business with fleets of 100-300 vehicles by making joint visits to prospects with dealers. The company is also looking to put more fleet deals through its own leasing operation.
“The plan for this year isn’t significant growth but we are being challenged to more the business forward,” said Shires.
“They key challenge will be getting the S60 and V60 onto company car lists and ensuring that drivers understand the cars once they are on their choice list.”