Most of us have a regular GP, and soon your car will be able to have one too if it’s a Volvo.
The person in question won’t be an actual doctor of course, but they will be a real person, and they’ll deal with your particular car every time it’s serviced or repaired. Not only that, explains Volvo’s marketing boss Alain Visser, but they will also be able to provide advice on using your car and getting the best from it. So though the XC90’s big screen infotainment system is clearer than many, being able to call somebody that you’ve spoken to before to understand how to synch your mate’s phone with your car could prove quite handy.
I could also imagine it being useful during a moment I had a couple of years back, when I got a V60 plug-in hybrid stuck in a snowy ditch in northern Sweden. A call to my car’s concierge would have revealed how to get its diesel-electric all-wheel drivetrain to deliver maximum ditch-extraction grunt without the electric motor’s overload cut-out intervening.
Volvo calls this its personal service concept, it’s already being introduced in Sweden and Italy and will be offered worldwide by 2017. It will be provided not by sales people but by the service personnel who work on the cars. That’s partly because they’re often more technically minded, and it’s also because job turnover in world of car sales is frequent. There’s a big investment in training for this programme, says Visser, and Volvo and its dealers don’t want the staff leaving shortly afterwards. Service personnel tend to stay in their jobs much longer, apparently.
The point of all this is to provide Volvo buyers with a premium ownership experience as well as a premium car. ‘We want to go beyond selling steel and to develop relationships with our customers,’ says Visser.