NEWS

Welcome to the Autorola Group newsletter

Apr 26, 2024   written by Autorola



Welcome to the Spring Autorola Group Newsletter, our second of 2024.

In this edition of the newsletter, we explore the operations of Autorola Gulf, a year after the Al-Futtaim Automotive business partnership was announced. The general manager of the region gives a detailed insight into how our technology-led solutions are helping to revolutionise the remarketing industry in this region.

In another example of how our data-driven insight can bring real-world benefits to businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve, the article on the upcoming taxation changes for LCVs in the Netherlands shows just how powerful data is as a tool. In this instance, INDICATA’s data drawn from Austria has been modelled to predict the effects of a taxation change on the used LCV market from 2025 onwards.

AI is often talked about, but in this edition, we have an article showcasing how Autorola’s early adoption of this technology has benefitted our business and customers alike.

It would be unusual if we didn’t feature an article about used BEVs in this newsletter, and in the UK the INDICATA team has been keeping a close eye on the comparative prices of used BEVs and ICE cars. Read the article below for full details.

I hope that you enjoy this edition.

Best regards,
Peter Grøftehauge (LinkedIn)

Ilias Ghiyati, General Manager of Autorola Gulf, discusses the first 12 months of the business launching its new partnership with Al-Futtaim Automotive

Apr 26, 2024   written by Autorola

 

“It has taken twelve months of meeting potential customers, dealers, rental companies, lease companies, and OEMs. These are established businesses, and we are introducing them to a digital transformation of their remarketing. For many large ticket B2B businesses, their remarketing is very complex.

“We are continually fact-finding and understanding each country’s individual dynamics in the Gulf region. This includes meeting with many independent dealers to understand how and where they source their used vehicles. Many businesses are still family-owned, and building trust is important.

“They are very entrepreneurial, and we must show them that we too are entrepreneurs and are committed to changing market processes to benefit everyone’s business. We have been trading online for over 20 years and started our business when websites were in their infancy. Our vision has remained consistent over the decades, and online auctions are slowly replacing physical auctions, something that has sped up since the Covid pandemic when buying online was the only method of buying stock.

Replacing manual work processes

“On the fleet side, we are talking to rental companies about how they sell their vehicles, and our general conclusion so far is that existing remarketing processes and workflows are very manual.

“These insights give us confidence that many of these processes will benefit from being digitized through our Fleet Monitor workflow management system and Digital Showroom online auction system, which will provide valuable support to their businesses.

“Al-Futtaim Automotive (AFA) is a very well-established and trusted business trading right across the Middle East. Working with AFA as a partner and customer gives us local experience and market knowledge which we are combining with our 20-plus years of technology and experience working in the automotive industry.

“The Middle Eastern market consists of big traders in all sorts of goods including cars. The customer’s behaviour and the way they work is very different. We must now build trust with buyers and vendors, that our digital channels will help support and grow their businesses while bringing many efficiencies.

Impartiality

“Despite our partnership with AFA, our impartiality means we respect everyone’s data privacy. We must educate the marketplace that we are impartial and respect their privacy.

“Autorola handles sensitive data on behalf of banks, financial institutions, and very demanding customers, including world-leading OEMs. We take information security and data integrity to the next level.

“We listen carefully to feedback from the marketplace and that is very important as we continue to learn about customer needs, but we can be flexible and agile.

“INDICATA is not available yet in the region, but we are exploring how we set the platform up and explore opportunities. There is no doubt the region will benefit from used vehicle pricing insights in real-time as there is an underserved opportunity in creating transparency on cross-border trade to maximise pricing.

Cross-border disposal strategy

“Knowing more about pricing between countries, particularly when you sell multiple vehicles, such as rental and leasing suppliers, is extremely useful. It helps support your disposal strategy and you choose to dispose of the country where your stock is worth the most.

“We recently launched open auction activities using the Digital Showroom software from Autorola Solutions.

“Wholesale channels are currently very immature, which is where our technology can help. Over the next 3-5 years, we believe that wholesale volumes being listed and sold online through marketplaces, will rise dramatically in the region as more online channels come on stream and as businesses embrace change by welcoming more innovation to the region.

Shifting away from oil revenues

“We have seen rapid change in the Gulf region, which has been supported by a young population and a shift away from a reliance on oil revenues. For instance, Lucid Group officially opened Saudi Arabia’s first ever car manufacturing facility to produce its groundbreaking electric vehicles for the home and export markets.

“Ceer Motors, a joint venture between PIF, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Foxconn, recently started building a one-million square metre car manufacturing facility to produce a target of 170,000 cars a year for the domestic and export markets.

“BYD has an exclusive cooperation with Al-Futtaim Automotive in the UAE and recently marked a crucial expansion to Saudia Arabia, which gives Autorola very interesting perspectives in the Arab world’s largest economy.  We are also set to announce an exciting new customer in Qatar in the second quarter of 2024.

