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EXCLUSIVE: Autoquake announces used car affinity scheme

Date: 30 June 2009

Vehicle disposal expert Autoquake is looking to branch out into affinity sales.

The company is launching a service where leasing firms can offer cars coming to the end of a lease to employees of any company they deal with. Autoquake would host the site with the customer-facing elements branded in whichever way the leasing firm requests.

Autoquake has been growing quickly since its launch in 2007. The online-only channel sold 700 cars in 2007, rising to 4700 last year and a projected 15,000 units in 2009 and 25,000 next year. Buyers put a refundable £100 deposit on the cars they find online, and can then have it returned if they change their mind on reflection or after seeing the car at the firm's Birmingham or Leeds sites.

The first affinity scheme pilot goes live this summer with a so-far unnamed leasing firm, with Autoquake co-founder Fredrik Skantze looking to add a "couple more" leasing companies towards the end of the year.

"We'll look for leasing companies to list all the cars they are defleeting and make them available to the workforce," said Skantze. "Everyone wants them to do it."

The pricing of the cars will be down to the leasing firm, but Skantze predicted there will be an extra incentive over the cars sold on Autoquake's main site: "I envisage there will be some sort of a discount or extra incentive like a warranty, but it's up to the leasing company, otherwise they may as well just direct people to our site."

The company is also launching another initiative this summer with the addition of pre-order cars to its site. Leasing firms and fleets can give details of cars nearing the end of a lease period, and they can be posted online with the date they are available for purchase. All cars being defleeted would be listed, rather than the normal percentage that a lease firm allocates to Autoquake over an auction house. Then, if a buyer expresses an interest before the car makes its way to auction, it switches channels and goes to Autoquake instead.



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