Innovation That Matters

Volvo dealership loans bicycles instead of cars

Mobility & Transport

After noticing that many customers dropping off cars for service chose to use their own bicycle rather than their courtesy loaner car, Clive Brook, a Volvo dealership in Yorkshire, came up with the idea of offering bicycles instead of cars. The scheme started in April 2009 with two mountain bikes, complete with safety gear. The initiative has advantages for both parties. Bicycles are cheaper for the dealership to buy, service and insure, and customers get that little nudge that might convince them to travel by bicycle more often. And within its community, there are green points to be gained by the dealership. Is it new for automotive businesses to promote alternative transportation? Not on a global scale: loaner bikes are fairly common in bicycle-savvy countries like the Netherlands and Denmark. But now that bicycles are gaining popularity for day-to-day transportation in other parts of the world, opportunities abound for companies that add two-wheeled options to their offerings. In this particular example, it seems like an easy and relatively cheap win for Volvo to offer its dealerships a few eye-catching, Volvo-branded bicycles that communicate and enhance brand identity. (Related: Tuned-in garage for hybrid vehicles.) Spotted by: Susanna Haynie



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