Large buyer base

“The Hertz UAE franchise is owned by Al-Futtaim Automotive and its 12–24-month-old used cars are sold through the Al-Futtaim Auto Auction digital showroom, which is a self-managed auction platform, powered by Autorola.

“Hertz offers a broad selection of cars and is considered a trusted source, which gives confidence to Al-Futtaim’s large buyer base. The online channel makes it easy to do business for buyers and vendors alike. Dealers are slowly getting used to buying used cars online more seriously.

“Part of building buyer trust is to ensure vehicles are inspected thoroughly and quality images captured of each vehicle before they are uploaded online. That empowers the seller to sell vehicles online whilst making sure the pricing is correct.

“Lease contract returns will also benefit from a quality vehicle inspection, not just for the lease company, who are determining what the dehire costs are for their client, but also for then speeding up the on-sale process. Our inspection software can help make the dehire process very objective.

End-to-end vehicle management

“Where we believe our Fleet Monitor asset workflow platform will become popular, is to manage a vehicle’s life from end-to-end finishing with the sale of the vehicle. Tracking everything from car order to sale, it enables rental and leasing fleets to enrich their data connected with their stock inventory.

“It will help companies in the Gulf region to digitise their processes and make them more efficient plus understand more information about their vehicle inventory and when overlaying INDICATA’s used car pricing data understand the current value of their stock. Fleets have admitted that they are hungry for more accurate used car data, and we look forward to providing that in the future.”

INDICATA Netherlands has published a new White Paper on the impact of abolishing the LCV entrepreneurs’ exemption set for introduction in January 2025

Apr 26, 2024   written by Autorola


The Netherlands is due to abolish the “entrepreneur’s exemption” on the BPM tax applied to Light Commercial Vehicles, from January 2025, with the sole exception of electric LCVs.

This is a move which will see all new petrol and diesel vans subject to the same taxation as passenger vehicles and will increase the sale price of new LCVs by an average of 12,300 EUR across the country’s best-selling models.

INDICATA has published a white paper looking at the potential effects of this change on the used van market in the Netherlands. These predictions are based on its data from Austria in 2021, which underwent a similarly large taxation shift, when it introduced the NOVA luxury tax on new LCVs in 2021.

What happened to the used LCV market in Austria?

The Austrian NOVA tax was introduced in 2021, on a lower rate which has increased annually since then, and which reaches its peak and perpetual rate in 2025. This introduction coincided with the international microprocessor shortage, which saw used vehicle values rise across the board, so it was important for INDICATA to take this into account to determine the true impact of NOVA on used values.

When the effects of the shortage were subtracted from the market data, it was revealed that for each increase in NOVA rates, the used LCV market saw a price increase of 2.5%, or a predicted 12.5% overall increase over five years.

What might happen to LCV values in The Netherlands?

The immediate increase in new LCV prices is likely to have a negative impact on sales, as businesses are likely to try and run their existing vehicles for as long as possible to avoid the tax. This in turn should result in an increase in used LCV prices across The Netherlands.

As such, the prediction for used LCV prices after the tax introduction is that market values will rise between 8 and 12.5% overall in 2025.

What is the future for LCVs in The Netherlands?

With the introduction of the new taxation on internal combustion LCVs in The Netherlands, combined with the increasing number of zero emissions zones across the country, which bans combustion engines within 20 municipalities in 2025, there is likely to be a surge in the take-up of electric LCVs instead.

A major ‘problem factor’ might be the weight of eLCVs, which, if plated at 4.25 tonnes GVW, will mean many current drivers of LCVs will be unable to drive eLCVs due to the weight restrictions on licences.

While businesses will be able to invest in the training and testing of drivers to enable them to drive these heavier vehicles, a preferable alternative would be to match the legislation found in the UK, which gives dispensation to drivers of electric vehicles to operate heavier vehicles. This aims to encourage the take up of eLCVs, alongside other taxation and legislative incentives.

To read the full white paper, please download a copy at LCVs Market Watch White Paper (indicata.com)

For a full copy of the white paper go to www.indicata.com

We interview our group AI expert John Prescott on Autorola’s plans to make AI more integral to future business processes

Apr 26, 2024   written by Autorola

 

Autorola was an early adopter of AI when it started using the technology five years ago within the INDICATA business unit to further improve the accuracy of its pricing data.

INDICATA introduced AI technology over five years ago to resolve the challenge around identifying the correct model year and body type of the vehicle.

Vehicle Recognition

It does this by analysing key features on each vehicle image, such as headlights and fog lights that are unique to that specific make and model of vehicle. This accurately identifies the vehicle, therefore improving the quality of INDICATA data.

The group’s latest AI activation has been a successful collaboration with Autorola Germany where it was used in helping to automate the vehicle data extraction and validation process while ensuring the quality and accuracy of the information.

AI PDF extractor

This took the form of an AI PDF extractor which was able to locate, extract and process the required vehicle data needed to support the sale of vehicles on Autorola Germany’s auction platform.

The solution improved the speed and efficiency of the data validation process, as the human reviewers only had to check and confirm the information that AI PDF Extractor provided, rather than undertaking a manual search.

