Aaron DiManna
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Volvo Sets its Sights On Online Sales

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A line of Volvo vehicles, all of which contributed to a year-over-year sales increase in July 2020
Photo: Volvo

It’s no secret that Volvo is leading the charge toward an all-electric future, first declaring that it would cover one full year of charging costs for new EV buyers, and most recently subverting the Trump administration’s environmental plans in favor of California’s more stringent standards. Now, it seems that the automaker has its eyes on a new frontier: online sales.

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A fundamental transformation

According to Volvo’s Global Newsroom, the automaker plans to acquire major retailer Bra Bil and Stockholm-based dealership Upplands Motor. If you — like me — are unfamiliar with the intricate details of the Swedish automotive market, this may not sound like a big deal. However, it signals a seismic shift in Volvo’s sales aspirations.

By bringing the two aforementioned companies under one umbrella, Volvo is poised to “pilot a technology-led transformation of its retail operations in its home market.” In common terms, the automaker plans to create a global marketplace where people can purchase cars as online as easily as they do in person.

An online revolution

Considering the current state of things, it makes sense that one of the world’s leading automakers is seeking a way to let consumers shop for and buy vehicles from the safety of their living rooms. It’s being characteristically bold, though, with the hope that 50 percent of its sales will be conducted online by 2025.

However, the push isn’t exclusively pandemic-driven. According to Volvo, it’s also about convenience. The official site states, “Volvo Cars believes customers want the same kind of modern, hassle-free retail experience when buying or servicing their car that they enjoy elsewhere. The traditional retail system has served customers well for decades but as the leading automotive brand in Sweden, Volvo now needs to transform to meet future consumer demands head on.”

While we’re not sure precisely when Volvo’s online ambitions will kick into full gear, you can comfortably assume that other automakers will follow suit in the coming years.

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