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.