Volvo believes the move will satisfy growing demand from customers who want a "modern, hassle-free retail experience when buying or servicing their car."
To do this the Swedish automaker announced merger and acquisition plans on Monday for two dealerships in its home market.
The aim is acquire Stockholm-based Upplands Motor and take full control of multibrand dealer Bra Bil, in which Volvo already has a 50 percent stake. Both businesses will be merged with Volvo Bil (Bil is Swedish for car), a company-owned operation responsible for big fleet accounts including all company cars at Volvo Cars and truckmaker Volvo AB.
With the additions to Volvo Bil, the automaker said it will pilot a "technology-led transformation" of its retail operations in Sweden, where is has a 19.3 percent market share.
"We will use this combined dealer group as a trailblazer to develop great ways in which digital and physical distribution can work together," said Annwall, who joined Volvo in 2015 from consultancy McKinsey & Co. and was promoted to the automaker's top-level executive management team a year later. "We will work with our retail partners to make that come alive."
Volvo, however, has no plans to expand further into the automotive retail space either in Sweden or elsewhere.
"In Europe we have 750 retail partners. After this, we will have 749," Annwall said. "Those are the partners that we want to empower to have a profitable future."
Upplands Motor has more than 800 employees selling the Volvo, Ford, Renault, Dacia and Mercedes-Benz brands. Annwall said that the company's Ford and Mercedes operations are not included in the deal. Renault and Dacia are included.
"The majority of Volvo retailers in Sweden are also Renault dealers. So, it's more natural than it sounds to work together because we have a longstanding relationship," he said.
Upplands Motor was founded in 1964 in Uppsala, Sweden, and today has facilities in Arlandastad, Tierp, Hammarby Sjostad and Kista, where the head office is located, according to the company's website. In 2019, the company delivered 3,183 cars, up from 2,831 in 2018. Of that total 2,008 were new and 1,175 used, up from 1,861 and 970, respectively, in 2018, according to the retailer's financial report.
Bra Bil has locations in Gothenburg, Landvetter, Upplands Vasby, Kungsangen, Vallentuna, Enkoping, Balsta and Bro. The company sells more than 3,000 new cars and 2,600 used cars annually, according to its website.