Growing new car sales give a false picture of Italy’s automotive industry

Apr 17, 2018   written by Autorola
New car sales in Italy grew for the fourth year running in 2017 to 2.2 million and with positive GDP growth every month for the past two years the outward appearance is that the country is finally showing signs of shaking off its long-term recession.

But the country’s employment rate remains one of the lowest in Europe.

Trading has been tough for car dealers
The new car sales figures are misleading as manufacturers and dealers continue to offer large incentives to continue stimulating demand. These incentives have forced many car dealers to stop trading and there is still a wide range of consolidation in the industry as businesses search for ways to grow and improve profitability.

Used cars is where many dealers are now concentrating their time, so one year on from the launch of the INDICATA real time used vehicle management system it has seen some strong traction.

INDICATA is driving dealer profitability
It provides a swift tonic to helping dealers and OEMs increase used sales. The bigger more professional dealer groups and OEMs appreciate the insights that INDICATA provides will help reduce stocking days. Ultimately profitability is worth investing in.

Its ability to ensure dealers buy the used cars they know are in high demand and avoid those in low demand is a key factor in reducing average stocking days. Being able to also use INDICATA insights to have the confidence to increase prices on a used car a dealer knows is in high demand or in low supply is a major benefit to them. It means Italian dealers can adopt a much more efficient stocking policy which they have welcomed.

Italian used cars are being exported across Europe
Currently up to 20% of Italian used cars being exported through the Autorola Marketplace online portal are being purchased by German buyers, while Austrian dealers are also buying used cars, not just for selling into the home market, but also for export to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Meanwhile Italian drivers still prefer German cars whenever possible helping the VW group increase sales in 2017. The Far Eastern brands such as Hyundai and Kia continue to increase their market share to compete with home brands such as Fiat.

Diesel sales remain strong in Italy
Italy is one market where diesel sales are still strong – in 2017 they saw diesel sales rise, while hybrid car sales jumped by a massive 71% in 2017.

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How the American new and used car and light truck market are faring under the Trump administration

Apr 17, 2018   written by Autorola
The USA new car and light truck market hit 17.25 million units in 2017 supported by big incentives from the OEMs and an increasing GDP. Under the Trump administration’s business oriented policies a reduction in regulation and major tax reform, GDP is expected to strengthen and positively impact all segments of the economy during 2018.

The OEM incentive levels aren’t sustainable, with predictions for the new car market to fall slightly in 2018 as they look to increase their profitability in place of forced sales volumes high. The current forecast is for US light vehicle sales to range between 16.7 million and 16.9 million units.

Premium brands underwrite up to 70% of cars on retail leases
One trend that continues in the USA is the strength in new retail leases. Some premium brands are underwriting 60-70% of their new light vehicle sales on retail leases’.
While this spells good news for OEMs, it isn’t such great news for used residual values with declines reported for cars, while SUVs and crossovers have been increasing recently.

Retail off leases are getting back under control
Off leases from the retail sector increased by 17% from 2016 to 2017. These high volumes coming back into the used market saw used prices fall by 3% during 2017, but predictions are that off leases will increase by just 8% year-on-year with the used market showing signs of getting back under control.
A total of 39 million used cars were sold last year with 2018 likely to see that number break the 40 million barrier, despite fewer retail off leases coming to the market. A factor influencing this higher number is due in part to the effect of the new tax reform, which increased take-home pay for many Americans.

Strong demand for 4-5 year used vehicles
There were major concerns in 2016 and 2017 that there would be fields full of $99-dollar deposit and $99 a month cars coming back from lease, but the general growth of the economy and the fall in unemployment levels have helped create a strong demand for those 4-5-year-old used vehicles.
On this basis it’s a pretty good time to be a new and used car retailer in the States. Technology is playing a big part in their life. Up to one in three used cars are now being purchased from the physical auctions by online buyers which shows retailers are becoming more savvy than ever as they spend less time at the auction and more time selling cars to customers.

