Volvo Trucks UK had a “very good year” in 2016, increasing sales for the second year in a row, according to commercial director Mike Corcoran.
Corcoran became commercial director in 2015. He was previously used truck director, and has since presided over growth in Volvo’s UK sales.
In the five years to 2013 it averaged 4,000 trucks a year; since then it has boosted that rate to 6,000, meaning it sold 10,000 more trucks than in the last five years than the previous period.
“We have had a big focus on rigids,” said Corcoran. “We had lost ground in the 4-axle sector. Last we increased our share in this category to 22.7% and took 14% of the three axle market.”
Overall Volvo took 15% of the heavy duty truck market in 2016, and Corcoran said it wants to increase this further in 2017.
Corcoran insisted Brexit had no effect on sales, with Volvo seeing a slight increase after the vote last June. “It is business as usual,” he said. “We are optimistic about the truck market. Our sales were up 30% year on year to the end of February.”
After last year’s strong market, Volvo is predicting a 10% decline in UK heavy truck sales this year to around 33,000 units.
As well as increasing sales, in 2016 Volvo increased the percentage of vehicles leaving dealerships with service contracts of three years or longer to 56%, and it plans to increase this to 60% in 2017.
Around a third of new truck sales are on a buyback scheme, making it more important to have a strong used vehicle sales division.
“We need a successful used truck business,” said Corcoran.
“We are now selling 2,000 used trucks a year plus those we take in part exchange. We are focused on retailing these vehicles through our own and our privately-owned dealers.”
Sales of used vehicles are backed by warranties of up to two years on major driveline components.
The growth in service contracts has led Volvo to set up the UK’s largest HGV apprenticeship scheme, with 70 apprentices now in training.
- This year marks Volvo’s 50th anniversary in the UK and it is producing an ‘Ailsa’ limited edition truck to mark the occasion.Ailsa was the name of Volvo’s first UK dealership – look out for a 50th anniversary special supplement coming soon in Motor Transport, Commercial Motor and Truck & Driver.