Fleet News

Premier hits the half million mark

AUCTION firms are investing millions of pounds in expansion in a battle for business that is improving choice and service levels for fleets.

As part of a £3.5 million investment, Premier Motorauctions has opened a new vehicle preparation centre to cope with growing business that recently saw it sell its 500,000th vehicle.

The Leeds-based company offers about 2,000 vehicles a week for sale through five sales and generates a turnover of £150 million a year.

The sale of its 500,000th car raised almost £5,000 for the Leeds-based Wheatfields Hospice run by the Sue Ryder charity and the hammer was brought down by Lord Mayor councillor Bryan North.

Councillor North and other guests were given a tour of Premier's new preparation centre, which includes a wash and wax centre capable of preparing a mile of cars a day.

Premier Motorauctions managing director Keith Elliott said: 'The offer for sale of our 500,000th car is an achievement in itself but coming at the same time as the opening of our preparation centre, it demonstrates the value we place in continued investment to deliver even greater growth and customer choice in the future.'

Another auction company, Vehicle Remarketing Services, has announced it is forging ahead with ambitious expansion plans after acquiring a 16-acre site in Coventry. The company says its new site has room for 3,000 cars and offers full remarketing and refurbishment facilities.

Commenting on the new facility, managing director Mike Pilkington said: 'The site is totally self-contained, enabling us to efficiently manage all aspects of our remarketing operation from Coventry. The site will give us the room to grow in line with the high expected demand for our services.'

The company is owned by Manheim Auctions and complements its auction business. VRS works closely with contract hire companies, manufacturers and rental companies to remarket end-of-contract cars through a number of routes.

It expects to have a database of 1,000 potential buyers by launch and will achieve turnover of 20,000 units a year within three years.

And already this year, British Car Auctions welcomed customers to its newly-built auction centre in Glasgow, which has completed the first stage of a major redevelopment project. The project is one of a number of high profile network enhancements conducted by BCA this year.

A new commercial vehicle valeting complex has been built at Measham and additional land acquired to expand the commercial vehicle operation.

Also in the Midlands, a further 10 acres of land has been secured at BCA Nottingham, which now has 30 acres in total, making it the third largest auction centre in Europe after BCA's sites in Blackbushe and Belle Vue, Manchester.

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