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Aston Barclay plotting site acquisitions in 2012

Date: 07 September 2011   |   Author: Rachel Burgess

Remarketing firm Aston Barclay is expecting a tough auction market in 2012 and is eyeing opportunistic acquisitions as others struggle, according to MD Tim Hudson.

"I think it will be difficult market for the industry next year, and I think there will be opportunities to acquire sites," he told BusinessCar. "There are too many of us around at the moment."

The company, which has three sites, in Chelmsford, Shropshire and Wiltshire, expects to grow next year to around 75,000 vehicle sales, up from 60,000 this year.

Hudson said the firm wants to be the third choice of auction company after BCA and Manheim, providing a "credible alternative".

Indeed, Aston Barclay has just announced a deal with Mercedes-Benz UK to sell up to 150 of its cars a week in sales at its Chelmsford site, alongside the brand's sales at Manheim. Other contracts for Aston Barclay include Lex Autolease, Leaseplan, ING Car Leasing, Motability, Zenith, Leasedrive and Ogilvie.

Hudson said that his objective since joining from Leaseplan International 12 months ago was to create a "proper corporately aligned business" that is different to the general competition: "I have a huge amount of respect for BCA and Manheim so it's finding something that differentiates us."

The focus has been on developing technology, with its Dashboard system, recently highly commended in the BusinessCar Techies Awards. "The level of insight coming from auction partners isn't as good as it could be. I felt it was important to have that dialogue with our customers, so we could try and send over useful information rather than just figures."

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