Volvo Truck Latvia recommends... When vehicle changes the owner
«Five years ago Volvo Truck Latvia began selling used trucks,» says Modris Hermanis, the company's sales manager for used trucks. «We sell not only Volvo trucks, but also vehicles of other Western European brands. Customers have a wide range of choice in terms of the year of production. As concerns the technical condition of the trucks we sell, we have a principle – if we offer a truck not older than 10 years old, it is prepared to pass technical control. We guarantee that it operates well. What's more, we provide all the necessary certificates for the truck and do it free of charge.»
The cost of a second-hand truck
The sales policy for used trucks that Volvo Truck Latvia adheres to presupposes that the customer should be provided with reliable information about the technical condition of the second-hand vehicle. The client must also be informed about the flaws that were revealed during the process of diagnostics and that must be dealt with if the vehicle is to pass technical control. And only after the customer is informed does the negotiation of the price begin. This is very important for the future owner because most vehicles are leased, and owners often do not have enough assets to pay for repairs. Modris Hermanis claims that modern trucks do not age. If all the proper maintenance is provided, they serve their owners for a very long time. Volvo Truck Latvia provides high-quality service, it has sufficient facilities and, most important, its employees are highly-qualified. Therefore Volvo Truck Latvia can offer its customers good trucks with a long service life. Of course, customers who are well informed about the technical condition of the truck may decide to handle repairs on their own (if they think it will cost less). However, people who are experienced in transport business would say that it is more profitable to buy a truck that is ready for operation.
What motivates customer choice
Every potential customer is first offered a new vehicle. Modris Hermanis says, «If a new truck is bought, then customers are the first to make whatever upgrades they wish. They also get a complete two-year warranty. Secondly, by the end of the lease period, the customer of a new vehicle becomes the owner of a truck which is only four or five years old.» However, if a company buys only used trucks it does not say anything about its financial condition. One of the arguments for such a choice is – «I only invest as much money as a truck really costs, and I am not willing to pay banks and leasing companies.» Besides, there are companies that would rather stay away from new vehicles. They think it is too expensive and they consider the risk to be too high. Therefore they prefer to buy used or «almost new» trucks. And one can understand them because such a vehicle is only 1 or 2 years old, but the price is 30% lower. Most new and second-hand trucks are sold in Riga. However, in the beginning of 2004 the Latgale region of Latvia showed signs of active development. The demand is highest for trucks beginning with EURO 2 category. The reasons behind the popularity of trucks produced in the end of the 90s are, first of all, the possibility to obtain a license for international transport; and secondly, the advantages that these trucks offer in terms of mileage, technical condition etc.
Used trucks – demand and supply
Almost as soon as Volvo Truck Latvia opened it adopted a scheme of sales, which allows the customer to submit an old truck to the company as prepayment for the acquisition of a new or an almost new truck. In addition, since last year trucks are delivered to Latvia from abroad. This is done not only to fulfill individual customers' orders. What requirements are set for second-hand vehicles? The vehicle should look good, it should have high-quality equipment and a certificate that corresponds to the standards of international transport, and, of course, its brand should be Volvo. However, Volvo's global sales network also includes vehicles of other brands. It sometimes happens that the customer needs some specialized vehicle, but Volvo does not have it at that particular moment. The availability of vehicles of different brands allows Volvo to satisfy the customer's needs. As a result, customers appreciate the fact that Volvo always provides support for their business. «However – says Modris Hermanis – we have yet to learn to work with other manufacturers' brands because every brand has its unique features. We have to discover them and inform our customers about them. That is the reason why we offer Volvo first. But whatever vehicle the customer chooses in the end, next time he is convinced that Volvo Truck Latvia offers many advantages. As a result, next time the customer will buy Volvo – either new or used.» At the moment Volvo is expanding its influence in the segment of specialized vehicles – like vans, dumpers with manipulators or without them, timber carriers, garbage dumpers, tankers etc.
