19 November 2012
Last week I attended the launch of Carcom, yet another web-based system that claims to be an ideal way of sourcing more used car stock.
When I say ‘launch’ that’s probably a bit premature as the system isn’t yet available. In fact, it won’t even be piloted until next month and the actual launch date is set for January 26.
Essentially the Carcom website, confusingly a .co.uk domain, will be a cross between Webuyanycar and Autotrade Mail. But it’s not the system itself that I really want to write about; it’s the sheer number of options now available for sourcing stock.
As we all know, the past few years of much decreased new car sales has led to a shortage of good one-three year-old used car stock. As a result values are rising and franchised dealerships are also looking at older used car stock.
Increased activity by retailers to make sure their used car operations remain profitable has lead to both new businesses being set up to help this increased spend and also existing businesses being bought by the leading remarketing experts.
Alongside Carcom, there’s also new starter Carcliq which aims to be an online hub for car buying and selling, just like several other start-ups in the past couple of years. On the acquisition front, Manheim has recently snapped up Dealer Auction to bolster its presence in the market.
And here’s the point: not only will all these remarketing channels not change the total number of cars available, but used car retailers aren’t going to pay for multiple options which simply increases the cost of sale and erodes margins.
The increasingly scientific, data-driven, way retailers are analysing processes and costs means they will quickly find the best options, with the most and the best stock. Those will thrive, while the rest will be ignored.