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Remarketing group targets growth on opening of new site

Date: 23 January 2019   |   Author: Simon Harris

Investment in physical and digital infrastructure is winning new customers, according to auction and remarketing supplier Aston Barclay. Simon Harris reports.

Aston Barclay is predicting further growth in its vehicle remarketing business as it opens a new auction site and announces new partnerships.

The new facility, outside Wakefield in West Yorkshire, has the capacity to process 50,000 vehicles a year, and is expected to add 35,000 units to the company's 2019 volume after it opens on 28 January.

The site opens a year after Aston Barclay's previous new facility at Donington Park, and the company has also announced new businesses due to come under the Aston Barclay umbrella.

Wakefield will also become the head office for new acquistion The Car Buying Group and its 30 staff, which recently featured at number 20 in the 2018 Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list of the fastest-growing private technology companies.

The newly integrated Independent Motor Auctions, with its 20 staff, will also be located at the 18-acre Wakefield site.

Aston Barclay's current six-acre Leeds auction will be turned into a used LCV centre in the next few months.

Aston Barclay CEO Neil Hodson said: "Wakefield is a game-changer for the remarketing sector and there is no other auction facility like it in Europe. We have created a five-star, dynamic environment filled with new technology which will be a great working environment for our buyers, vendors and colleagues alike.

"This further supports our ambition of becoming a digital business with industry-leading physical fulfilment."

The Wakefield development continues Aston Barclay group's strategy of creating large regional auction hubs, rather than a large network of smaller centres.

Aston Barclay has also launched a new Digital Solutions arm to its remarketing portfolio. The lead product in this new brand is Aston Barclay Cascade - which the company claims is a joined up proposition that 'connects customers to cars' through a mix of digital and physical remarketing channels.

Cascade combines Aston Barclay's new E-Valuate, E-Hub, E-Xchange and E-Live products into an end-to-end used vehicle proposition for dealers and leasing vendors, from initial used car appraisal through to wholesale disposal and onward delivery to buyers.

The suite optimises a used vehicle journey across all stages of the retail, sourcing and disposal process. It includes a smart dashboard for 'at a glance' decision-making, featuring real time market intelligence to optimise vehicle control and management during the vehicle lifecycle.

The Cascade process commences with the use of the E-Valuate vehicle appraisal app, allowing dealers to accurately appraise incoming vehicles with valuations referenced from CAP used car data or a customer's own pricing matrix, as well as a guaranteed purchase price from The Car Buying Group.

All data captured, including inspection reports and images, is saved on the E-Hub back-office platform, which allows vendors to decide whether the vehicle is kept for retail or uploaded to a second phase of the Cascade journey with wholesale disposal to open or closed buyer groups.

E-Hub is a dynamic control and report management tool, providing users with access to complex vehicle information 'at a glance'. The smart dashboard connects to all elements of the Cascade product suite to provide real-time stock overview and performance insights.

Vehicles directed to E-Hub enable vendors to decide a 'buy it now' price and opt for the most appropriate disposal route. 

The E-Xchange platform allows vendors the opportunity to fix the duration that the vehicle is to be advertised for disposal, as well as set 'buy now' and minimum reserve prices.

Should the vehicle sell, the buyer arranges logistics and payments with the vendor. If the vehicle is unsold, it then flows into either a physical or online E-Live auction.

Vehicles directed to E-Live will be added to an auctioneer-led sequential bidding auction, with stock from across the UK offered by vendor or profile once collected from vendor locations. Remaining vehicles are then offered in physical sales at one of Aston Barclay's five remarketing hubs.

Hodson added: "Used car buying and selling patterns are changing and client requirements are becoming more complex. Digital Solutions places us firmly as a digital business supported by physical fulfilment combining the best of both worlds to drive real value for our buyers and vendors. 

"The Cascade digital journey is seamless in taking individual used vehicles from initial vehicle appraisal right through to physical delivery to the buyer, with a number of options to increase speed of sale including dealer underwriting from The Car Buying Group."