Dealers are using online used vehicle intelligence to sell more cars
A growth in real time used vehicle insight software similar to the Autorola INDICATA system means dealers can identify the cars most in demand locally and what they are being sold for. This allows dealers to buy used cars in a much more strategic fashion and ultimately sell more used cars, reduce stocking days and improve profitability.
Another focus for OEMs in the past year or two is to force fewer cars into the rental sector on buy back schemes. Volumes of buy back cars have reduced significantly with rental companies having to buy more of their own cars, which are kept in rental service longer.

Rental companies are buying more of their own risk cars
Rental companies are keeping these ‘risk’ cars up to 18 months of age before replacing them. That compares with manufacturer buybacks which can range from four to 12 months. This move by the OEMs to restrict buyback slide has been made as they seek to not only make more profit per unit but also as a means of not distressing the used car market.

Leasing companies are using software to optimise replacement cycles
The fleet sector continues to feed the used market, generally with five to seven-year old stock. Leasing companies are also using newer software tools to understand the best replacement cycles for their clients with a view on maximising disposal efficiency, reinforcing the importance of insights on the remarketing process.
2018 looks like another positive year for the US automotive industry with the OEMs continuing to balance volume and profitability.

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Belgium has fallen out of love with diesel and fleets are moving to a one stop shop approach

Jan 9, 2018   written by Autorola
Autorola Belux director Erwin Coesens discusses how Belgium has fallen out of love with diesel and fleets are moving to a one stop shop approach
After decades of diesel dominance, the Belgian market has virtually switched its allegiances overnight. Thanks to government fiscal reform which includes lower registration and road tax for petrols, hybrids and EVs plus an equalisation at the pumps of the price of diesel and petrol fuel the Belgian motor industry has fallen out of love with diesel virtually overnight.

For companies the more environmentally friendly the car the more it is tax deductible and for employees’ company car tax is lower.

New petrol, hybrid and EV cars are now popular
“For many years Belgium was nearly 95% in favour of diesels based on their fuel consumption, reliability and strong running costs. This has changed quickly with car makers now offering a strong range of petrol, hybrid and EV options that are proving very popular,” explained Coesens.

The biggest industry challenge is that consumers now want to buy only used petrols. When the Government introduced its new green road policy it affected cars already on the road as well as new cars so private motorists are moving towards petrols as they wait for hybrids and EVs to reach the market.

Consumer demand is high for used petrol cars
“Our used car traders and franchised dealers are desperately looking to buy used petrols to satisfy demand. Consumers are willing to pay more for petrols, but there simply aren’t enough to go around and there won’t be until the substantial number of diesels are flushed out of the system,” said Coesens.

The result is that thousands of used petrols are being imported through Autorola’s online portal into Belgium. This cross-border activity is helping some way to balancing demand and supply.

Fleet Monitor grows as OEMs and leasing companies prefer one stop shop
Leasing companies and national sales companies are also changing the way they manage their vehicles by switching to a one stop shop supplier such as Autorola to take care of their assets. Autorola has seen growth for its Fleet Monitor product which manages a car from its inception in the factory to the day it is sold online.

Companies like JLR and Mazda have extended this one step further with Autorola now running the tender process for the refurbishment of ex company cars and rental cars. The work is offered out to authorised bodyshops and the most competitive price wins the repair contract. The refurb process is vitally important as these cars are being offered to dealers in a ready to retail condition up to six months before they are due to come back to the manufacturer.

Pre-selling is now popular up to six months before the car is defleeted
This pre-selling process is being offered through Autorola Branded Sites where dealers can bid on OEM stock in a closed auction environment. The dealer can bid on stock and a final defleet inspection by Autorola means the price the dealer pays is modified slightly depending on the car’s final mileage and condition.

“By selling used cars so early in the life of a car on a buyback agreement the manufacturer is managing its assets more efficiently. They know what pipeline of used stock they have sold and what cars they can then offer out to the wider market. This approach is proving very successful and is a dream come true for many remarketing strategists who have been talking about this approach for many years. Now this has become reality,” said Coesens.

