Autorola Netherlands is at the centre of Europe’s used car challenges during Covid-19

Written by Autorola in category 
May 7, 2020

The Netherlands may not be one of the largest countries in Europe, but its geography means it is strategically placed at the heart of the continent’s used car industry.
At the last count Autorola Netherlands had exported used cars to 20+ countries already in 2020 and this may grow even further as vendors search for new markets to dispose of their used cars caught up in the Covid-19 pandemic. Export now equates for half the company’s annual used car sales.
Its team are approached regularly to find homes by dealers, lease and finance companies for used cars difficult to sell in their home country.

Reduced diesel demand
The Netherlands market has suffered legislative change in recent years which has meant a reduced demand for diesel cars losing out to petrols, EVs and hybrids, in particular A and B segment cars with a petrol engine. That has fuelled the growth in exports. What has made the process for the Netherlands team of finding the best market in Europe for used cars much easier that are out of favour in their home country is INDICATA, the group’s real used car sales and pricing
“Vendors come to us with some problem used cars that aren’t selling in the Nederlands. We can dial into INDICATA and it will tell us in real time where across 13 countries those used cars are in highest demand and where prices are strong,” explained Frank Tanke, country manager of Autorola Netherlands.

Proactively helping buyers
For those cars for which the local Dutch market is the best market, the Autorola team has expanded in 2019 with a Business Development (BD) team which actively contacts the local buyers and asks how Autorola can help them to easing the buying process. In some cases, the buyer is provided with data to make the best buying decisions and in others the bidding is done for the buyer by the BDC team.
“When you combine INDICATA’s powerful data insights with our online Marketplace used car portal we can help the client make informed and fast decisions within minutes on where best to dispose of or buy their used cars. Being an IT company rather than purely a remarketing business has big advantages. We quickly know where the best price is.

Rival companies buy data from Autorola
“Many of our rivals only provide historic data and trends to companies, while INDICATA’s data is so up to date that even some of our rivals buy it off us,” he said.
The Nederlands used car market has remained relatively stable with sales during the pandemic at 60-65% of normal sales levels. The Easter weekend even saw a spike in sales thanks to more relaxed lockdown legislation than other countries such as the UK, Spain, France and Italy.

Mainland Europe becomes congested with used cars
Autorola has reported a strong performance March and April and is already being approached by many companies keen to dispose of used cars that have reached their optimum stocking days during the pandemic. Time is constantly being invested to find new markets to help absorb cars from mainland Europe as the market becomes more congested with used cars as countries come out of lockdown.
The challenge for the European used market isn’t just a short term one as many leasing companies are extending contracts with their fleet customers. That may be because a replacement new car is unavailable currently because of OEM production delays or because companies have been granted payment holidays to help their balance recover from financial challenges caused by Covid-19.

Lease companies are extending contracts
“It’s a fine balancing act for leasing companies as if a new replacement car is not available then they have to extend contracts. In the short term that is fine, and when these cars come back into the marketplace the used market may have freed up slightly.
“Where the big challenge is for many countries is all new cars coming onto the fleet after 1 of July will qualify for the new WLTP benefit in kind tax rules. This will make the majority of new cars more expensive to run for companies as well as increase personal tax. We may find a supply of new cars coming into dealers or into the used market after being registered after 1 of July where the order has been cancelled due to drivers not wanting to pay higher tax bills,” said Frank.
The integrated nature of INDICATA and MarketPlace are unique and enable individual Autorola countries to use real time to make informed disposal decisions. During this difficult time, it puts countries like Autorola Netherlands in the driving seat when supporting both vendors and buyers.

For more information: Frank Tanke I
Country Director – AUTOROLA The Netherlands I Mobile: +31 (0)6 86815250 e-mail: 

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