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Auction industry set for grading system shake-up

Date: 10 August 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae


The auction industry is set to adopt an all-new grading system designed to make clearer the condition of defleeted vehicles reaching the used market.

Mike Pilkington, chief strategy officer at Manheim, said: "There will be a new grading software, which awards points against the damage of the vehicle. The BVRLA has been consulted about it and it's there to produce accurate grading.

"It will be industry wide. You can expect all the major auction companies to be using it by the end of the year."

The scheme will operate on either a numerical or an alphabetical basis, with vehicles being labelled one to five or A to E depending on the individual auction company's preference, although both will equate to the same level of vehicle condition.

Speaking exclusively to BusinessCar, Louise Wallis, head of the National Association of Motor Auctions (Nama), said: "The reason we've done it is to give a constant grade for all vehicles going to auction.

"It will help to get more consistency for bids from buyers and make it more transparent.

"[The grading] is based on a point system for different types of damage. There will also be the option not to grade a car if a vendor chooses not to.

"It might help [fleets] find people willing to buy these vehicles, especially because not all buyers are looking for high-quality vehicles, so it might help some of the lower-quality ones sell.

"It also helps fleets to know what sort of ball-park they're likely to be in so it could potentially increase the amount of preparation work done before remarketing. It can even be something as simple as cleaning the vehicles before they go through."

Wallis confirmed that the grading system is due to be rolled out across the auction industry in autumn and that BCA had already begun using it.

She said that a press launch, posters and leaflets are scheduled to accompany the service in order to raise awareness.

When asked whether the scheme had the potential to initially cause confusion among fleets and in the remarketing arena, Wallis said: "We'll aim to put out as much information as possible.

"Nama will be able to help and member auction houses will be able to do the same."

This comes as Glass's launches its updated G2 valuation system, claiming better valuations and greater accuracy than its previous services.

Managing editor Adrian Rushmore said: "We restructured all of our trade grading systems. That's because we're convinced that the auction industry is going to adopt this standard in a short period of time."

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