NEWS

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.

Regards
Peter




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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 www.indicata.com/corona.


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 faced 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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Introduction from Peter

May 7, 2020   written by Autorola

Welcome to our May newsletter, as we begin to see countries coming out of their different states of Covid-19 lockdown in this new world we are living in.

The early signs from our powerful INDICATA Market Watch report data is that used car markets in Germany and Austria have bounced back with strong sales activity which is very good news.
Used car markets in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands are also waking up and consumer confidence is starting to drive demand. Consumer confidence is so important, and we are keeping a close eye on how the UK, France, Spain and Italian markets respond to their used car dealers starting to trade again in the coming weeks.
Don’t miss your opportunity to sign up to our fortnightly Market Watch data to keep your business more informed.

Netherlands helps resolve vendors’ used car challenges
In this newsletter our Netherlands country manager Frank Tanke discusses how his team are working with dealer, leasing and rental customers to maximise sales and prices of used cars across European borders. Despite being a relatively small country, it is having a major impact on helping address vendor used car challenges in this current climate.

Dealers need a digital used car platform
Our Solutions business unit director Ib Kimose also shares with us his views on how an online future will create new wholesale opportunities for OEMs and used car operators.
He explains how a digital used car platform can reduce costs and is less resource demanding than having salespeople in physical stores. Trading online also offers maximum security to all parties. All of these points that Ib discusses are what the Autorola Group has represented for the past two decades.
We wish your families and your businesses well. Stay safe and I hope to see you soon.

Peter


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Autorola Solutions provides car dealers with tomorrow’s Solutions today

May 1, 2020   written by Autorola


The impact of the coronavirus on car dealers has yet to fully reveal itself. The economic and social fallout of the pandemic already now is significant and will remain to be visible in years to come. Social distancing has changed our patterns of interaction. This increases the need for more efficient and structured digital platforms for managing and selling used car stock in a time, where online has proven to be the ‘new black’.

Many dealers have appeared ill-prepared to cope with the impact that the virus has had on their business and the law-enforced social distancing, which has led to closed dealers. Due to several disconnected internal systems that are poorly consolidated, dealers have lacked a total stock overview. This has highlighted the need for dealers to have an efficient and reliable tool to allow business to continue ‘almost as usual’.

Significant impact on dealerships
At this moment, businesses in some countries are slowly opening again, nevertheless the Covid-19 situation remains far from being contained and the full extent the implications will have on economies and societies have yet to emerge. But already now, the impact on many dealerships have been significant.
Markets have been reporting a standstill, as dealers have been closed and economic activity has largely come to a stop. This could to some extent have been avoided with a greater degree of digitalisation, as the existing systems in many dealerships do not allow people to work from home with the necessary overview and online nature. Although slowly opening up again, the expectation is that the activity usually seen at dealerships will not reach the same level as before the Covid-19 for some time, therefore dealerships must rethink the way they interact with their customers, both wholesale and consumer segments.

Rethink your dealers
This is important for numerous reasons:
Firstly, adding an additional way to collaborate online across your dealers will inevitably lead to more efficiency and thereby also increased earnings.
Secondly, in the view of the recent Covid-19, less physical touchpoints will also allow you to grow your customer base, both wholesale and consumers, while reducing the risk of exposure to Covid-19.
Thirdly, digitalising your platform is cost reducing and less resource demanding than having salespeople in physical stores. That means that you can reach more potential buyers using less resources and with a digital platform be able to work from anywhere in a secure online way.

Interactive dealer stock overview
With Autorola Solutions online “showroom”, which is an online stock overview for dealers, you, as a dealer, instantly access your entire stock with detailed descriptions and commercial photos and start selling. No matter where you are, you have instant access to all cars within your stock and know exactly what the state of the car is, what the price is, what you can promise your buyer and when that promise is kept. That is transparency and trust in one flexible solution that can be customised to your needs. Design your perfect way of selling and roll out across your dealerships with a plug and play solution. Scalable, secure, safe and simple.

With your online “showroom” you get full overview of your entire stock – across your dealerships, for a central access point to locate and offer cars to your buyers. You get real-time access to detailed descriptions of the cars, both technical specifications and inspections with high quality photos. Our easy search functions allow you to locate the stock cars your wholesale buyers request and give precise information on location and delivery times and prices.
You can negotiate prices and reserve cars directly on the interactive platform designed for dealers with always updated and real-time stock overview. That is selling made easy!

Autorola products work seamlessly together
All Autorola products work seamlessly together and scale easily. You can always choose to integrate your solution with our Indicata and Marketplace products to further design your perfect end-to-end workflow management tool.

