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Grey imports to rise with WCA auctions

Traders in grey imports are receiving a boost in potential business volumes with the UK arrival of Irish auctioneer WCA.

WCA, as Windsor Car Auctions, has been selling grey imports to UK outlets for the past two years from its Dublin site. It has teamed up with The Motor Auction Consortium to launch the venture this week in Durham.

The company is confident of selling “at least 80-85%” of the 500 cars on display. Managing director Anthony O'Farrell said: “The grey has nearly gone out of the grey market. I think this will be the busiest, most exciting auction buyers have ever seen,” he said.

Mr O'Farrell believed most of the expected 400 buyers would be independent traders, though some franchised dealers and used car superstores were likely to attend.

“We are operating in a niche market, auctioning three to five-year-old Japanese sportscars, 4x4s and MPVs,” he said. “We see it as a profit opportunity for independents.” Vehicles will include Mazda MX-5, Mitsubishi Pajero, Subaru Impreza and Honda Prelude. WCA delayed its UK launch until the Government changed regulations allowing cars to be imported commercially provided they pass the SVA test. All WCA cars are sold with full SVA approval - most are tested under Germany's TUV scheme - and prices include VAT and duty paid.

Mr O'Farrell said dealers would be attracted by “good price comparisons with UK prices” which would improve profit margins, but also because WCA was selling “niche models that are hard to get in the UK”.

WCA has a database of more than 3,000 buyers who have travelled from the UK to Ireland in the past two years. Auctions will initially be held fortnightly and eventually weekly, targeting 1,000 sales a month.”

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