The Swedish luxury automaker owned by China’s Geely is signaling a marketing shift from the traditional sales system as it announced it would begin the online sale of its vehicles – according to the carmaker’s new global marketing strategy.
The automaker strives to better compete with the world dominating force – the three German premium automakers (BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz) – and the company is ready to begin a gradual implementation of web sales. The e-commerce platform would also be supported by increased spending on digital advertising. “The plan is to have all our car lines in all our markets offered digitally, ” further commented Volvo sales chief Alain Visser. So far, traditional automakers have stayed clear of selling online their vehicles. There’s one notable exception – California-based electric automaker Tesla – which has from the start opted to skip the usual dealer approach. Its decision – to sell online the vehicles and own its sales venues has generated a deep conflict in the US with dealerships and even led to a total exclusion from some of the country’s states.
Visser said that although e-commerce could create anxiety among the company’s 2,000-storng network of dealers worldwide, the move towards online sales will not exempt customers from the traditional showroom visit, as all deliveries would still be made through the dealer network.