Avis Europe has joined forces with dealer group Inchcape to create a pan-European vehicle remarketing operation aimed at manufacturers, rental and leasing companies.
AutoCascade will pre-sell vehicles nearing the end of their rental or leasing life through different channels including the original manufacturer's own franchised dealers, independent dealers using Inchcape's 'vehicle sourcing' division and directly to private customers through the Inchcape-owned Autobytel internet site.
The new company claims that a nearly-new vehicle returned by a rental company to a manufacturer as part of a buy-back agreement can spend 'three months in storage' which, it claims, 'results in lower residual values and higher costs'.
AutoCascade will focus on nearly-new vehicles and estimates that in continental Europe this accounts for about 2,000,000 vehicles a year.
The company aims to 'reduce the time and costs involved in remarketing for vehicles providers and offer more effective nearly-new car sourcing for dealers and end customers'.
Saad Hammad, currently chief executive officer of Avis-owned yourautochoice.com who will head AutoCascade, told Fleet News Europe: 'It will initially operate in the UK but we aim to have it fully operational across Europe within the next three years, starting with Germany and France and then Spain and Italy.'
Avis Europe chief executive officer Mark McCafferty said: 'We are delighted to be partnering Inchcape in this initiative. This new joint venture will further improve the way nearly-new vehicles are sold within the trade and into the market and we believe that there can be residual value improvement for car manufacturers exploiting these opportunities.
The amalgamation of yourautochoice.com and Autobytel UK is an appropriate consolidation in the online car retailing sector.'
And Inchcape group chief executive Peter Johnson said: 'This joint venture enables Inchcape to broaden its vehicle remarketing activities in the UK and provides a strong platform for entry into Europe.' (October 2001)