A new enterprise offering UK dealers access to parallel imports is to launched on March 1 by Broadspeed, designed to capitalise on the mounting concern in the market surrounding dealer/manufacturer relationships and the future of Block Exemption.
The new enterprise, RHDimports.com, mirrors the Broadspeed build-to-order internet operation established around two years ago aimed at the consumer with a business-to-business operation offering planned forward stock deliveries and immediately available vehicles.
In the first year RHDimports.com aims to have 50 dealer outlets signed up, principally privately owned businesses, bringing in a total of 10,000 parallel imports from established sources in Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France, Holland, Denmark, Ireland and Spain. This figure is expected to grow steadily as the business proves its credibility.
One of the directors of RHDimports.com is Broadspeed managing director Simon Empson.
He believes the knowledge, expertise and the considerable database of sourcing dealers created by Broadspeed, will help establish RHDimports.com - fuelled by the climate of uncertainty, and even fear, of the changing car market.
“The uncertainty amongst UK dealers, caused by the feared end or changes to Block Exemption, the 'Rip-Off Britain' campaign and the Mercedes action (giving all its dealers 12 month notice of contract termination in January) has made them question how they are going to be able to pay the mortgage,” Mr Empson said.
“The parallel business offers the ability to sell cars of any brand, ends the reliance on a single supplier.”
Another phenomenon that was aiding the parallel import market is the increasing access to finance. “In the past it has been impossible to get HP, PCP or leasing agreements on an import. But now some of the mainstream finance providers have started to offer these,” Mr Empson.
Key elements of RHDimports.com's offering are:
RHDimports.com charges the participating dealer 1.5% on the tax free cost price of each vehicle imported.