Miguel Vassalo, Autorola Portugal’s country manager tells us how the used market is becoming more sophisticated through the greater use of data insights
“The used market in Portugal is becoming more sophisticated as more decisions are being made by using our INDICATA data insights. And with used car volumes increasing as new car supplies improve it will also help make data-led decisions an edge in a fast-moving used market.
“Dealer groups, OEMs, leasing companies and banks also appreciate that INDICATA provides used data in real time which helps them manage their stock more efficiently. Fleets use the data to set accurate reserves when selling at auction while dealers use it to help them invest in the fast-moving stock to add to their forecourts.
“In addition to our Appraisal/Stock Management tool, there is a growing demand for automation capabilities through INDICATA’s Web Service, the sophisticated reports based on Power BI, and our powerful Lead Generator. We are excited to share that soon we will bring even more advancements to the automotive market with the launch of a sophisticated forecasting system.
Back to pre-Covid levels
“From the fourth quarter of 2022, we have observed an uptick in the volume of used cars entering the market in Portugal, which has provided the used car market with more stock. We are more or less back to pre-Covid levels now with OEMs supplying new cars again to rental providers who in turn are feeding the market with younger sub-12-month-old used cars.
“Portuguese new passenger car sales are up by 34% for the first nine months of 2023, with Peugeot, Renault, and Dacia currently the three best-selling brands.
“Inflation is on a downward trajectory plus our country’s national debt continues to fall. Mortgage rates and house rental prices continue to rise but consumers are still buying new and used cars which is providing stability to the remarketing sector.
Reliant on used car imports
“In the last couple of years Portugal has been very reliant on used car imports to help balance supply with demand. Our cross border used car service is at the heart of these transactions and we are seeing an increased number of dealers buying cross border cars from us online. Local buyers continue to embrace online buying and we are now seeing more activity on our wholesale MarketPlace online platform than ever before across all our timed auctions.
“In fact, on the Autorola Marketplace platform in Portugal, dealers find daily the largest national offering of both local and European cars from all segments. The range spans from nearly new cars from rent-a-car fleets to older vehicles sourced from trade-ins or credit recovery, covering everything in between.
“Buyers have also had to change their stocking strategies over the past two years with used petrol cars continuing to be much more popular. Previously Portugal was a very strong diesel market but as the market moves to reducing emissions this fuel type has fallen in popularity.
“Many dealers seek to partner with Autorola as we uniquely integrate technology that aids them in their digital transition. A prime example of this is our Trade-In app, which helps streamline the trade-in management process, from the moment of evaluation to the sale at auction.
Real-time Asset Insight
“Banks and financial institutions are increasingly recognizing the value of complete transparency throughout each phase of the vehicle asset management process. Our Fleet Monitor workflow and management system, embodying the evolving synergy between technology and automotive asset management, has found significant favour among banks, aligning with this emerging preference for continuous insight into asset statuses.
Slow to embrace used EVs and hybrids
“However, consumers have been slow to embrace hybrid and electric used cars as our latest sales data shows. They account for 10.4% and 9.6% of used sales at four years old respectively, rising to 13.2% and 13.0% at less than two years of age according to the latest INDICATA Market Watch insights report.
“When looking at Market Days’ Supply BEVs and hybrids are also struggling when compared with petrol and diesel. In September they were at 104 and 108 days which has come down considerably in line with a fall in prices. This compares with 96 days for diesel and 88 days for petrol.
Things will have to change
“We are working hard to share this data with the industry as things will have to change at the used car end of the market to cope with the growing number of EVs and hybrids now being sold in the new car market. Nearly 50% of new car sales are alternative fuels and this is likely to continue to grow, but with it the market will need greater education about low and zero emission cars.
“Autorola will make sure it continues to play its part in this information dissemination as a new EV and hybrid car market will be restricted from growing over the coming years unless demand in the used car market improves.”