Fleet News

BCA link-up is an online first

BRITISH Car Auctions has begun a series of live online auctions with Vauxhall, where buyers on the internet compete with bidders in the auction hall. In the first sale of its kind for cars, 11 UK Vauxhall dealers competed online with 66 registered buyers in the BCA auction hall at Blackbushe, Surrey.

The dealers were able to bid live from their office PCs using state-of-the-art web browser technology, live video and audio to broadcast in real time. Internet buyers took 12 cars and accounted for many bids on other cars in the sale. Of 203 on offer, 90% of the entry was sold.

The BCA Live On Line system uses BCA's vehicle information screens in the auction hall to display online bids, giving a clear picture for buyers in the auction hall and remote bidders via the internet.

Keith Rogers, BCA director of manufacturer sales, said: 'In partnership with Vauxhall and Auction Management Solutions, BCA has conducted another groundbreaking event for the UK vehicle remarketing industry.'The combination of physical auction bidding and remote online buyers led to a competitive and exciting atmosphere. Our customers in the auction hall soon adjusted to the concept and the proceedings were smoothly controlled by our auctioneers.'

A BCA spokesman added: 'The programme will roll out as a series of pilot sales with Vauxhall and future sales will be held later this year. When the pilot programme is completed successfully we will be looking to work in partnership with other manufacturers and their products.'

BCA's rival, Manheim Auctions, also has plans for car sales which combine electronic bids with live bids in an auction hall, and welcomed the BCA announcement.

John Bailey, chief executive of Manheim Europe, said: 'We began electronic auctions back in November last year, and now we have online auctions twice a month for Volkswagen and for Ford Business Partner. They take place completely on the internet between dealers.'

  • To access the BCA and Manheim sites click on the Buyers' guide menu button (left) and go to the Auction and disposals section.

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