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Manheim: Confidence the key for selling online

Date: 12 March 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

The key to online remarketing is confidence in the brand. That's the view of Manheim's chief executive, John Bailey, who claimed that as long as buyers are comfortable with the service they are using then there will be no concern about internet sales.

Speaking exclusively to BusinessCar, Bailey said: "You would buy an older vehicle if you had the confidence of the brand - do you ever worry about putting your credit card details into Amazon? The key thing for online sales is buyer confidence."

Although the firm is currently focusing on developing new technology rather than physically expanding, Bailey revealed that Manheim is in the process of reopening its Coventry site.

That was mothballed two years ago but it will be devoted to manufacturer auctions from now on, for which the company claims it doesn't need a huge amount of space.

Bailey said the recent closure of Manheim's Middlesborough site was not because it was not profitable but because it was too small to keep open with two larger auction centres (Leeds and Washington) in the region: "It was too small to warrant keeping open and Middlesborough is not an area with a lot of fleet vehicles.

It's just consolidation and Smart commercial business sense. We have no plans to close any more centres at the moment but as technology progresses there may be some consolidation."

Bailey continued to say that with the rise of online sales, auction companies were in a better position than failed rivals such as the now defunct Autoquake because they were able to handle the logistics of selling cars with their existing resources.

"Selling a vehicle online brings customers together but there's still two tonnes of metal in the middle, so we still believe that logistical handling is going to be a priority for an auction company. It's very difficult to sell a car when it's being driven by the end user - and not every company has thought of that. Storage space is vital."

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