Volvo Wants to Ditch Auto Shows for the Internet to Boost Sales

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Could this idea soon become a trend among other brands?

Perhaps the most typical way for any automaker to promote its latest production models and concepts is through live auto shows. At major auto events, carmakers often times spend millions on their fancy displays. But Volvo isn't in the position to splash the cash these days. At the same time though, it needs to increase sales. To achieve the best of both worlds, the Swedish carmaker, now controlled by China's Geely, is planning to shift focus from auto shows to online marketing. Needless to say, its dealers are kind of nervous about this.


The plan is to gradually introduce web sales and spend greater amounts on digital advertising. "The plan is to have all of our car lines in all our markets offered digitally," stated Volvo sales chief Alain Visser. This shouldn't be mistaken with Tesla's direct sales model, so Volvo dealers can relax. "We don't see a car distribution network without dealers in the foreseeable future," Visser assured. However, Volvo will withdraw from all but one motor show per year in each of three regions – Europe, North America and Asia. By contrast, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz go all-out a few times a year for motor shows. "We're a different brand with limited financial means," Visser continued. "We don't believe in building these big palaces."

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