Volvo recently announced plans to go “fully electric” with sales moving entirely online by 2030. Many Volvo car dealers are concerned about how this change will affect their business. Today on CBT News, we welcomed Ernie Norcross to the show. Norcross is the Owner and General Manager of Volvo Cars Memphis and serves as Chairman of the Volvo Retail Advisory Board.
Norcross begins the conversation by providing a background on the decision made by Volvo. The global message has to be relayed to the Americas, and Norcross says this is where the confusion began. The company has worked diligently to communicate with its car dealers on the role they will play in the integration of electric vehicles. The main message Volvo is sending to its car dealers is the confirmation of a partnership to sell EVs.
Volvo has made it a priority to help retailers see that car dealers will still have control of the consumer journey despite online transactions. The digital footprint exists to enhance the consumer experience, with the dealer having a role in all areas of the process. Norcross also reminds viewers that franchise laws in U.S. states protect car dealers from being bypassed by vehicle manufacturers.
Norcross says that he is satisfied with the company’s decision to move in this direction. Volvo has seen tremendous growth over the past three years. The automaker looks to carry that momentum into its EV development and rollout.
Norcross believes that Volvo customers will easily make the transition from gas-powered vehicles to BEVs. Consumers are mostly hesitant because electrification is still a new mode of transportation. Consumers must be educated about new vehicle technologies and how EVs fit into their lifestyles.
Norcross concludes the conversation by giving a business update on his car dealership. Volvo Cars Memphis experienced record-breaking profits in 2020. Norcross was strongly influenced by his son to make the transition online during the pandemic to meet customers demands.
“One thing we have to do is meet the customers where they are in the journey,” said Norcross. “That’s our goal as an industry. We, as dealers, adapt and digital was part of that. As we move forward we need to meet the customer where they’re at.
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