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Glass's and Cap: new defleeting platform to shake up remarketing industry

Date: 06 August 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Key players in the remarketing industry are set to launch a platform that will speed up the defleeting process for fleets and leasing firms and allow them more choice about which company sells their cars and how.

Three businesses, one of which is Glass's Guide, are developing systems based on the common platform, which will give fleets the choice of which company and which channel - for example, physical auction, dedicated online remarketing or trading directly with a dealer - they use, based on what they think will bring the best results.

Rupert Pontin, chief car editor at Glass's Guide, told BusinessCar: "[The process] to take enough data to send it straight through to the remarketing channel can be done right at the point when the car comes in.

"For example, with a leasing firm, the car might have [previously] gone straight to an auction centre. The system will give the vendor the choice of whether to go through auction or through another channel."

The platform will work via tablets or iPads and will allow vendors to immediately choose which channel to sell the vehicle through, theoretically speeding up the selling process by reducing the time between defleet and sale, and improving cash flow.

Pontin continued: "If [an end-of-contract] inspection is done and downloaded in real time, a vendor can see what it is and say, 'Okay, let's arrange immediately to send to auction, online remarketing company, car supermarket, etc.'.

"It's getting money in the bank quicker and cutting time."

Adrian Rushmore, operations director at rival RV specialist Cap, described the platform as "the next big thing" and agreed that the main benefit to fleet operators would be cutting time between defleet and sale.

"The point at which a vehicle is defleeted and then sold is a period of about 15 to 20 days. You lose a lot of money after that period of time. If you can find a buyer before that time has lapsed then you're going to do it."

Rushmore did not confirm whether Cap was involved in the move, but stated: "We are very, very interested observers."

To be successful the platform will require a standardised set of condition grading rules for vehicles - similar to those implemented for auction firms by the National Association of Motor Auctions in 2012, which Pontin believes is one of the crucial elements.

"The key hurdle is consistency of images and information at the front end and having a way of policing that," he said.

Another challenge is to get fellow members of the remarketing industry on board.

"It's a complicated process," said Pontin. "For it to work we'll need buy-in from the auction companies, then buy-in from other remarketing companies, then from advertisement companies like Auto Trader."

The platform, however, is expected to ruffle some feathers in the remarketing arena.

The ability for fleet operators to choose which company sells their vehicle is likely to prevent some vendors from defaulting to a single outlet, as Pontin admitted: "It's not necessarily going to be popular with some auction companies where vehicles go straight to their sites."

Rushmore added: "There would be a benefit [to choosing your outlet] but there are politics involved. All the [remarketing] companies want the same car - that's why it's a difficult one to manoeuvre."

The other two companies working on systems have yet to be named. Auction giant Manheim issued a statement, which said: "We are continually evaluating the latest technology to. reduce the number of days it takes to sell a vehicle.

"We are investing in a number of other products - existing and new developments - which will further enhance our multi-channel listing capabilities."

Costs, exact timings and names for the systems have yet to be announced, but Pontin hinted that the first one is likely to go live "in the latter part of this year". Glass's, at least, is expected to carry out a pilot scheme before its version is launched.