Last year, Volvo Trucks added 21 new full-service dealerships. Over the next four to five years the company plans to add 80 to 100 new locations.
"We have chosen to significantly increase the pace at which dealers are putting up new facilities," says Matt Davison, vice president, network development.
The increase in investment has been significant, indeed. Since 2010, The Volvo Trucks dealer network invested more than $500 million in new or upgraded facilities, increasing technician numbers by 109% and service capacity by 80%. In 2016 alone, $112 million was invested.
Expanding everywhere New investment is happening across the country, from a six-bay expansion in Oklahoma to a 60-bay dealership in Secaucus, New Jersey, and a new 90-bay facility in Fontana, California.
"What this means for the customer is they’ll have their truck diagnosed, fixed and back on the road faster than ever before," says Davison.
The expansion is being driven proactively by Volvo Trucks, in response to customer feedback.
It’s night and day how quickly they can turn around those trucks
"We’ve gone to dealers and said, "Look, your average repair time is not acceptable. You’ve got a capacity issue,"" Davison says. "You need to increase your service capacity."
The best technicians The expansion means Volvo Trucks’ dealership network will add between 400 and 450 repair bays per year over the next four to five years. They’re spending money to better train technicians, too.
But it’s not just a case of more is better. More efficient is better, according to Director of Brand and Content Development Rob Simpson.
Streamlining repairs To that end, Volvo Trucks is expanding its Certified Uptime Center program—dealerships with dedicated bays assigned to fast track the intake process and diagnose problems quickly.
As is the case with all Volvo repair shops, when a driver pulls into a Certified Uptime Center, through Remote Diagnostics, personnel from Volvo Action Services have already let technicians know what issues the truck is having before it even pulls onto the lot. Trucks that can be repaired quickly are routed to dedicated, expedited service bays.
"It’s night and day in terms of how quickly they can turn around those trucks," Simpson says.
Aided by remote diagnostics, the centers are 71% faster at diagnosing a problem and 24% faster at getting trucks back on the road.
"Certified Uptime Centers are not a marketing gimmick, they’re not an advertisement," says Simpson. "It is a very, very robust process. Dealerships have to qualify to get into the program. The competency that exists in these facilities, I feel, is best in class."
Better parts make better whole Volvo Trucks has also improved its parts distribution so that its parts availability is "world class," according to Simpson.
"We’re going to keep working on it, but we’re extremely proud of the growth in our dealerships and the investments they’re making," Davison says.