The car has long ceased becoming just a mode of transport; it is an expression of one’s self, a choice dictated by taste and lifestyle as much as practical concerns. It is therefore no longer sufficient to make good cars, car makers now have to package the entire ownership experience to go with it.

Giving Car Retail

A Homely Feel

Volvo’s latest cars are making waves with their stunning interiors; and they are now being sold in showrooms that are just as beautiful and inviting to be in.

The journey of car ownership starts at the showroom – it is where the car makes its first impression upon its prospective owners and where courtship of the customer begins. A pleasant retail environment gives the salesperson a good head start, and it is telling that many automotive brands – premium and mainstream – are investing increasing amounts of money to make big and beautiful showrooms.

Volvo Cars is one of the many car makers currently in the process of revamping the look and feel of their customer touch points. The new CI is called Volvo Retail Experience (VRE), and it was announced just before the all-new XC90’s launch in 2015.

VRE focuses on the space and design of the dealership and is designed to reflect Sca‍‍‍ndinavian-inspired values of calm, clean lines with ‘cool on the outside and warm on the inside’-style architecture.

The aim of VRE is to create an environment for customers in which high levels of visual transparency are key. Large exterior and interior glazing allow customers to see all activity in the new workshops, turning the spotlight on what is often regarded as ‘back of the house’.

The showroom is specially conceptualized as a living room, featuring chic Scandinavian-designed furniture. There is a balanced focus on physical and digital presentation, making sure the sales and service areas are completely integrated to deliver an open, holistic environment.


In terms of floor space, the new ‘living room’ concept will take up 40% of the showroom, while 60% is dedicated to a contrasting ‘street’ displaying area showcasing Volvo’s new car range. The ‍‍‍concept was designed for customers to relax in a cosy ambiance while their cars are being serviced.‍‍‍

Many modern showrooms utilize fully-transparent glass facades to let in the maximum possible amount of natural lighting. Volvo Cars’ new showrooms will, in contrast, utilize mostly white translucent glass panels with fully transparent panels placed only strategically right where display cars are parked. This approach still allows a decent amount of natural lighting into the showroom whilst focusing the eyes of onlookers from a distance straight to the cars on display.

“VRE isn’t just about a change of furniture though, it’s a new way of retailing designed to make our customers feel relaxed and at ease in an environment that informs and provides flexible waiting, working, and assessment areas,” said Phil Hand, Head of Network Development for Volvo Car UK.

In Malaysia, VRE can be experienced in two Volvo showrooms – the famous Federal Auto outlet along Federal Highway and the new 3S centre at Juru Auto City by iRoll Auto Sdn Bhd.

Volvo’s roll-out of VRE serves to usher in a new generation of Volvo Cars that aims to recapture the brand’s proud standing as equals among luxury brands. The latest generation of Volvo cars are stunning‍‍‍ly beautiful and proud in their expression of understated Swedish luxury; the new showrooms appropriately embody the same philosophy.

"...designed‍‍‍ to reflect Scandinavian-inspired values of calm, clean lines with ‘cool on the outside and warm on the inside’-style architecture."

"The concept was designed for customers ‍‍‍to relax in a cosy ambiance while their cars are being serviced."