Volvo aims for top 10 business car ranking
30 January 2012
Volvo is aiming to break into the top 10 business car brands from its current position of 15 through a process that seeks to double its fleet sales by 2020.
The company said it broke through the 20,000 mark for fleet registrations last year, up 94 units from 2010, but new products and a focus on emissions reduction puts Volvo in a good position to meet its ambitious target, which starts with 17% growth in true fleet sales this year, according to national corporate operations manager Selwyn Cooper.
"Corporate sales in the UK need to double by 2020 and the majority will be to end-user customers," Cooper told BusinessCar. "We have a fairly limited rental and no plans to grow that - the growth will come from real end users.
"The growth will come from new products and increased desirability of our products on a whole-life costs basis as we see the benefit of what we're doing now.
A third of our research budget has been earmarked for CO2 reduction, which is an integral part of what the UK is all about."
A big boost in volumes will come this autumn with the launch of the V40, Volvo's first attempt to take on the Audi A3 and BMW 1-series.
The car will be revealed in the run-up to its public bow at March's Geneva motor show. "It's a great opportunity for us. When my guys are going out and looking at a tender it is a hole for us at the moment," admitted Cooper.
"Not only in that segment but in our ability to offer across all the segments for a company. We've seen moves by companies to reduce the number of manufacturers they offer - this will help strengthen our product portfolio for them. "
Volvo expanded its corporate team last year, with the investment in a firm called Magma, working with former Renault fleet boss Keith Hawes, to help with its approach to SME organisations, something Cooper said is now bearing fruit.
As well as that, the company has also appointed dedicated corporate marketing and total cost of ownership managers, and expanded the fleet team from four to six people.
"I do have the confidence that we have the things sitting behind in the way we approach the market to achieve these goals," Cooper concluded.