Aston Barclay’s plan to “revolutionise the UK remarketing sector” could move a step closer to realisation with the creation of a new 70,000sq-ft car auction Mega Centre in Wakefield.
Plans to open a new 18-acre vehicle auction Mega Centre follow the granting of planning approval by Wakefield District Council and the auction specialist expects to open the doors of its new addition in Q4 2018.
Aston Barclay said that it intends to make Wakefield the most modern and technologically-advanced auction facility anywhere in Europe as it draws on lessons learned during the creation of its Midlands Mega centre at Donington Park, which was opened in September 2017.
Aston Barclay chief executive, Neil Hodson, said: “There will be no other auction like Wakefield in the UK or Europe.
“It offers a five-star building with enough space to auction and store hundreds of cars all undercover.”
The new site will feature two glass-fronted auction halls and is set to employ around 90 full and part time staff once it is fully-operational in early 2019.
With the ultimate capacity to sell 50,000 used vehicles annually, Wakefield will contribute to Aston Barclay’s plan of doubling its sales volume to 160,000 vehicles by 2022.
It will feature internal storage for over 200 cars internally in a fully lit, air-conditioned, dust-free environment.
Hodson added: “This further supports our ambition of revolutionising the UK remarketing sector by combining the best features of a strong physical network with innovative technology and unique digital routes to market. Look out for the hard hat tours of the new site which will be announced very soon.”
Aston Barclay new Wakefield Mega Centre will continue the business’s focus on combining digital technology with a first class physical auction experience, and confirms the group’s strategy of creating large regional auction hubs, rather than a large network of smaller centres, the business said in a statement.
It added that video screens positioned throughout the Mega Centre will combine with apps and artificial intelligence (AI) to further transform the buying and selling experience both physically and online, turning the Mega Centre into “a powerful destination of choice for buying and selling used cars”.
Aston Barclay said that its current Leeds auction has outgrown its existing six-acre site following continued strong demand from vendors and buyers, and its 40 staff, and all existing customers will be relocated to Wakefield.
The Donington Mega Centre, opening in September 2017, is expected to have sold 20,000 used cars by the end of its first year of trading.
The extra 6.5 acres of land at Aston Barclay’s Prees Heath, Shropshire is now ready for development, meanwhile, while its southern Mega Centre in Chelmsford is undergoing a £1m investment to increase capacity and install a twin turntable inspection bay.