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BE proposals to boost e-trading

E-trading in the motor industry has been given a boost by this week's European Commission announcement on revised block exemption, according to Epyx.

The EC statement on the new trading conditions, which come into effect in October, states that greater use of distribution techniques such as Internet sales will be encouraged.

This is designed to lead to more competition between dealers, make cross-border purchases of new vehicles significantly easier, and lead to greater price competition.

Greg Connell, managing director of epyx, which specialises in technology for the motor industry, said: "It appears that the EC really means to get behind Internet sales - the topic is right at the top of their statement on revised block exemption.

"This means that dealerships and other motor industry retailers will very quickly have to take the Internet seriously as a means of selling vehicles to the consumer.

"Our view is that this will lead many companies to overhaul their entire IT base and boost motor industry e-trading in a number of ways. It will not just be a question of using the Internet to sell cars to retail consumers but also to greatly improve links with suppliers and corporate buyers."

epyx's 1link vehicle procurement platform, which utilises the Internet to simplify car buying for bulk purchasers such as dealers and fleets, is well placed to benefit, Connell believes.

He said: "While 1Link has so far been embraced by the dealer community, it can be used by any kind of car retailer and linked easily into a customer-facing Internet site. The EC statement could speed its adoption dramatically."

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