Avis Europe will own 65% of the new firm and will initially sell its own stock over the web, although a spokesman said manufacturers and other fleets would be invited to join if the scheme is a success. The rental firm buys about 200,000 cars per year Europewide from more than 17 manufacturers, with 80% returned on buy-back agreements, but each year 40,000 cars are sold direct to dealers and through auction, of which about 4,000 are in the UK.
Mark McCafferty, Avis Europe's chief executive, said: 'The initiative forms part of our wider strategy to fully expoit the opportunities from the growth in use of the internet and e-commerce, both as a distribution source for car rental services and also for developing more efficient vehicle disposal.'
Avis Europe announced annual pre-tax profits up 12% to £143.6 million for the year to December 31, 1999, on turnover up 16.4% to £671.1 million. UK business turnover increased by 8%, while its recent acquisition of 3 Arrows brought in £28.1 million.