Volvo’s unique take on opening a new showroom

Volvo’s unique take on opening a new showroom

DSC_0023xxInstead of the traditional cutting of the ceremonial ribbon to open its new showroom in Greenlane, Volvo-dealer Archibald and Shorter Roverland employed an XC-70 wagon to pull a large velcro-ed ribbon off the entrance way of its newly-built premises.

The building was officially opened by Volvo senior vice president Alain Visser, who arrived in New Zealand three hours before the event commenced. Visser was on his way to Auckland to meet up with the Volvo Ocean Race series and work on the new showroom was completed just in time for his arrival.

According to Archibald and Shorter Roverland chief executive officer Richard Holden, the decision was made two years ago to open a purpose-built showroom for the Volvo brand and one which was fully up to date with the Swedish brands new corporate identity.

Dealership staff in New Zealand will all be kitted out with new corporate apparel from Barkers as part of the brand’s renewal process.

The 841 square metre Greenlane showroom was designed by Erik Stigmar in close collaboration with Volvo cars, Wingardh Architects and Senab in Sweden. There are two main features in the showroom, the ‘street’ where cars are displayed and the ‘living room’ where visitors are able to read their emails, browse the internet or enjoy a cup of coffee.

At night the cool looking exterior of the building is transformed into a warm glow thanks to back lit illumination of the facade to draw peoples attention to the brand.

There are also several unique Volvo brand touch points which Visser himself selected personally to provide visitors with a brand experience that is centred on Swedish heritage.

The touch points include the use of Orrefors crystal water pitchers and glassware to welcome guests with a glass of water, air purifiers have been installed to ensure clean air, and there will also three different background audio sounds including a Swedish hard wood forest, a Swedish soft wood forest, and the Swedish ocean.

Another Swedish tradition known as ‘Fika’ or coffee break, will see showroom guests offered a cinnamon bun prepared by a local artisan baker to a Volvo recipe along with their choice of coffee.

Volvo New Zealand general manager Steve Kenchington says the new showroom is another step in the brands goal to get more Volvos on New Zealand roads.

“Our expectation is our new showroom will encourage more people to visit, take a look at what Volvo is about and take one for a spin,” he says.

“We have a 70% conversion rate once we get people inside the car,” says Kenchington. “It’s astonishing but true.”

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