Volvo has agreed terms with its retail network to move to an agency model from mid-2023, according to Auto Retail Agenda sources.

While contracts still have to be signed by each retailer, it is understood the dealer network reached terms of the shift from franchised to agency. Agreements were reached at an investor conference with the Swedish brand in the past week.

Direct Approach

A spokesman for Volvo would not comment on the timing of the agreement but confirmed a more direct approach to sales was the future direction for the brand: “Volvo Car UK is working with the retailer network on transforming to become a direct consumer-facing operation with strong digital solutions. Full details of the changes will be communicated at a later date.”

He added the upcoming EX90 large SUV would only be available as an online order as a direct sale with “retailer assistance”.

Volvo will follow Mercedes-Benz in its move to agency in January with many more manufacturers expected to follow suit in the next few years.

Stellantis Waits

Last week Stellantis said it was delaying its agency plans for the DS, Alfa Romeo and commercial vehicle brands by six months to January 2024. There are plans to pilot the model in Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg, to ensure the correct logistics were in place to support the changeover.

Dedicated Conference on Agency Agreements

For those retailers looking to learn more about the switchover to agency, Auto Retail Network is running a conference dedicated to the subject which aims to empower retailers with the knowledge they need to make the transition as smoothly as possible.

More information and tickets are available here.