Volvo Truck Latvia guarantees
It is very important for our customers not only to read about our second-hand vehicles on offer, but also to see them – either at our parking lot, or on the internet. Therefore when we acquire a used truck we always ask the owner to provide a photograph of that vehicle, together with a description of its condition, including a list of replaced components. In turn, it is the vendor's task to provide advertising for that vehicle that would give potential customers an opportunity to see it. This procedure entails certain expenses, which are later added as a commission fee. The commission fee is up to 4.5% of the vehicle's value and cannot exceed 2000 euro. When we get an order for a second-hand truck, at first, we try to find a matching vehicle in Latvia. But if we cannot find it here, then we search in Volvo's global sales system. Private transport companies willing to sell their vehicles are the next stage of the search. If we buy a vehicle from them, we buy it «first hand,» therefore we can guarantee that the vehicle is in good technical condition. In general, the customers of used vehicles offered by Volvo Truck Latvia are from Latvia, but a certain share of our second-hand trucks is sold abroad. Most of it is sold in Russia and CIS countries, like Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus. There have been cases though when we sold used trucks to Germany. Estonian and Lithuanian transport companies also buy Latvian used vehicles from time to time. We are glad that customers are generally satisfied with all our offers. We provide them with a high-quality vehicle and we guarantee safety and comfort. Our service is available day and night. Spare parts for our vehicles are always delivered on time. In addition, we offer leasing services and much more. People know us and are happy to do business with us!»
Buying a Volvo you get…
Volvo Truck Latvia offers a package of the following services together with each vehicle sold: l Agreement for service l A certification that the vehicle corresponds to vehicle control requirements l Leasing agreement l Guaranteed assistance from Volvo Action Service in Latvia and abroad l On certain territories – Russian Federation including – insurance against standstill (in case the vehicle was not repaired in due time) l Technical consultations l Driver training etc Besides, for its Volvo and Renault trucks Volvo Truck Latvia offers leasing that is valid throughout CIS.
How to drive a Volvo
Driving instructor Boris Baibara has been driving Volvo trucks for a long time. He takes part in the seminars for drivers, which are organized by Volvo Truck Latvia center and which give drivers lots of useful information gathered by the company's specialists over a long period of time. At the beginning and at the end of the course – after both the theoretical and the practical parts are over – drivers take one and the same test. The results of the test measure how well the driver understood new material. Those who pass the test with the most outstanding results are given special prizes from Volvo. As a rule, at the beginning of the course the atmosphere in the auditorium is a little tense. All the «students» are experienced drivers, but nevertheless they have to sit in the auditorium and listen about switching gears and pressing pedals. Many of them think it is completely absurd. But we remind drivers that they learned everything they know a very long time ago, and so they have forgotten a lot. Our course is focused on the right use of Volvo trucks, and every driver can find something useful there. This information helps each of them to perform certain procedures more effectively. For example, we prove to drivers that in order to avoid the damage to gearbox they have to start from second gear, rather than from first gear, and then switch to third gear directly. This is also an effective way to save fuel.
It is never late to learn
Previously, the owners of transport companies thought only about the result – the faster they manage to get a cargo from door to door, the better. It is very good that now more and more often they also pay attention to driver training. That means they are thinking about economy, the technical condition of their vehicle fleet and the driving style of their drivers. Nowadays some transport companies ask us to conduct a training course on their premises. Sometimes they ask us for an individual consultation. This happens, for example, when a company acquires a Volvo truck, but has never used this brand before. They also turn to Volvo Truck Latvia if they want to find out how to enhance their fuel economy. The course for drivers consists of practical and theoretical parts. Among other things, we show drivers films that demonstrate how to drive their Volvo safely and economically. At the moment the courses take place either in the Volvo Truck Latvia center, or on the transport companies' premises. However, after the reconstruction of Volvo service-center, there will be a special area for the courses.