We’re getting ready for a fundamental change in how we do business and 2023 will be an important year for us. This year, our commercial transformation gathers pace as we evolve what we sell, how we sell and where we sell.
This transformation is crucial to our long-term ambitions and growth as a company. We will be fully electric by 2030, introduce new ways to access a Volvo car, roll out a seamless online and physical retail experience, and create a lot more direct relationships with our ever-growing consumer base around the world.
Europe, our largest sales region and furthest along in the move towards full electrification, is spearheading this transformation – already in 2022, online and direct sales represented 11 per cent of the total sales in our top five European markets.
In the United Kingdom the change is already well under way, with many direct sales channels already operational. Since 2019, it has been possible to order a Volvo car online in the UK. The subsequent launch of the Care by Volvo subscription service in September 2020 offered a new, flexible alternative to traditional car ownership. To date, more than 12,000 new cars have been sold by this direct channel.
In early 2022 we were the first manufacturer in the UK to launch an online direct sales platform for approved-used cars. We then provided a new solution for Fleet and Business consumers with a tool for SMEs to order and manage their company cars directly with us online.
In June this year we’ll be taking the next important step as the UK becomes our first 100 per cent direct market when we close the UK wholesale channel. It is important to note that we are not closing the Volvo Cars retailers. They continue to be an important part of a seamless online and physical consumer experience. Sweden will be the next market to switch to this model, while other markets in Europe will follow as they become ready.
Getting a new Volvo: you’re in the driver’s seat
In the UK, our new approach to getting a Volvo car is designed around flexibility for the consumer. You decide how you access a new Volvo model: through subscription, leasing, Personal Contract Purchase (PCP), Volvo Loan or outright purchase.
Regardless of whether you visit one of our retailer partners, walk into our urban studio, head to our website or use the Volvo Cars app, everyone should get the same outstanding and meaningful experience.
“Evolving consumer needs are the driving force behind this change. We want to provide the best possible experience for our consumers, whatever their buying preferences. The transformation is being undertaken in close collaboration with our retailer partners and we are confident it will deliver an industry-leading buying process,” says Kristian Elvefors, Volvo Car UK Managing Director. “It’s exciting to see the progress we’ve already made as we transition our business and continue the roll out of this new sales model. So far this year, 17% of our sales have been online and direct, and they continue to grow as we move towards the completion of this transformation.”
This simple and smooth buying process will be underpinned by our online store, volvocars.com. Transparent and national online pricing without haggling or hidden fees, as well as an easy-to-understand offer, makes ordering a new Volvo car a breeze.
Consumers can complete an order in a few simple steps and follow their car through every phase of the delivery process via the Volvo Cars app. Here, they also find all car-related services and functionalities in a user-friendly, seamless interface.
Apart from simplifying our offer and introducing more transparent pricing, we’re also investing in a centralised digital inventory system that will allow us to see all cars that are available across the country at any given time. That allows us to locate and deliver cars faster.
While online consumer relationships will play an increasingly important role, our physical retailers will always be a key component of our success. Not only will they deliver and service cars, they will remain responsible for a lot of everyday contact with consumers, such as providing test drives and assisting them through the new sales process.
“We are really looking forward to continuing our strong relationship with Volvo Car UK as we undergo this huge transformation,” says Chris Carr, Managing Director and owner of Volvo Cars Shrewsbury, who was among the first to sign the new partner agreement. “Volvo has shown willingness to listen to retailers throughout this journey and demonstrated openness. This collaboration leaves us, as retailers, in a really positive place to drive our businesses forward, while securing a fundamental role in the future of Volvo’s first direct sales market.”
Together with our retailer partners, we’ll also keep investing in advanced data analytics capabilities. By analysing how customers use our platforms, interact with our brand and use our products, we can understand them even better: what they want and how we can make their lives easier.
Volvo Cars in 2022
For the full year 2022, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of SEK 22.3 billion. Revenue in 2022 amounted to SEK 330.1 billion, while global sales reached 615,121 cars.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo Cars was founded in 1927. Today, it is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales to customers in more than 100 countries. Volvo Cars is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange, where it is traded under the ticker “VOLCAR B”.
Volvo Cars aims to provide customers with the Freedom to Move in a personal, sustainable and safe way. This is reflected in its ambition to become a fully electric car maker by 2030 and in its commitment to an ongoing reduction of its carbon footprint, with the ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.
As of December 2022, Volvo Cars employed approximately 43,200 full-time employees. Volvo Cars' head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars' production plants are located in Gothenburg, Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu, Daqing and Taizhou (China). The company also has R&D and design centres in Gothenburg, Camarillo (US) and Shanghai (China).