Digitalisation is an investment in the future and a natural way to ensure business continuity in unexpected and unprecedented realities. We prepare you to keep moving forward when the world changes overnight with our online, practical, adaptable and mobile solutions.



For more information contact Ib Kimose I Director I AUTOROLA Solutions I Mobile: +4561629916 e-mail: iki@autorola.com or go to: https://www.autorolagroup.com/about/solutions/

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

May 7, 2020   written by Autorola


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: ft@autorola.nl 

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Used car sales in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark start to recover, while prices remain static says Market Watch report

May 7, 2020   written by Autorola


Germany and Austria are the first countries where car dealers have exited a total lockdown caused by Covid-19 pandemic. They are seeing the used car sector quickly recover as consumers begin to treat themselves to new wheels according to our latest free-to-download INDICATA Market Watch insights report.
Germany has seen its used market recover to 90% of its March run rate and Austria 80% after dealers started trading again on the 20 and 14 April respectively, with sports cars the biggest growth sector in both countries as consumers treat themselves post lockdown.
Countries that experienced partial lockdowns such as the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark have also seen a return to 90%, 98% and 102% of pre-lockdown sales activity based on increased consumer activity and confidence.



Sweden, Denmark and Netherlands used car demand grows
In previous INDICATA reports Sweden had been the most resilient country in Europe, with the lightest lockdown. It has moved from 80% of previous sales levels, to 98% on 1 May.
In April Denmark trading volumes had dropped to circa 60% of March, but with progressive easing measures in place, the market has reactivated and risen to 102%. In Netherlands, consumer confidence is also returning with sales recovering to 90% of early March trends.

No major used price movements so far
But despite the sales growth there are still no significant price movements to report across Europe, even in newly opened markets. Sweden, the country most openly trading during the pandemic has only seen prices fall by 4.4%.
INDICATA is also yet to see a movement in large lockdown markets of Italy, Spain, France and UK. In smaller countries such as Portugal and Poland, and to a smaller degree, Belgium dealers appear to be increasingly breaking lockdown rules and selling used cars as consumer demand rises.

Petrol grows in popularity across Europe
One noticeable trend is the growth in popularity of used petrol, hybrid and electric cars at the expense of diesel over the past two months. All six countries on their recovery phase have seen a growth in petrol used cars. In Germany the swing from petrol to diesel was 6.2% and in Poland 9.8%. Sweden meanwhile has experienced a 30%+ growth in hybrid and electric volumes versus a 2% reduction in sales across its entire market.



INDICATA’s business unit director Andy Shields is keen to issue a word of caution for markets yet to exit lockdown.
“The trends we have seen in Germany and Austria are very positive but may not transfer to other markets based on a number of factors. They are both affluent countries with resilient economies and deep financial reserves.
“They have also experienced fewer infections and deaths which impact less on the consumer’s mindset, plus generally their lockdowns were shorter and shallower than other countries. Germany has a resilient economy as it proved during the 2009 recession where the used car market only fell by 5%. How large used car countries like the UK, France, Spain and Italy will bounce back is still too early to tell,” he said.
To download a free copy of Market Watch 4, go to http://www.indicata.com/corona

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People-driven digital transformation

May 1, 2020   written by Autorola


Digitalisation without organisation is worth nothing
Most businesses Today are digitalising, transforming, disrupting, adapting and changing to go online. Everywhere, anytime that we talk about digitalisation, organisation is an often left-out word, nevertheless crucial to a successful digitalisation – because what is a business worth with an online system – but no one to use it ?

Why you should go digital ?
Technology lets us digitalise. But digitalisation is a means to an end, not the end itself. It should always support your business in achieving your goals. Strategically, tactically, and operationally.
In the wake of the Covid-19, many businesses have encountered first-hand to be impacted on core business areas, which by digitalisation could have been less impacted.

We make digitalisation your strength
The path ahead should encompass digitalisation as a natural part of your business DNA. That also means that is should be incorporated as being a centrality in any business continuity plan.
Laying the groundwork for a day-to-day operation that is based on digitalisation that, in conjunction with organisational transformation processes, ensures your business’ position in any fast-moving reality must inevitably be strategised and executed side by side.

How you go digital with a purpose
Whether it be a new way of trading cars or managing your fleet activities, any digitalisation should be implemented with a clear set of goals. We ask the Why’s, How’s, Where’s, Who’s and When’s that are crucial questions that need to be asked – and answered before your business embarks on a digitalisation journey.
You have to rethink your business and the players. This is where Autorola Solutions can help you.


Contact us now for a talk on how to move your business ahead: Ib Kimose I Director I AUTOROLA Solutions I Mobile: +4561629916 e-mail: iki@autorola.com or go to: https://www.autorolagroup.com/about/solutions/

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