Autorola’s online portal is influencing the corporate used car industry in Mexico

Jan 9, 2018   written by Autorola
Autorola’s online portal is influencing the corporate used car industry in Mexico says country manager Alfredo Hernandez
Autorola has started to influence the market and change buying and selling trends in the 18 months it has been in existence. Corporate vendors, particularly the premium OEMs have bought into the benefits online buying and selling brings to them and their dealers.

Buyer trust is growing online
Autorola is now helping many car makers sell their ex- management and rental cars directly online to their dealers via its online portal. This adoption of the online buying and selling process has been based on the understanding that buyer trust can be achieved with accurate vehicle descriptions supported by images.

Buyers know if there is a problem it will be sorted quickly and that buyer funds automatically go into an escrow fund and are only released to the vendor once they have taken delivery of and are happy with the car.

Young drivers don’t always aspire to own a car
Car makers are now approaching Autorola now to understand how we can roll out online auctions for their dealers.

While the older car buyers tend to prefer buying and owning their car and selling it physically to another driver the younger members of society in their early 20s are choosing to utilise the growing number of car share services that have sprung up, particularly in Mexico City in the past 12-18 months.

Young drivers don’t always inspire to own a car
The younger generation seem to like the flexibility of being able to call up a car as and when they need to make a journey rather than automatically aspire to owning a car. There are tailored car share services in existence run by women for women passengers such is the demand for mobility services.

The entire Mexican market has not stopped changing for sure, with Autorola’s range of online inspection and auction services continuing to support those changes and helping to keep increasing the professionalism of the used car industry.

For more information on Mexico contact Alfredo on

France is beginning to change its mindset to online selling

Jan 9, 2018   written by Autorola
France is beginning to change its mindset to online selling says Autorola France country manager Pierre Emmanuel Beau
Autorola France has seen a change of approach by some OEM vendors with them looking at new ways of reaching used buyers, particularly through online channels. The EAuction was new to the market when it was launched in early summer. Vehicles are offered for sale on the Autorola portal at a pre-advertised time, with online offers being made by remote buyers across France and beyond. The auction is over in around two hours and the vendor is on hand to make quick decisions on vehicles during the auction.

One of the first brands to sign up to EAuction concept was Mercedes Benz Vans and is already reporting great conversion rates and is building a reputation and buyer base all over Europe.

Mercedes Benz Vans are being innovative and adventurous
“Like so many countries the French used industry is quite fixed in the way the market sells used vehicles but we have seen more vendors look at new ways of selling their used stock in 2017. They are being more innovative and adventurous which as an online remarketing provider excites us. We are working with some great vendor partners who understand the power of online selling. I like to think of it as a change of mindset,” explained Pierre Emmanuel Beau.

Mercedes Benz is selling two out of every three used vans at EAuction. In the last EAuction 60% of bidders were in France, including most of the country’s Mercedes Benz dealer network, while 40% of buyers were from outside France. Buyers from 15 countries bid on the used vans stored in compounds in Paris and Marseille with cataloguing and images taken and then uploaded online prior to the sale being marketed to buyers.

Mercedes stock has created a wide geographic interest
“Mercedes Benz is rightfully very proud of being an innovator in the market and has been a little surprised that its stock has generated such a wide geographic interest. Mercedes Benz dealers and independent buyers have been competing side by side for the used vans, and our administration has been set up so if a Mercedes dealer buys a van it is automatically invoiced to them from head office and it counts towards their annual sales target. They also receive access to wholesale stocking finance for 60 days,” said Emmanuel-Beau.

Autorola UK announces new Marketplace and INDICATA contracts

Jan 9, 2018   written by Autorola
Autorola UK announces new Marketplace and INDICATA contracts
Autorola UK has seen a growth in demand for its remarketing platform signing up both LeasePlan and Audi, while a Lancashire based Nissan dealer is one of the first dealers to opt for INDICATA.

Weekly sales are run online for LeasePlan
LeasePlan UK is the latest leasing company to sign up with Autorola UK to run a weekly used vehicle auction through its online remarketing platform.

A range of good quality 2-4 year old ex-fleet stock are on sale each week. Weekly sales run for two days and all stock carry photographs, detailed descriptions of the condition and specification of each vehicle and confirmation of any supporting paperwork such as service history and MOT.

