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Auto Trader and Cox Automotive launch Dealer Auction joint venture

Dealer Auction managing director, Le Etta Pearce

Auto Trader and Cox Automotive UK have completed the joint venture process to bring together their used car stocking platforms under a re-launched Dealer Auction business.

The two businesses were able to formalise their arrangement and officially launch Dealer Auction under the new joint venture yesterday (January 1) after receiving clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK.

Cox Automotive UK has transferred both, which is an online auction of trade-in vehicles from UK franchise dealers, and Manheim Online, the online remarketing services division of Cox Automotive UK, to the joint venture, while Auto Trader has transferred Smart Buying (formally known as Autotrade-mail), its retailer-to-retailer platform.

Le Etta Pearce, the newly-appointed managing director of Dealer Auction, who has previously worked for both Cox Automotive and Auto Trader, said: “We’re really excited to now be able to form the company and get started.

“We believe we can fundamentally improve and make changes to the industry that will benefit wholesale sellers and retailers alike.

“The team will now be focused on integrating the data and metrics into the new platform as well as building sophisticated search and stocking functionality.”

A statement issued by the new Dealer Auction business today (January 2) said that car dealers customers will be able to continue to buy and sell stock through the existing, Manheim Online and Smart Buying websites while a new platform to combine the inventory is being built.

A team of around 70 people – including experienced vehicle remarketers and auctioneers and a technology team of developers, designers and data scientists – are currently working to combine the three businesses into a new single integrated platform which will be launched during the second half of 2019.

Dealer Auction said that the combined strength of the data and insight of Auto Trader and Cox Automotive have will benefit both buyers and sellers alike.

It said that Auto Trader has over 13,000 dealers who interact with its current platform and added to this will be the Manheim Online and buyer bases, adding: “This, coupled with Cox Automotive’s extensive physical remarketing services, will ensure that Dealer Auction has a new and compelling proposition for retailers, manufacturers and fleet companies.”

Pearce said: “Our aim with Dealer Auction is to enable retailers to easily research and compare vehicles online in one place. We’re building an intuitive digital platform which will house good quality stock available for the right buyer and at a price that drives profitability for both buyer and seller.

“The new platform will support the needs of all types of buyers and sellers from franchised and independent dealers through to fleets and manufacturers, and through Cox Automotive we can also provide any additional physical services to support their needs.”


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