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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Does anyone know what Volvos plans are to upgrade their dealerships. I went into one dealer in NJ a couple weeks back and it literally looked like it was out of the 70s. There were 2 salesmen in there, one was reading a newspaper and the other was playing on his computer. There was a desk for a receptionist, but there was no one there. I walked in and started looking at an XC90 and neither of them even approached me to tell me about the vehicle...and I was the only person in there at the time.

I walked back to the service area and there were 2 benches with tearing vinyl, and a coffee vending machine. There was a sign on the glass window where the service writer normally sits and there was a handwritten note that said "be back in 15 minutes". Then I walked back out to the showroom area, again the two salesmen did not even look up or acknowledge me so I walked out and left. I did drive up in a reasonably nice car, and was dressed respectfully so it was not that I looked like I could not afford the vehicle.

Audi was in the same spot in the 80s...with dwindling sales and a poor dealership network. They stepped up with investments in product and improving dealerships and have been very successful since.

I wasn't going to post it, but this place left such a bad impression in my mind about the brand. I am a car guy so I generally overlook this kind of thing, and buy the best car out there for my needs...but there are many people out there that would simply forget about the car if they saw this place. I think it should be job #1 for Volvo to fix this sort of thing.

The worst part is that someone from Volvo corporate office has almost definitely been in this place...it is a 30 minute or so drive from their corporate office. I can not for the life of me believe that they would let this kind of operation continue.
 

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Does anyone know what Volvos plans are to upgrade their dealerships. I went into one dealer in NJ a couple weeks back and it literally looked like it was out of the 70s. There were 2 salesmen in there, one was reading a newspaper and the other was playing on his computer. There was a desk for a receptionist, but there was no one there. I walked in and started looking at an XC90 and neither of them even approached me to tell me about the vehicle...and I was the only person in there at the time.

I walked back to the service area and there were 2 benches with tearing vinyl, and a coffee vending machine. There was a sign on the glass window where the service writer normally sits and there was a handwritten note that said "be back in 15 minutes". Then I walked back out to the showroom area, again the two salesmen did not even look up or acknowledge me so I walked out and left. I did drive up in a reasonably nice car, and was dressed respectfully so it was not that I looked like I could not afford the vehicle.

Audi was in the same spot in the 80s...with dwindling sales and a poor dealership network. They stepped up with investments in product and improving dealerships and have been very successful since.

I wasn't going to post it, but this place left such a bad impression in my mind about the brand. I am a car guy so I generally overlook this kind of thing, and buy the best car out there for my needs...but there are many people out there that would simply forget about the car if they saw this place. I think it should be job #1 for Volvo to fix this sort of thing.

The worst part is that someone from Volvo corporate office has almost definitely been in this place...it is a 30 minute or so drive from their corporate office. I can not for the life of me believe that they would let this kind of operation continue.
http://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...s-For-U-S-Sales-Boost-With-Showroom-Makeovers
 

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Does anyone know what Volvos plans are to upgrade their dealerships. I went into one dealer in NJ a couple weeks back and it literally looked like it was out of the 70s. There were 2 salesmen in there, one was reading a newspaper and the other was playing on his computer. There was a desk for a receptionist, but there was no one there. I walked in and started looking at an XC90 and neither of them even approached me to tell me about the vehicle...and I was the only person in there at the time.

I walked back to the service area and there were 2 benches with tearing vinyl, and a coffee vending machine. There was a sign on the glass window where the service writer normally sits and there was a handwritten note that said "be back in 15 minutes". Then I walked back out to the showroom area, again the two salesmen did not even look up or acknowledge me so I walked out and left. I did drive up in a reasonably nice car, and was dressed respectfully so it was not that I looked like I could not afford the vehicle.

Audi was in the same spot in the 80s...with dwindling sales and a poor dealership network. They stepped up with investments in product and improving dealerships and have been very successful since.

I wasn't going to post it, but this place left such a bad impression in my mind about the brand. I am a car guy so I generally overlook this kind of thing, and buy the best car out there for my needs...but there are many people out there that would simply forget about the car if they saw this place. I think it should be job #1 for Volvo to fix this sort of thing.

The worst part is that someone from Volvo corporate office has almost definitely been in this place...it is a 30 minute or so drive from their corporate office. I can not for the life of me believe that they would let this kind of operation continue.
Maybe this is part of the reason why Volvo is still less expensive than its competitors?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
LOL at that article...I think the guy that "wants to see more proof" before improving his dealership is the one I was in. The facilities and and customer service I witnessed at this place would make them unfit to sell any vehicle, much less SUVs that cost anywhere from $55k - $90K plus!

You can make up somewhat for poor facilities with excellent and attentive customer service...this place didn't even try to do that.
 

