Now the largest franchised Used Truck Dealer in Europe, Volvo Used Trucks Centres are currently marking ten years in business. With multiple sites across the UK and up to 300 vehicles in stock at any given time, there is no better place to buy a Volvo Used Truck. Supplied direct from its own portfolio, all Volvo Used Trucks have a known history since around 99 per cent of the stock has been on full Volvo contract maintenance since new.
Now, to celebrate its tenth anniversary, Volvo Used Trucks has produced some exciting celebration vehicles with a batch of ten Volvo FH-500 6x2 Globetrotter tractor units sporting I-Shift automated transmission systems in addition to a special graphics livery and all come with a 12-month Volvo Blue service contract included. Three FH-500 Globetrotter prime movers have also been finished in special metallic finishes, but this trio have already been snapped up.
Volvo Used Trucks was founded in 2008 with a vision of wanting to improve the customer experience, drive up quality standards and also provide a better warranty cover to used vehicle buyers. The complete accountability of a manufacturer selling its used vehicles direct also delivered increased reassurance levels for existing and potential buyers. A key ethos at Volvo Used Trucks is to ensure its customer base remains successful and that the used truck they’re buying is correct, proper and covered well. Repair and maintenance contracts are also available to used customers.
National Sales and Brand Manager for Volvo Used Trucks, Carl White and his team monitor all contract hire expiries on Volvo Truck’s portfolio and have a good knowledge of what vehicles are due in and when.
Used trucks are sold or displayed at Volvo Used Trucks’ flagship super-site in Wellingborough or through manned used truck dealerpoints in Glasgow West, Broxburn, Carlisle and Teesside, although there are further manned sites at Ely, Coventry, Hayes and Enfield with additional Used Truck stock on display at Aberdeen, Inverness, Lancaster, Bardon, Felixstowe and a brand new site in Reading.
Ten years ago, when initially launched, Volvo Trucks built its own used truck warranty schedule from scratch. Volvo Approved Used Trucks enjoyed three months warranty and Volvo Selected Used Trucks came with six months warranty. Over time the period of these warranties has steadily increased and nowadays Volvo Approved Used Trucks come with a 12-month warranty, whilst Volvo Selected Used vehicles enjoy a 24-month warranty period.
The scope of the warranty has also widened. “We always monitor warranty schedules and we like to get feedback, even if it’s information that is difficult to hear,” notes Carl White adding, “Any specific repeat mechanical issues are quickly flagged up and investigated. After meeting with the customers affected, a small number of these incidents have then been included in our warranty schedules over the years.”
The listening continues, as earlier this year, by responding to feedback, AdBlue systems were also included in Volvo Used Trucks’ warranties. “There has been no extra cost to customers with these warranty additions,” Carl reports.
At present, a team of 11 Used Truck staff work across the UK, although Carl declares that this figure will probably “increase further,” as the used business is going from strength to strength with Used Trucks sales now contributing substantially to Volvo Group UK’s business. However, as Carl points out, “It’s important to state that it’s all about the quality of each used truck and the satisfaction of the customer, not sale figures.”
“A mind-set for the future says that million kilometre trucks will be more common than perhaps was anticipated a few years ago,” Carl notes. The ever-changing marketplace is one continually observed by Volvo’s used team. “Three axle tractor units now make up 95 per cent of our used business and we’re continually looking to innovate in the industry. An example of this strategic thinking was in 2012, when we introduced contract hire on used trucks. Nobody else offered such an option and we’re proud to note that Volvo was the first.”
Carl explains, “It is important to also say that over the years, the used truck industry in general has been something of a poor relation when it comes to staff training. When sitting with our customers, we need to be experts in the Volvo field. Talk to any of our staff and their knowledge of technical, products and company matters will shine through. A high percentage of our staff are ex-workshop or parts personnel and have already accrued a great product and brand knowledge in addition to knowing a lot of the customer base. Factors like that make a massive difference to everyday business.”
Volvo Trucks Used Economy
Back in 2012, outside of its Used Selected and Approved networks, Volvo still had vehicles on its portfolio that were either young trucks with high mileage or older trucks with good mileage. These trucks did not fit any existing parameters and were sold on to trade dealers. However, Carl White and his team soon realised these vehicles were saleable and Volvo should be selling them, so a separate depot, Volvo Trucks Used Economy (VTEC) was then established in Coventry.
Every Economy vehicle has a safety inspection before it’s sold. Economy stock is priced accordingly and any safety defects are rectified before the customer takes delivery. “Safety is one of our core values, so all our Economy trucks are safety-inspected so that they are sold in a known condition, as in the 21st century ‘sold as seen’ does not work. It’s far too dangerous and risky,” Carl confirms.
A high percentage of Economy customers are new business start-ups in the haulage industry. A strip down driveline warranty on vehicles also gives peace of mind. “We are trying to raise the bar constantly for customer experience and protection levels,” Carl declares.
In 2015, Volvo Trucks Used Economy expanded with a second depot in Washington, Tyne and Wear. Since then Economy has been extremely successful and sold a lot of trucks. “Selling our own trucks at that age, regularly gives us an advantage, as sometimes we’re able to offer better part-exchange prices than other outlets,” Carl concludes.