CORRECTION: An previous version of this story didn't define when online sales would begin. In 2022, Canadian buyers will order their electric cars using an online format.
Volvo Canada says it will sell the XC40 Recharge through the Canadian dealership network rather than adopting the online only sales program elsewhere — for now.
“Our dealer network is not going away and they are very much a part of this,” Volvo Canada Managing Director Matt Girgis said.
Volvo introduced its first fully electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge SUV, in markets around the globe last year. It also launched the C40 Recharge SUV on Tuesday. It is the first Volvo designed solely as an all-electric vehicle.
This year, Canadian buyers of the XC40 still need to go to a dealership to purchase the vehicle. Next year, Volvo’s online only ordering system will be in place for the XC40, C40 and other as-yet all-electric vehicles that may be introduced this year. In 2022, Canadian buyers will order their electric cars in a haggle-free format, online or in the dealership.
Volvo said dealers will still be involved in the all-electric sales process as the place to see and test drive Volvo’s all-electric fleet, take delivery and to get their new rides serviced.
“Here in Canada, we have been developing a retail experience with our retailers since October 2019, [one] that moves seamlessly between online and offline, and from our national website to retailer-specific sites with ease,” Volvo Canada spokeswoman Amanda Ignatius said in a statement. “The key to this will be a robust online sales experience … beginning with model-year 2022 vehicles, and in partnership with our retailers, Canadian customers can select, purchase, or lease their pure electric Volvos online.”
Girgis said that to achieve Volvo’s ambitious goal of an all-electric fleet of vehicles in 2030 government will have to step up in terms of infrastructure and consumer incentives. He said consumer interest in electric vehicles is highest in Montreal and Vancouver.
“A lot has to depend on how our infrastructure is developed, however given the customer trends that we see and the product that we are going to have available, we do feel pretty confident that we will be able to meet the global target” for Volvo, said Girgis.
“We certainly aim to be a leader in electric cars in Canada.”
The XC40 Recharge is trickling into Canadian dealerships and Girgis said buyers have already ordered the allotment of “a few hundred” all-electric cars for the year.
Volvo Cars said Tuesday that it’s going all electric in less than a decade, making the commitment to become a fully electric car company by 2030.
It pledges to only sell fully electric cars and phase out any car in its global portfolio with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids, within that span. It also announced its electric cars will only be available for sale to customers online.