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Aston Barclay announces Independent Motor Auctions acquisition

Aston Barclay's new Wakefield 'Mega Centre'

Aston Barclay has announced its acquisition of Leeds-based Independent Motor Auctions at an event launching its new Wakefield ‘Mega Centre’ and the latest developments in its digital remarketing platform.

At an event showcasing the facilities at the new 18-acre site, which will host its first sale on January 28 and will also serve as a new HQ for The Car Buying Group, he fast-growing privately-owned remarketing specialist announced the acquisition which will see it move into the LCV sector.

Independent Motor Auctions managing director, Justin Lane, said that the decision to “become part of the Aston Barclay family” had been made after reassurances that the business would take on his existing team.

Lane, whose business generated 10,000 sales in 2018, added: “There is also the digital side. What these guys have achieved is way beyond what we would have been able to achieve.”

Aston Barclay chief executive, Neil Hodson, told AM that, while IMAs existing sites in Leeds would be closed, the transfer of Aston Barclay’s activities at its Leeds site to the new Wakefield facility had opened up an opportunity to host specialist LCV sales at its Leeds site.

He added: “The acquisition of Independent Motor Auctions has brought lots of specialist commercial vehicles knowledge into our business and we can really leverage that. It’s another new oporutiyt for us.”

Aston Barclay is hosting open days for the press, vendors and traders at its new Wakefield site throughout this week.

The events not only showcase the new site – which includes a canteen, meeting rooms available to traders and local enterprise and a gym – but also serve to launch a series of developments in the digital sphere.

The business’s new digitised Cascade remarketing process makes use of technology powered by GardX, and know-how from The Car Buying Group, to speed up the remarketing process by allowing consumers and traders alike to appraise and value their vehicles remotely and manage the remarketing process online.

Systems, referred to as e-Valuate, e-Exchange and e-Live now facilitate all steps in the remarketing process via a trader’s smartphone.

The Car Buying Group will be able to offer retailers a guaranteed buying price on unwanted part-exchange stock – underwriting the sales themselves – while the system also facilitates the entry of vehicles into online or physical sales.

Hodson said: “All the tools are there to facilitate the remarketing process, with live calculators to keep vendors up to date on exactly how their stock is performing and where it sits in the remarketing chain.”

Hodson suggested that the new Cascade platform could propel the remarketing specialist to a total of 160,000 vehicle transactions, with as many as 30,000 vehicles passing through the Aston Barclay business digitally, without being processed at one of its UK auction facilities.

Responding to suggestions that Aston Barclay has completed a transition from remarketing group to that of software specialist, Hodson said: “We are a remarketing specialist. We are providing the tools that modern car retailers need and that make their business easier.

“All these assets are provided, by us, for free. The aim is that they draw business to us. We offering huge support to retailers through provision of this technology and all we ask in return is that they give us a try and transact with us.”

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