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Dealer Auction launches with remit to disrupt the trade car sales sector

Dealer Auction managing director, Le Etta Pearce

Dealer Auction, the new trade-to-trade sales joint venture of Auto Trader and Cox Automotive, has just launched with an ambition to help dealers secure relevant stock as effortlessly as possible.

Dealers using the Auto Trader’s and Cox’s individual legacy stock acquisition systems were migrated in December to the new platform, which draws on the real-time data capabilities of the two partners to give dealers comprehensive insights into the vehicles available and desirable in the wholesale and retail markets.

Dealer Auction benefits from Auto Trader’s digital and consumer insights and its broad dealer customer base, while Cox Automotive brings auction experience and infrastructure, online auction expertise and a large portfolio of vendors and buyers.

“While we’re drawing on a bank of expertise and experience from our parent companies, Dealer Auction is its own business with a clear goal of transforming the way vehicles are remarketed,” said Dealer Auction chief executive Le Etta Pearce.

“We want to provide our customers with more choice, better insights and greater margin,” she added. “Dealer Auction buyers will pay lower fees than traditional auctions.”

A demonstration of the system to AM showed a transaction fee of £55, and buyers can also clearly see optional additional costs to have the car delivered to their premises by Movex, Cox Automotive’s logistics service, to maximise convenience.

Dealer Auction expects to achieve more than 190,000 used car trade transactions in 2020.

At any one point it lists 1,200 cars available to the trade, including estimated retail margin and a ‘retail rating’ of desirability with a 50-mile radius of the buyer, pulled from Auto Trader’s market data.

Pearce said Dealer Auction will be “brave” and will be “a disruptor” in the trade sales sector, which is rapidly moving into online transactions and away from physical bids in an auction hall.

Martin Forbes, Cox Automotive UK chief executive, said already 30% of all the cars it remarkets are bought through its online channels.

Buyers want to find stock easily, stock that’s desired by their local market and allows them to make good margins, he said.

Users with accounts with Cox’s wholesale funding business Nextgear Capital are able to buy and fund the stock without leaving the platform.

“To truly improve efficiency and profitability for the circa 15,000 retailers operating in the UK, the wholesale marketplace needs to move online and no other business is better positioned to do that,” said Auto Trader’s chief executive designate Nathan Coe.

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