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Does anyone know what Volvos plans are to upgrade their dealerships. I went into one dealer in NJ a couple weeks back and it literally looked like it was out of the 70s. There were 2 salesmen in there, one was reading a newspaper and the other was playing on his computer. There was a desk for a receptionist, but there was no one there. I walked in and started looking at an XC90 and neither of them even approached me to tell me about the vehicle...and I was the only person in there at the time.

I walked back to the service area and there were 2 benches with tearing vinyl, and a coffee vending machine. There was a sign on the glass window where the service writer normally sits and there was a handwritten note that said "be back in 15 minutes". Then I walked back out to the showroom area, again the two salesmen did not even look up or acknowledge me so I walked out and left. I did drive up in a reasonably nice car, and was dressed respectfully so it was not that I looked like I could not afford the vehicle.

Audi was in the same spot in the 80s...with dwindling sales and a poor dealership network. They stepped up with investments in product and improving dealerships and have been very successful since.

I wasn't going to post it, but this place left such a bad impression in my mind about the brand. I am a car guy so I generally overlook this kind of thing, and buy the best car out there for my needs...but there are many people out there that would simply forget about the car if they saw this place. I think it should be job #1 for Volvo to fix this sort of thing.

The worst part is that someone from Volvo corporate office has almost definitely been in this place...it is a 30 minute or so drive from their corporate office. I can not for the life of me believe that they would let this kind of operation continue.
I agree and there is a big effort undergoing right now (that started about 1.5 years or so, ago) in revitalizing the existing Volvo stores; newly appointed Volvo points are expected to either renovate or build a new facility according to the new standards set forth by Volvo Car USA, LLC and Volvo Car Group
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.442886345797099.1073741826.121632731255797&type=3

http://www.senab.com/en-gb/references/concept/volvo-cars

This is not going to be done in 1, 2 or even 3 years; I am certain that, by 2018, the overwhelming majority of Volvo's retailers in the U.S. will look like that.
 

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I live in an town with about 300k people our Dealership is small but the same family also owns the Jag, Mitsubishi, and land rover dealerships all out of the same building. It's divided so the Land Rovers don't have to share space with the evo's LOL. The Volvo area, I think has been kept up so as to not make the rest of the area look bad. You can tell not allot of foot traffic, It's clean has a small bench or 2 for the service area, coffee maker.. really nothing special, compared to the Toyota next door that has a small cafeteria so you can have a sandwich while waiting.

I think the XC90 will do what the 02-03 Altima did for Nissan ( great car back in the day) and breathed new life and customers back into the brand and signaled a new way of thinking. keeping in mind the xc90 is the flagship but once the design language filters down to the bread and butter models you'll see some Volvo dealers start changing.
 

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Somehow Keystone missed that mark a bit!
 

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Wow! Sorry to hear that. We have two dealerships within 30 minutes of each other and both are outstanding. One really promotes their "Our Volvo family is your Family" approach and I understand they move as many units per capita as any dealer in the country. They are also the only Polestar seller in our two neighboring states (not moving many of those yet).
The other is part of a large group and is smaller but also pushes the "we will take care of you after you buy" philosophy. That dealer is a little more aggressive on pricing.
I shopped nearly all makes and found that Lincoln, Lexus and Volvo dealers offered the best service after the sell. So... I bought three Volvos since 2013. It's things like coming to pick up my cars and servicing them (I live 30 minutes from both dealers) when needed, always washing, and follow-up calls to make sure everything is OK and to tell me about new updates coming up.. makes a lot of difference.
I know that Volvo corporate visited one of the local dealers last week and made notes on things that made them successful and how they maintained high CSI (customer satisfaction).
I imagine that by the time the new plant in South Carolina is pumping out new Volvos, the existing dealers will have it together--or there might be some opportunities for new franchises.
Thanks for letting me rant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe this is part of the reason why Volvo is still less expensive than its competitors?

I have purchased Honda, Acura, Infiniti, Subaru and Mazda vehicles (in addition to BMW and Audi). This Volvo shop fell below all of the dealers from those makes I have ever experienced over a period of 30 years, many of these brands are at the same or lower price points than Volvo. Price is not an excuse for not even acknowledging a potential customer, or not having anyone at the service window during business hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I had a similar experience when I first ordered my car. I guess the difference is, I had scheduled an appointment.
Did they end up acknowledging you, or did you walk out?



Maybe this is part of the reason why Volvo is still less expensive than its competitors?
I have purchased Honda, Acura, Infiniti, Subaru and Mazda vehicles (in addition to BMW and Audi). This Volvo shop fell below all of the dealers from those makes I have ever experienced over a period of 30 years, many of these brands are at the same or lower price points than Volvo. Price is not an excuse for not even acknowledging a potential customer, or not having anyone at the service window during business hours.

I found another local dealer that provided me much better service upon walking in. Their facilities are a bit dated, but that is not a big deal to me.
 