Audi trades stock via the Autorola platform
Audi has appointed Autorola to help promote trading of used Audi stock between its centres through its online remarketing portal.

The partnership will encourage Audi UK’s 120 centres to trade stock between each other and by keeping more of it within the network help protect residual values.

They can also upload unwanted part exchanges onto the platform to put in front of Autorola’s 2,000 active buyers.

Fred Coupe Nissan signs up to INDICATA
INDICATA has now launched in the UK and one of the first to go live with the new system is family dealer Fred Coupe Nissan based in Lancashire.

Fred Coupe Nissan signed up to INDICATA to provide its sales team with real time insights into the demand, supply and pricing of used cars in its geographical area to help grow sales and reduce stocking days.

The dealer is also using the data to decide how its overall inventory is positioned against competing stock in the marketplace, helping it buy the used cars it knows are in high demand in their locality and trade those that are in poor demand.

Kia Motors Europe appoints INDICATA

Jan 9, 2018   written by Autorola
Kia Motors Europe partners with INDICATA used vehicle intelligence platform
INDICATA has been selected by Kia Motors Europe to provide its business intelligence and advanced analytics solutions on a European level.

The selection of the INDICATA cloud-based solution is the result of an exhaustive study of business intelligence solutions providers by Kia’s management team.

INDICATA is a highly valuable tool for Kia’s European network
Kia Motors Europe has implemented INDICATA in its corporate management and operations and sees it as a highly valuable tool for Kia’s European network.

“We compared a range of solutions providers,” said Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe. “INDICATA stood out for the detailed business intelligence and analytics it provides. Their solution allows us to receive excellent operational analysis and reports, which can help the efficiency of our used car operations.”

Delighted to support Kia’s used vehicle growth plans across Europe
Peter Grøftehauge, Chief Executive Officer of Autorola Group said: “We are thrilled to have won this new business and to be working with the teams of a world-class organisation like Kia Motors Europe. Kia is among the fastest-growing brands in Europe and around the world and we are delighted to support their own European used vehicle operation growth plans.“

Welcome from our Chief Executive

Oct 3, 2017   written by Autorola
Just as we enter Autumn which is a season that celebrates change we continue to experience a major change in fortune for diesels as countries introduce ways of reducing their emissions and improving urban air quality.

New diesel sales are falling while petrol demand and prices are starting to increase. In the Netherlands used diesels have totally fallen out of favour and are being exported and used petrols imported to meet the increased demand. Our Autorola online remarketing portal sits at the heart of this movement in vehicles helping to balance supply and demand.

Autorola is having a good year generally, making good progress in Brazil, Australia, Turkey, the UK and Mexico working with some high profile customers.

Our ability to react to change quickly and adapt to the changing needs of our customers is clear in our Solutions business unit newsletter profile. Using our online control and transparency the Solutions team are now busier than ever providing state of the art bespoke solutions to OEMs, banks and leasing companies. Find out more in our in depth Solutions profile. We are also profiling our MarketPlace business unit to give you an update of its progress around the globe.

Our three Business Unit teams from MarketPlace, Solutions and INDICATA will be in attendance at the forthcoming Fleet Europe Remarketing Forum in Lisbon where we are sponsors for the fifth year running. Come and visit our booth on December 5th and 6th.

Peter Groftehauge
Autorola Group CEO

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About Autorola Marketplace

Oct 3, 2017   written by Autorola
Morten Holmsten, global sales director of Marketplace tells us how the business unit is growing as more countries embrace the benefits of the online selling and buying of used vehicles

21 years ago when Autorola opened its doors for the first time our CEO Peter Grøftehauge had a clear vision that used vehicles could be sold more efficiently online than in a physical auction.

Dedicated to making buying and selling used cars easier and more profitable
The results to Peter were clear – increased speed of sale, reduced transport movements and associated costs for vendors and ultimate convenience for buyers who could bid on and buy a vehicle from the comfort of their office desktop wherever they are in the world.

