Reading: John O’Hanlon heads new Volvo flagship venture

Volvo Cars Reading has opened its temporary doors for business just as building on a new state-of-the-art facility is about to begin.

Volvo Cars Reading has taken over from Lancaster Volvo and has relocated to its temporary home around the corner from its previous Rose Kiln Lane site. Volvo Cars Reading will offer a full range of services from this temporary site and continue to serve customers throughout its relocation.

The new site is due to open in summer 2018 and has been designed in keeping with the brand’s Scandinavian-inspired concept known as the Volvo Retail Experience (VRE). VRE, a global brand standard that Volvo Car UK is rolling out across its dealer network, is designed to create an open environment in which customers are relaxed and at ease. This includes flexible waiting and working areas, along with large interior glazing that allows customers to see their Volvo being worked on in the workshop.

The new workshop environment will provide customers with while-you-wait servicing and MOT tests. Teams of personal service technicians (PSTs) work on cars in pairs rather than individually so work can be carried out twice as fast, nearly halving customer waiting times. PSTs form part of Volvo Personal Service, which streamlines after-sales functions to improve workshop efficiency while delivering a much more personal service to customers via dedicated service technicians.

With a high-profile location on the A33 nearer to the M4, once completed, the new facility will incorporate a showroom where new models will be on display and a comfortable waiting area for customers. The dealership will include a large forecourt where pre-owned Volvo vehicles will be sold under the brand’s Volvo Selekt approved-used programme, and a workshop complete with advanced equipment will meet service and repair requirements of Volvo customers throughout Berkshire.

Volvo Cars Reading falls under the ownership of the newly created Waylands Automotive, headed up by John O’Hanlon, former CEO of Ridgeway Group.

O’Hanlon commented: “I am delighted to be working with Volvo on this exciting opportunity in the Reading territory. The combination of the vibrant Volvo brand with its class-leading products and the dynamic Reading economy was too good an opportunity to resist. Our primary aims will be to deliver class-leading service for our customers and a fantastic place to work for our teams.”

Mark Dooler has been appointed as aftersales manager for the new operations. Dooler has over 15 years’ experience within motor retail with a number of premium brands, and has previously worked with the teams at Reading Volvo. He is delighted to be re-joining the Volvo family.

James Cox has been appointed as sales manager ahead of the major new build. He will oversee operations from the dealership’s temporary home, including undertaking a massive recruitment drive in and around the town in advance of the new facility’s completion.

Cox said: “This role offers an incredible opportunity both with the build of a new, state-of-the-art Volvo facility and as the first business as part of a new venture set up by well-known and widely respected automotive retailer John O’Hanlon.

“We are continuing to offer the same high level of service, repair and maintenance services, test drives in Volvo vehicles from across the range – including the newly launched, award-winning XC60 premium SUV – and retailing used Volvo cars as part of the approved-used programme.

“We are looking forward to a very exciting future representing Volvo in Reading, and once open we are confident customers will be really impressed.”

Volvo Cars Reading’s new address is Unit 1 Prosper Park, 5-7 Bennet Road, Reading, Berkshire RG2 0QX. Details: www.volvocarsreading.co.uk