Volvo’s new four-cylinder D4 diesel engine, which was available to drive in a range of cars at CCIA, is fuelling orders for the brand this year.
While Volvo’s overall end user registrations are up 20% (below Volvo’s target of 22%) orders are up 70% compared to last year.
“The new D4 engines have been a massive part of our success,” said Selwyn Cooper, head of business sales at Volvo. “It has got businesses to reassess our brand.”
The new D4 engine will be available in the V40 in Q4 this year, offering 99g/km of CO2, 75-plus mpg, 0-60mph in seven seconds, zero road fund licence and Benefit in Kind of 15%.
Volvo’s order take is also up due to the launch of a 16-strong sales support team – the Volvo Car Business Centre - in May.
“Over half of the people the team have spoken to so far are new to the Volvo brand,” said Cooper. “That’s growing sales and order take.”
The support team have been through FSA training and are consumer credit licensed so they can do a “cradle to grave quotation for a customer”. However, their main role is simply to improve communication with business customers and to answer any queries they might have.
There has also been a change within the business sales team with Sarah Symcox moving across from Volvo’s special vehicle programme to manage Motability, affinity schemes, dealer daily rental programmes and VIP programmes.
Although Volvo has always operated those programmes, Symcox’s move gives Volvo “focused resources to get those programmes firmly established”, according to Cooper.
He believes that business confidence is growing this year, pointing out that business sales (SMMT figures) are up 10% while Volvo’s registrations are up 17%.
“The market is definitely helping us,” Cooper said. “We’ve got a growing market place, a lot of business confidence coming through. We’ve just ridden that wave a little bit faster.”