21 years on the vision has become reality with nearly 500,000 vehicles being offered for sale annually on our platform to over 70,000 registered buyers in over 35 countries with buyers being able to use their desk top or smart phone to bid on stock. Our vendors range from global OEMs and leasing companies to global rental countries and large dealer groups.

More countries are embracing online remarketing
The majority of our 19 subsidiary countries have built their businesses on the principles of online remarketing. With some it has been slower than others to educate them about the benefits of online compared with physical auction, while other countries have immediately embraced the use of technology in the sector and are growing very quickly.

Turkey grew by 162% last year helped by the fact that the country is very online savvy. The Turkish remarketing sector is still developing compared with other established European countries. Our team are working with vendors and buyers who are accepting online as a very efficient form of used vehicle disposal. Due to the size of the country reduced transport costs are also a massive benefit for vendors.

Growth in our online insurance salvage business in Australia
Australia grew by a similar amount in 2016 helped by the growth of its online insurance salvage business. Our business model of a salvage vehicle being towed to a local agent and being sold on behalf of the insurer to an online buyer makes sense bearing in mind the huge distances involved in Australia.

With the pressure on everybody within the automotive industry to reduce emissions to improve air quality particularly in urban areas, the reduced transport costs associated with online remarketing are making a big difference to our major vendors. They are signing up to Autorola to sell their vehicles more quickly and reduce the road miles associated with physical auction.

Premium car makers now working with Mexico
Mexico is another country where we are re-writing the rules of remarketing and three premium car makers are already starting to use our services less than two years after the country opened for business.

The UK has huge potential with the launch of weekly sales for LeasePlan and Arval, and Germany, Spain and France are all large countries where we are predicting growth over the coming years. One of our newest countries Brazil is starting to work with OEMs such as Audi who are committed to our online, transparent disposal route to help tackle the country’s poor reputation for corruption.

Cross border sales continue to grow via the Autorola platform
An area that continues to grow is the cross border sales through our online portal. Europe in particular is still trying to balance out its used vehicle supply following the most recent recession while a move to low emission vehicles virtually overnight is forcing countries to import or export vehicles to meet market demands.

Thousands of used vehicles each week are imported and exported around Europe via our online portal and we are helping countries like Portugal cater for the huge increase in consumer demand for used cars. French dealers are importing huge numbers of used cars, particularly Peugeots from other countries while OEMs and dealers in the Netherlands are exporting used cars following a recent government legislation change which has reduced the demand for used diesels.

Three business units set up to meet customer demands
A few years ago we adopted a business unit structure – MarketPlace, Solutions and INDICATA – to adapt our service proposition based on the demands of our customers. Our INDICATA real time used vehicle business intelligence system is now supporting OEMs and their dealers to increase the efficiency and profitability of their used vehicle sales operations. Solutions is helping larger vendors manage their assets more efficiently from the time a car is ordered to when it is sold, through its Fleet Monitor asset inspection and management system.

UK launches INDICATA

Oct 3, 2017   written by Autorola

The UK is the 13th country in the Autorola group to launch the INDICATA business intelligence and insight software platform for used vehicle management.

Developed for dealers and OEMs initially, INDICATA collates, analyses and processes real-time data on used vehicles offered in the UK market giving dealers powerful market insights to help increase their stock turn and profitability.

Used vehicle profitability is vital for UK dealers
“Used vehicles are an important source of revenue and profit for all UK OEMs and their dealers and INDICATA has been developed to give them the tools to help further increase the efficiency and profitability of their businesses,” explained Neil Gilligan, INDICATA national business development manager.

“INDICATA has been providing a valuable series of insights to dealers across the globe for the past two years. After a successful pilot in the UK it is now fully operational,” he added.

Price competition will help dealers sell more cars more quickly
INDICATA tracks the price development and number of stocking days of the dealer’s stock and competing vehicles. Parameters such as price, mileage and age of vehicles are factored into comparisons.

It also compares a dealers’ inventory and prices with competing vehicles in the market to help ensure its stock stays competitive and ultimately sells as quickly as possible

Price positioning, market days’ supply and trends are presented in dashboards as KPIs as well as giving the user the ability to download reports in excel.