GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - Volvo Cars is now driving straight into mobile phones all over the world. Following the launch of the international mobile site in March, the Swedish car maker will soon be making it into 20 markets.
"Our goal is to be leading in the auto industry in this area," says Sofia Heddson Fransén, acting Interactive Marketing Manager at Volvo Cars.
Information to and communication with customers via the Internet are natural ingredients for all companies today. Volvo Cars currently has 90 Web sites in 36 different languages on 70 markets.
With the rapid technological development of mobile phones and the increase in mobile surfing, it is becoming increasingly important to be available on mobile sites too. A survey conducted in India last year showed that there were 42 million regular Indian Internet users - but 106 million mobile surfers.
Surfing via the mobile phone requires websites of a different sort compared with traditional sites. For instance, graphics, texts, videos and other content must be tailored for mobile users.
"A mobile site is a compressed Web site. It has less information and must be even easier to navigate," says Sofia Heddson Fransén.
Volvo Cars has its global platform for its Web sites on the Internet. The mobile sites have been developed from the same platform and synchronized with it.
"It's vital for us to be available via mobile phones too. In large parts of Asia, mobile surfing is far more widespread than Internet-based surfing. We tailor our offering to suit the market."
Volvo Cars' international mobile site was launched on March 6 this year. It has now spread to 20 markets, the most recent additions being Germany and Britain.
The American and Spanish mobile sites are the two that have developed the furthest. The experiences obtained from them are excellent.
"It is extremely positive that Volvo is once again taking the lead in the Spanish auto industry when it comes to innovative communication," says Marta Lozano, CRM and Interactive Marketing Manager at Volvo Cars' Spanish sales company.
The information customers are looking for on mobile sites are product presentations, offers and news. The site also has a car configurator where the user can build his or her own car by choosing a car model, color and wheels and then downloading the car as a background image on the phone.
Sofia Heddson Fransén hopes that in the future, the mobile site will be the Volvo customer's natural link to the dealer for locating the nearest Volvo retailer, ordering a test drive and brochures, as well as other functions that are particularly suitable in a mobile phone. There is considerable development potential.