The aim is to woo back Volvo owners who take their car to an independent garage when the warranty is expired, mainly because of the personal service those garages provide.
"We have lost so much business to these personal technicians" at these independent shops, Tony Nicolosi, Volvo Cars of North America CEO, told Edmunds. "They call them 'my guy' and they have that personal relationship. And they are going into the shop with them, watching them work on the car."
Volvo is planning a similar experience for car owners, Nicolosi said during an interview at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
Instead of talking to an intermediary who isn't a specialist when the car is dropped off, the Volvo owners will be able to talk directly to the service technician who will work on the car to explain the car's problem. When the car is picked up, the same technician will explain what was wrong and how it was repaired.
Owners might observe the car being repaired either in the garage near the technician or through a glass window in the customer waiting area. Details on that part of the experience have not been determined and may be dictated by safety regulations.
Six unnamed Volvo dealers will launch the program later this year. Customer and service personnel comments will be reviewed and the program will be tweaked. Then, several other dealers will be added to the pilot program. Volvo expects to launch the program nationally by 2018.Volvo has a similar program for other global dealerships.
"We think customers will actually like this," Nicolosi said. "We feel that it differentiates us from the other competitors. This is a big change."
Edmunds says: Sounds like a great way to build a personal relationship between Volvo owners and their dealers.