Autorola Marketplace didn’t faced any major business interruptions
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’.
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.
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.
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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