Volvo Entering Digital Sales, Limiting Show Appearances

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Volvo may not be ready to directly sell its models to the public in the same way Tesla does, but the automaker is ready for online orders.

Reuters reports Volvo will gently wade into Internet sales around the globe, and increase spending on digital advertising, though consumers will still need to visit their nearest dealer to complete the transaction for now, per sales boss Alain Visser. He adds that around 80 percent of the automaker’s base are already well-versed in online shopping, and believes the habit will transfer into cars soon enough.

Just as Volvo adjusts its backwards cap and velcro sneakers before rolling out onto the information superhighway upon its magic keyboard, however, the automaker will not be attending as many auto shows as it once did. Instead, it will hit a single show per year in Asia, Europe and North America — specifically, Shanghai/Beijing, Geneva and Detroit — preferring to produce its own annual global event for the latest and greatest.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

More by Cameron Aubernon

Join the conversation
7 of 29 comments
  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Dec 16, 2014

    It's never going to be a good idea for a consumer to purchase a brand new, ordered car that they have not seen, touched, or driven. Most people are too scared to purchased used on Ebay - I don't see them flocking to [the very unpopular] Volvo to buy something new. I'm a younger Internet-savvy person who's bought two cars on Ebay sight unseen, and I still wouldn't buy a Volvo this way.

  • Tekdemon Tekdemon on Dec 16, 2014

    Wow, such negativity here. I don't see why the car shows are needed, people can still go see the cars at an actual dealership and unlike big auto shows you can actually take a test drive at the dealership. You can't fully buy it online anyway so I don't see what the problem is with this-being able to get a set price online and confirm the configuration without some BS negotiation is a huge positive in my opinion. They could even give you a card with a url on it so you can finish your purchase online after test driving at the dealer and have the URL be a salespersons linked URL. I would actually greatly prefer this to the BS involved in buying a car currently. I've done the haggling and dealt with my fair share of wannabe mobsters (who often have real mob ties on the east coast because of the history of a lot of import dealers) and I think most people are all for a better method. Seriously though, why do most of these comments sound like they're written by 65 year olds here?! Maybe it's because I still try to keep up with the tech/Silicon Valley world with one of my businesses but the tech phobia here is insane. I've been to auto shows and frankly sitting in a car for two minutes isn't exacting something I'd buy a car based off of. If I'm interested I'll be doing an in depth look at the dealer anyways. Car shows really are starting to feel very antiquated these days. And if you aren't a heavy hitter like Toyota or Mercedes then launching your new car at an auto show is a dumb as hell idea. Your launch gets buried under news of 50 other launches and while the Camry might get real coverage somewhere your car ends up in a blurb on some list of cars from the show. Frankly it's a waste of effort. Launch it when other cars aren't launching and you might actually get better press coverage. Hollywood studios know better than to launch a movie alongside big budget blockbusters but apparently car companies still don't get it. Glad to see Volvo and Geely actually thinking smartly here with a limited budget. They need to put that money into R&D and platforms and manufacturing. Honestly if the V60 had less dead feeling steering and a slightly richer interior it'd probably sell like hotcakes. It's a good car but not standout and the price is just a smidge too high. Utilize Geely's supply chain and manufacring to chop $3000 off the price, add a little bit of wood and fake leather here and there, re-engineer the steering setup to provide actual real road feel and much less artificial heaviness and Volvo could easily sell double or triple what they're doing now.

  • Phatcow Phatcow on Dec 16, 2014

    Built to order v60 r design 6mt platinum package that I can order online, delivered in 3 months for 10 percent off msrp? Wait. How is this any different than Swedish delivery that they already have?

    • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Dec 16, 2014

      First, it doesn't involve travel to Europe. Second, 10%? Where did you get that? Third, you get overseas delivery by buying it at your local dealer. I actually have a great local dealer who sells Volvo and Merc. If he sold Audi or BMW I would likely be driving one of those.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Dec 17, 2014

    Volvo is dying, folks. They're just trying to save some money.

    • See 1 previous
    • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Dec 20, 2014

      @don1967 Not sure local car shows are dying, though it's not a shopping experience for me if I go. It was when I was younger. The thing about today's twenty something's is telling the jobless from wealthy anymore. Though I will admit a lot of them really don't seem as car focused as my friends were. I like my Volvo too, but missed a nice used one by days at the dealership. My new advice from Volvo is to get rid of some of their dealers. Perhaps with fewer dealerships, the remaining ones will hold more inventory.