Introduction from CEO Peter Grøftehauge

Jun 15, 2020   written by Autorola

In just one month I am pleased to see that many used car markets across Europe are opening back up for business now that dealers are allowed to trade again.

Adjusting to a new normal across the used car sector will take some time but according to our INDICATA data insights we have already seen some markets return back to their original sales levels experienced pre Covid-19.

Used car popularity is changing
Pent up demand from consumers is very evident and, in many countries, they are treating themselves to sports cars to celebrate coming out of lockdown. Petrol, hybrid and EVs are also seeing increased sales which shows that the market isn’t simply starting where it left off according to our latest Market Watch report.

This is great news, and for those countries who have seen a more relaxed lockdown Autorola has been at the heart of making sure dealers could still buy and sell used cars online throughout 2020. In this newsletter we have interviewed Henrik Meissner, sales manager at Autorola Germany whose team kept many dealers going with online sales when physical remarketing providers had decided to close.

Useful tips for dealers
Our MarketPlace business unit director Morten Holmsten also contributes more information on how Autorola’s businesses have kept the used car wheels of industry turning as well as providing some useful tips for buyers and vendors.

It has been an exciting 12 months for our Autorola Solutions business unit with the most recent news that it has launched a used vehicle Trade In App which makes buying and selling used vehicles an easy and hassle-free solution for dealers. Watch the film we have made which brings new exciting new product to life.

I hope you find our newsletter interesting and look forward to everyone enjoying a successful remainder of 2020.


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New app allows dealers to know exactly what the vehicles are worth

Jun 22, 2020   written by Autorola

Autorola Solutions has introduced its new Trade In app – an easy to use, real time, valuation solution for dealers to simplify the buying and selling of vehicles.

Trade In is designed to support dealers to sell more cars and increase stock turn to give improved sales volumes and revenues. It provides dealers with the perfect tool to guide customers through a smooth buying process from selling their old car to driving away in a new one.

The Trade In app allows users to capture basic vehicle information along with images, as well as expert technical and mechanical reports. Both the buyer and dealer can exchange all the necessary information within minutes to ensure an efficient, reliable and transparent process.

Importantly, Trade In allows all data to be captured and exchanged within the single platform enhancing personal security and business compliance.

Once all the necessary information is captured, the app then allows dealers to make a valid, real time, market-based valuation on the trade-in vehicle via international pricing dynamics, configured to specific sales and pricing strategies. This allows dealers to know exactly what the customer vehicle is worth, at any moment in time, to calculate a trade in price as well as ensure the right product availability/mix for the business.

An integrated, guaranteed price feature helps ensure transparency and trust.

The app also allows dealers to communicate with select parties, such as OEMs, at the touch of a button, to invite offers on the ‘trade in’ against current vehicle model promotions. This two-way communication assists with the calculation of vital key performance indicators such as market days supply (MDS) and real retail prices in the market.

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Autorola Germany has been open all hours during the pandemic to support the remarketing industry

Jun 15, 2020   written by Autorola

Autorola Germany has been open all hours during the pandemic to support the remarketing industry explained Sales Manager, Henrik Meissner.

Staying open for business throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and proactively working closely with both vendors and buyers enabled Autorola Germany to support the remarketing industry during the worst pandemic in living memory.

Its digital ‘always on’ approach has allowed it to trade for every day of the pandemic with a blend of colleagues working in the office and from home online.

That compares with many German remarketing businesses that chose to shut or operated with a limited service in place.

“Vendors have been selling used cars throughout the pandemic and with the majority of delivery companies open for business and vehicle storage compounds working with distancing protocol in place we took the decision to stay available for our customers. For an online business like us it has been business as usual,” explained Henrik.

In late March and into April there was a huge oversupply of used cars in Germany with compounds full of used cars. Autorola ran extra sales for OEMs and leasing companies for hundreds of used cars, with many new buyers proactively recruited to buy cars online and ease the industry’s vehicle storage challenges.

Covid-19 has encouraged vendors to try different things. Autorola offered 700 used Ford cars for sale which would have normally gone to physical auction. INDICATA insight data was used to identify those buyers that bought used Fords in volume, and these dealer buyers were phoned and signed up to buy from the sale. Several hundred used cars were sold during a week-long online auction programme.

The closure of many Government vehicle registration offices across Germany risked causing a bottleneck for dealers and buyers to complete the used car sale paperwork. By working with a partner Autorola published a list of the registration offices that were open on a daily basis. 

