Autorola Germany’s new country manager Henrik Meissner discusses how the group’s products and services are supporting customers in a fast-moving used market
Autorola Germany has reported business growth levels of 40% over the last 18 months as it continues to help and support dealer groups, fleets, OEMs and banks to manage its vehicle assets more efficiently. But the market is now changing and Germany’s customers are looking more to Henrik and his team to support them in a fast-changing used market.
“Over the past three months Germany has seen its used market move from demand exceeding supply to one that has slowed down caused by rising inflation. Supply now suddenly exceeds demand which has been a shock to many in the industry. Germany has not seen a surplus of used stock for 2-3 years since early 2020 before new car supply was compromised by the global shortage of semiconductors,” explained Henrik.
Export levels have begun to rise
Due to this dramatic market change and an increased acceptance by buyers and vendors to buying and selling online Autorola’s Marketplace remarketing portal is now playing its part in helping balance the country’s used car stock. Export levels have already begun to rise through the portal as leasing and dealer vendors dispose of unwanted or overage stock.
New EVs have become more popular helped by new car incentives and lower tax levels. Therefore, EVs are generally being purchased by larger companies as company cars on contract hire or lease as they aim to reduce their level of emissions.
The used EV market has softened
The rising cost of living however has made a big impact on the prices and demand for used EVs. The used market has softened with some EVs being exported to other countries where zero emission subsidies are much more generous for drivers. This trend has contributed to 27% of Autorola Germany’s used stock being exported via MarketPlace by the end of 2022.
Germany remains a predominantly diesel market due to the long distances between cities which means the market share of EVs remains small when compared with other fuel types.
“Like so many other countries there is a difference of opinion between manufacturers when new car production will return to its former level. Stellantis and VW both say its nearly back to normal while
many of the German brands and Ford believe it will be the end of 2023 and into 2024 before this happens,” said Henrik.
Using data to manage stock more efficiently
Whatever happens to production the current slowdown in consumer confidence means more dealers are looking to INDICATA’s used car and market supply insights data to help them manage their stock more efficiently.
INDICATA Germany has grown its sales team with many dealers looking to use its price and volume insights to help them make the decision of what stock to sell at auction and what to keep.
Helping make data powered business decisions
But while INDICATA continues to benefit from sales growth there is still work to do in educating the market about the power of making data-led remarketing decisions.
“Dealer groups need us to prove to them the power of making key business decisions by using our data. Right now being able to identify and buy fast-moving stock at auction and trade out of those models that are in low demand is critical to support continued profitable used car growth. That’s where our data can make a big difference,” explained Henrik.
Harmonising products and services
Henrik is already working hard with his team to harmonise the MarketPlace, INDICATA and Solutions teams so they work more closely together. No other German supplier can offer an established online used car platform, used car insights data and the Solutions platform which simplifies the digital processes of managing a vehicle through its life cycle all in one place.
“We have strengthened our Solutions sales team in recent months. Fleet Monitor is a very powerful system that can digitise a dealer’s processes from In-Fleet to De-Fleet. We are targeting larger dealer groups with this solution to provide a powerful interface bridge with their Dealer Management System. Dealers are beginning to understand that Fleet Monitor is a powerful addition to their DMS rather than a replacement or replica. This is another sales opportunity which will help us achieve our growth plans during 2023,” said Henrik.