“There is no reason that in the future all our data-related processes will have some form of AI support behind them simply because it speeds up all elements of data extraction, analysis and reporting,” said John.

Automating data extraction

“The goal is to automate the data extraction and processing process as much as possible, with minimal human intervention, while maintaining the high standards of data quality and accuracy.

“That approach will benefit our customers and our internal teams both at our Odense HQ and within our subsidiary businesses.”

Vehicle descriptions are one key area where AI can add value. As more vehicle manufacturers have extended their model ranges so the levels of complexity have increased. That makes it more of a minefield when Autorola or its customers upload used vehicles onto the MarketPlace online platform. AI can help improve that data.

Improving imagery

Transparency of information when selling online is vital to achieving buyer trust and that includes imagery. Autorola can see AI playing a key part in improving imagery, including altering vehicle backgrounds.

“We are also seeing AI technology continuing to improve around filmed content which is another area which can support our business. AI object recognition is getting better and ultimately the aim is to provide the best quality data, whether we are helping customers buy or sell used vehicles.

“There is also a major benefit for our colleagues in using AI – many elements of data processing are repetitive and time consuming. AI takes away these more manual data processing tasks which helps improve job satisfaction – it also helps colleagues achieve more complex data workflow tasks more quickly and efficiently.

Speed and efficiency = cost benefits

“If complex tasks are completed more quickly and efficiently then there will always be a cost benefit which should not be overlooked.

“I like to think of AI as being the new industrial revolution for offices as there is a huge future potential in improving the workflows and processes of everything we do on a daily basis,” explained John.

INDICATA UK has published a white paper which shows how used BEV and ICE cars are reaching price parity for the very first time

Apr 26, 2024   written by Autorola

 

Prices of some used BEVs and ICE cars started to reach price parity in Q1 2024 according to INDICATA UK’s white paper.

Entitled ‘Reaching used BEV and ICE car price parity’ the white paper tracks the used retail car prices of all fuel types in the UK from 2020-2024, and importantly the highs and lows of used BEVs.

This includes using INDICATA data to track used prices of five popular BEVs from Citroen, MG, Vauxhall, Peugeot and Hyundai against their equivalent ICE models during 2023 and 2024.

BEV ICE price parity fuels demand

“Price parity is vital for BEVs in the used market as consumers are now being offered all the latest fuel types at similar prices, where before used BEVs were commanding a 25-30% price premium which put buyers off going electric,” explained Dean Merritt, INDICATA UK’s head of sales.

“Price parity is fuelling demand just as the volumes of used BEVs, particularly ex-fleet cars, are increasing which is good news for the entire industry,” he added.

The INDICATA white paper shows prices of used BEVs peaking in Q3 2022 where demand and the chip shortage weakened supply. Prices then fell as OEMs pushed discounted new and nearly new used BEVs into the market coinciding with rising volumes of two and three-year ex-PCP, leasing and salary sacrifice BEVs. This caused prices to crash by over 30% in 2023.

In Q1 2024 there were signs that used BEV prices were stabilising as prices fell by just 1.3% during the three-month period, helping close the gap between BEV and ICE prices as INDICATA’s data reveals.

Peugeot 208 BEV v 208 petrol two years and 20,000 miles

Peugeot 208 BEV and petrol models reached price parity in June 2023 at which point BEVs became worth more than equivalent petrol models. That is how it stayed until both fuel types reached price parity again in March 2024 at £14,250.

Vauxhall Corsa BEV v Corsa diesel – two years and 20,000 miles

From January 2023 the Corsa BEV was worth more than the equivalent diesel model by around £7,000. As of March 2024, the diesel Corsa was worth £16,000 and the Corsa BEV £15,250, which reflects how far market prices have moved on certain models in a brief period of time.

MG ZS BEV v ZS petrol – two years and 20,000 miles

Electric ZS prices have been consistently ahead of used ZS petrol prices by around £1,250 since June 2023. This trend has continued into 2024 with the ZS BEV worth £15,000 compared with £13,750 for the petrol model.

Citroen C4 BEV v C4 diesel two years and 20,000 miles

The Citroen C4 BEV reached price parity with its diesel equivalent in May 2023 at £17,400 but prices continued to fall. As of March 2024, BEVs were worth £14,200 against £16,200 for the equivalent diesel.

Hyundai Kona BEV v Kona petrol – two years and 20,000 miles

Hyundai’s strong zero emission reputation meant drivers paid more for used Kona BEVs during 2023. That trend continued into 2024, with Kona BEVs worth £19,700, £4,700 more than the equivalent petrol model.

“Some brands have already built up a strong BEV reputation and drivers are prepared to pay more for them than ICE cars, but generally our data shows prices have moved much closer together. In the case of Peugeot 208 BEV and petrol models, prices were identical at the end of March 2024 while there was just a few hundred pounds difference between the Corsa BEV and diesel models at the same age and mileage,” said Merritt.

For a full copy of the white paper go to www.indicata.com