Volvo Cars UK boss Kristian Elvefors has told Car Dealer in an exclusive video interview that he is confident the brand’s new contactless delivery service will be safe for customers.
The Swedish firm – which prides itself on its safety reputation – has launched a home delivery service for customers who are looking to buy a new car.
Rolled out last week, the scheme has seen improvements made to the online car sales section of the Volvo UK website and retailers take on the cost of delivering directly to customers’ homes.
In the video interview – which you can watch in full above – Elvefors appears alongside Waylands Volvo CEO John O’Hanlon, and says the manufacturer has taken all precautions to offer the service safely.
He said: ‘We are taking all precautions when it comes to safe deliveries as that is super important. We have done that closely with retailers.
‘We are confident we can deliver safely. We are taking precautions with sanitising and covering the steering wheel etc.
‘We think we have done what is needed and that it will work.’
Not all Volvo retailers are on board with the scheme, though. Out of 100 dealers, so far only 50 per cent will offer home deliveries as part of the scheme.
A large number of dealer groups are holding off restarting in a home delivery or click-and-collect manner, instead waiting for the government to ease restrictions further, which could come as soon as next week.
The Volvo scheme sees the retailer pick up the additional cost of offering the home delivery, but O’Hanlon believes that’s a price worth paying.
He said: ‘The additional cost is not what I am worried about at the moment. If I can deliver a car, and do it in the right way, I am grateful to the customer for taking it. It’s a cost to me and one we would take.
‘Volvo has given us the ability and tools. No way are we being forced or cajoled into this – it’s there if you want it on a voluntary basis. Kristian has been clear it is purely voluntary all the way through.’
Number of sales Waylands made in April
He explained that Waylands had 120 new car enquiries in April and managed to convert 49 into sales – a far higher conversion rate for Waylands than normal.
O’Hanlon added: ‘We have been answering the phone and taking enquiries on a remote basis – so what this means is we can now deliver to the customers who want them delivered.
‘If we do this in a safe, hygienic, social distanced way we should be able to deliver to customers. This gives us another tool that will allow that to happen.’
The online sales section of the Volvo UK website was launched a year ago, explained Elvefors, but he admitted that the brand had ‘paid it little attention’. However, that all changed when the lockdown began.
He said: ‘We started to prepare it directly after lockdown – it was a solution for us and retailers.’
Customers can carry out large parts of the sales process online and then select a dealer to pick it up from. Volvo’s retailers are given full access to the system so they can interact with the customer.
O’Hanlon added: ‘I was involved with a few other retailers 18 months ago and we went through a lot to make the system the best it could be and as slick for the customer.
‘One of the strengths is that this isn’t a brand selling direct to the customer – Volvo has always been sure about the fact it was still a retailer sale and their responsibility.’
The Waylands boss is now looking at the systems and procedures he needs to put in place for when dealers are allowed back to work.
Like many across the country he is working on a plan to ensure health and safety measures are put in place and visible to customers.
He added: ‘I have spent a lot of time looking at processes and equipment we need and how we set up the showroom.
‘There will be a new normal going forward not for weeks, but for months. It’s about getting this done in a controlled, scrupulous fashion so that customers know what to expect when they arrive.
‘That’s fantastic hygiene, fantastic safety and fantastic social distancing. People who haven’t taken that seriously will come a cropper.’
Watch the full video interview below.
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