We're actually in the market for a new car right now, and the rather protracted experience is looming over us like dark, fat storm cloud. Last week, when the new XC40 crossover bowed, so did the Care by Volvo program that gets you into an XC40 and all the associated car needs for a single flat price. It includes insurance, wear and tear items, service, and the option to change cars after a year. It's so damned simple, why in Zeus's beard did no one think of it before?
The idea behind it is, of course, to simplify the ownership experience and streamline the entire process to reduce stress on the customer. It's actually modeled after one-stop-shop, all-inclusive cell phone plans that keep those finicky cell phone buyers coming back for more. Volvo seems to be onto something that will be good for both buyer and manufacturer. What it will do for salespersons' commissions hasn't been brought up yet. The question remains, what's the monthly cost going to be?
How Much Will It Cost?
The program is purely leasing right now. It essentially takes away all of the
- Maintenance on the vehicle
- Wear-and-tear parts including tires, brakes, wipers, etc., that aren't covered by typical leases.
The price would actually be the same at every dealership across the nation, and the idea is to provide a new customer care/customer experience program that's standardized. Currently, most care programs are actually handled by individual dealerships, leaving the level of variation wider than most owners would like. Not only do you get a clean, flat price, you also take your car to one location for everything, including insurance. Supposedly, the leasing term is 12 or 18 months (they have yet to decide), and once the contract is over, you can return the car and walk away, keep the car by paying a remaining
Supposedly, the leasing term is 12 or 18 months (they have yet to decide), and once the contract is over, you can return the car and walk away, keep the car by paying a remaining fee or even swap out for another Volvo.
What are the Benefits?
The idea behind the program isn't to make things cheaper for the buyer. In fact, we encourage you to figure out what works best for you. You may be able to get better insurance rates for the same level of coverage offered by Volvo. You may not see any real wear-and-tear on your new XC40 in such a short period of time. What the Care by Volvo program does is offer a single flat rate for everything, making the whole process easier and standardized. The real question remains as to whether you'd pay a premium for it.
Volvo states that they will make the program even more robust with a concierge service by the time it launches:
- The service will pick up and drop off your car for servicing, thereby saving you time and the hassle involved.
- The concierge will also come to fuel up your car if you’re running low.
- Volvo will provide other models for you to use, as you need them. If you want to take a short trip with the family, you can go with an XC90, for example. It's a serious benefit for those who wonder what car to get in case those one-off situations arise.
Our guess is that other manufacturers will start copying this program, and we think it's a fabulous idea because it's all about convenience. It also levels things up because the program also alleviates the time crunch for servicing by removing that hurdle and also providing customers with a serious value-add, use of other models, which will surely tantalize customers to upgrade in the future. Care by Volvo will go live in the U.S. following the XC40’s debut at the L.A. Auto Show.
Care by Volvo will go live in the U.S. following the XC40’s debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. Eventually, all Volvo models including the XC60, XC90, S90, V90 and V90 Cross Country will be included in the program.