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Dealer Auction sales up 135% in rush to meet consumer demand

Dealer Auction managing director, Le Etta Pearce

Dealer Auction has seen a 135% month-on-month increase in sales through its platform in the first week of June, as dealers rush to obtain more stock to meet consumer demand.

Compared to the first week of April, when the Coronavirus lockdown had started, auctions have increased 210%.

Dealer Auction’s chief executive Le Etta Pearce (pictured) said: “Retailers have faced huge uncertainty over the last 12 weeks, but fortunately consumer demand has remained high. As a result, since the reopening of showrooms in England and Northern Ireland, many retailers have found selling stock less of a challenge as some had initially feared. However, sourcing it remains a major concern.

“At a time when the industry is facing a very different retail landscape to the one it knew 12 weeks ago, our marketplace gives retailers greater confidence and a more convenient and cost effective alternative to the traditional channels. In the current climate, we believe that’s more important than ever.”  

Pre-Covid-19, the Cox Automotive business would typically see around 11,000 fresh listings each month, with more than 7,000 customers using the platform. While the number of sales dropped significantly during the first weeks of lockdown, as retailers began to prepare for the reopening of showrooms, they steadily increased – growing circa 400% between April and May.

By June 3, more units had been sold on the platform than the whole of April and as of June 14, more than April and May combined.

The number of users on the platform also increased between April and May, growing 47% and 229% respectively. Highlighting retailers’ eagerness for new stock, during the first week of June the number of buyers had increased 310% compared to the first week of April.

Physical car auctions remain a no-go zone for 23% of car retailers in the short- to medium-term, according to Cox Automotive’ s latest dealer sentiment survey.

In questions focused on stock acquisition plans almost a quarter indicated that they planned to either decrease or stop attending altogether in the short to medium term, with that figure remaining 11% when asked about their longer-term intentions.

Two-fifths of dealers told Cox that they have increased their use of digital auction platforms due to lockdown, with 49% of those indicating this will be a long-term change.

Just 7% of those surveyed said they had no intention to buy digitally, while one-in-five said they’re going online in the short-term but will return to physical as soon as possible.

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