Volvo is revamping the business car market approach of its dealer network, adding new business centres backed up by investment in extra head-office resource in a drive for 20% growth in core fleet business during 2014. 

“The growth predicted this year will be about growth in the core end-user business segment, and in particular I see opportunities around small business users,” Volvo’s head of business sales Selwyn Cooper told BusinessCar.

“The absolute focus for us will be about resourcing ourselves for growth this year based on opportunities we see through an increasingly relevant portfolio of business-relevant products.”

At present, Volvo has a network of 16 business centres, 10 of which were described by Cooper as “mega-business centres” dealing direct with leasing companies on a national basis.

The rest operate in the more traditional sense, sourcing more local fleet business, and that’s the area Volvo is looking to target. 

“In the second quarter of this year we’ll expand that business centre network, specialising in more medium-sized business centres characterised by a focus on local and regional operations,” said Cooper, targeting a total of 25-30 dealers across the country, although every dealer will be expected to handle any questions around fleet sales.

“We’ll work hard and support them to be professional in business sales; they won’t be a business centre and won’t have a dedicated business sales person, but will be able to explain all the implications of a decision on personal and business taxation and funding options,” he declared.

“Our dealers are seeing the stats that show the increasing importance of business sales to the Volvo brand, and if they are not active in selling to the business community then they sub-optimise their performance.”

Also in the second quarter of this year, Volvo will establish a support centre, designed to support the field team, existing customers and new prospects. An extra 10 people, Cooper describes it as a “major investment”. 

“What we have been missing is the back-up. We know other premium brands have these back-ups and systems for customers,” he explained.

“We needed one and now we have got one.”

A revamp of the fleet team has also seen the new role of strategic partnership manager established.

Sarah Symcox, formerly in charge of Volvo’s special vehicle programme, will look after the rental, mobility and affinity schemes Volvo is involved with, freeing up the fleet sales team to work more with leasing companies. 

Symcox’s special vehicles role has been filled permanently by Ian Reger, who had been covering her maternity leave prior to the return in the new role.