“For our customers it often meant using a different office a few miles away but at least they could complete the paperwork and vehicle collections and deliveries were not delayed. Our role has grown during the Covid-19 pandemic, from being an online remarketing business to also providing bespoke personal support to dealer buyers and vendors,” Henrik said.

The German Government has announced a €130 billion coronavirus recovery package to boost the country’s economy. This includes the state financial incentive to buy an electric car doubling to €6,000, which could start to further shape the used car market post lockdown.

Recent INDICATA research into used car sales and pricing across Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic shows that diesel sales have already started to falter in Germany, partly because of this news. Diesel sales fell by 17% in May as consumers switched to buying more petrol and hybrid cars, but whether this is a short-term trend will have to be seen.

“If enough consumers take up the Government incentive to buy an electric car it will have an impact on used car diesel demand certainly in the short term. We will work closely with vendors to support this change in used market dynamics. This may mean exporting cars out of favour with consumers or even importing cars to cater for this change in demand,” said Henrik.

Autorola is also preparing for a temporary VAT cut from 19% to 16%, which was introduced by the Government for six months between 1 July and 31 December. There is lots of IT development work on the Autorola online remarketing portal to ensure every online auction and sales transaction conforms to the new 16% rate.

“The VAT rate changes aims to reduce prices across the new and used car sector which is good news for our industry,” he explained.

“It involves two lots of IT development work to deliver the VAT changes but this can-do attitude from our team ensures customer are at the heart of everything we do.”

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European used car sales increase beyond pre Covid-19 lockdown levels says INDICATA data

Jun 22, 2020   written by Autorola

INDICATA’s latest insights into the European used car industry show that across 13 countries sales are more than 10% higher in early June than they were prior to the Covid-19 pandemic starting in January and early February.

Even with countries such as the UK only seeing dealers open for business on 1 June the European markets have bounced back very fast.

Petrol, hybrids and electric cars are being favoured ahead of diesels in the majority of countries, while sports cars are in high demand as consumers decide to have some motoring fun as they exit their lockdown restrictions. Older cars between six and nine years of age are also very popular.

However, dealers are being very cautious at the rate they are replacing their sold stock and INDICATA data shows that currently European dealers are short of 340,000 used cars on their forecourts.

That should mean demand and prices remain strong over the coming months as dealers are forced to start to buy used cars again in the wholesale market.

To download a free copy of the 33-page INDICATA Market Watch 5 white paper, which provides insights into 13 countries, go to

Daily used cars sold across 13 countries – January – June

Used car shortfall across 13 countries June v April – 340K units

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Autorola Marketplace didn’t face any major business interruptions

Jun 17, 2020   written by Autorola

We caught up with Morten Holmsten, global director of Autorola Marketplace to find out what impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on his business unit

Minimal impact online – business as usual
Autorola Marketplace did not face any major business interruptions as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold and swept across Europe. As a 100% online business, it allowed all country teams/sales teams to immediately switch to working from home and continue as per their normal day-to-day roles. This ensured online bidders and buyers could continue their schedules – neither group just ‘disappeared’.

Market changes
There is no denying the used car market has changed in the wake of Covid-19 with the physical elements of fulfilment, ie handling vehicles proving the greatest challenge. However, even when the pandemic was at its peak in countries such as Italy and the UK – when it was almost impossible to do business in a physical sense – cars continued to be traded online.

Import and export
Where some challenges came to light was around import/export operations. Although trade borders remained open to some degree, it did become increasingly difficult and buyers became a little nervous. This reduced the import/export ratio quite significantly. With some countries operating a 60% export ratio, there was a temporary impact on prices, but our local, highly proactive marketing efforts continued to drive strong demand. In reality, sellers’ felt little impact and already used car wholesale prices are back to normal.

Online movement
The recent challenges have served to highlight the value of online transactions and those businesses already invested in digital capabilities have continued to trade without disruption. For example, Nordania Leasing in Denmark, one of the largest vehicle leasing companies in the region, is a 100% online remarketing operation. During recent times they have kept operations exactly as normal and, in many ways, better because of the streamlined processes and increased efficiencies.

Online improvements
Denmark has one of the highest proportions of 100% online customers which was highlighted in May with new online sales records within Autorola Marketplace. Supporting the benefits of online, as Sales Manager in Germany Henrik Meissner mentioned, Ford in Germany used Autorola Marketplace in combination with INDICATA to dispose of 700 used vehicles during the lockdown which typically would have gone to physical auction. It’s yet another strong indicator in the power of online trading.

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