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My Dealership in Bellingham WA. look's out of the 70's but service and sales people are excellent to deal with. IMO, that's what counts.
 

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The dealership where I purchased the xc90 is about two hours away from me and is a stand alone Volvo dealership. The store itself was pretty run down, but found the salespeople very helpful and considerate. The manager even came up to me to thank me for my purchase.

The closest dealership to me where I went for my Sensus/CarPlay update is a Land Rover/Volvo/Jaguar/Maserati dealership. Needless to say the service center/waiting area are top notch. And was fun to get a Jaguar XF loaner for a day.
 

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This is funny, you could be describing my local Volvo dealership (Fresno, CA), but I bet you're not! Ours is a ghost town attached to a decently busy Mazda dealership. They actually have a good sales staff, but you have to find them first!
 

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We had to wait for a group of people to come from the break room or something. Receptionist gone, place empty. When 3 or 4 people come out of this room 15 min later, they kind of acted like, uh, what are you doing here? I'm like, I have an appointment to buy a car? 15 min ago? You made the appointment time? If I was smart I would have left, but just wanted my order in and not lot of dealers close to me.


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We had to wait for a group of people to come from the break room or something. Receptionist gone, place empty. When 3 or 4 people come out of this room 15 min later, they kind of acted like, uh, what are you doing here? I'm like, I have an appointment to buy a car? 15 min ago? You made the appointment time? If I was smart I would have left, but just wanted my order in and not lot of dealers close to me.


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I think part of the problem is that Volvo has had a cadre of loyal customers to date, who only buy Volvos and very few people would be cross shopping Volvos with other brands so these guys have very little motivation to provide good customer service to anyone but their loyal base. All this has changed with the release of the XC90 and Volvos future aspirations...only time will tell if the dealers change with the times and Volvo's continued success in the US market hinges a lot on this.

I remember Subaru dealers used to be somewhat similar in the 80s and early 90s (My dad has been a long time Subaru driver), but Subaru largely changed their image and improved the customer experience and they have been on a huge tear over the last few years. When I bought a WRX in 2001 the sense of walking into a time warp at Subaru dealers was totally gone.
 

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Does anyone know what Volvos plans are to upgrade their dealerships. I went into one dealer in NJ a couple weeks back and it literally looked like it was out of the 70s. There were 2 salesmen in there, one was reading a newspaper and the other was playing on his computer. There was a desk for a receptionist, but there was no one there. I walked in and started looking at an XC90 and neither of them even approached me to tell me about the vehicle...and I was the only person in there at the time.

I walked back to the service area and there were 2 benches with tearing vinyl, and a coffee vending machine. There was a sign on the glass window where the service writer normally sits and there was a handwritten note that said "be back in 15 minutes". Then I walked back out to the showroom area, again the two salesmen did not even look up or acknowledge me so I walked out and left. I did drive up in a reasonably nice car, and was dressed respectfully so it was not that I looked like I could not afford the vehicle.

Audi was in the same spot in the 80s...with dwindling sales and a poor dealership network. They stepped up with investments in product and improving dealerships and have been very successful since.

I wasn't going to post it, but this place left such a bad impression in my mind about the brand. I am a car guy so I generally overlook this kind of thing, and buy the best car out there for my needs...but there are many people out there that would simply forget about the car if they saw this place. I think it should be job #1 for Volvo to fix this sort of thing.

The worst part is that someone from Volvo corporate office has almost definitely been in this place...it is a 30 minute or so drive from their corporate office. I can not for the life of me believe that they would let this kind of operation continue.
the sad thing is that you just described EVERY Volvo dealer in the Tri-State region. I went to several and some were on the outskirts of wealthier neighborhoods and others in the middle of nowhere but they were all run down. this is the main issue Volvo is going to have with entering the luxury car market. the dealerships are not in line with other high line marques. hell the service and competence isn't even there. a great deal of money is going to have to be spent on bringing their current set of dealerships into current times or at least into the same decade. as you have described above the dealerships are very outdated and run poorly. which is typical of a vehicles in the lower range but once you start asking $60k+ and want to compete in the luxury segment you have to start making dramatic changes. (IMO)
 

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The only dealership in western Montana (maybe all of MT) is actually the nicest one I've been to! Granted they are half a Buick dealer (really odd brand combo), but their master tech has been a Volvo tech at that dealership for 32 years! Best service I've had on any vehicle, and they offered a loaner vehicle without me having to ask. Too bad it was sunny and I had my road bike they were getting their first shipment of 2016 XC90's the week after I was there (July), otherwise I would have taken them up on that loaner offer! I've been to the one in Spokane, WA, it was slightly better than described by others, but not good on the CS side, and the service department is iffy. The one I went by in Bellevue, WA I wouldn't consider stopping at.


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