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