Fleet News

The personal touch is the icing on the cake

'AT an auction it is always good to see representatives of the selling company – and even better when they are wearing corporate clothing so they are easily identified. That way, the trade knows that any bids will either be accepted or rejected within a few minutes and they won't have to wait a day or two for an answer. The disposal managers also check the vehicles over and make allowances for any damage or minor scuffs.

They can also develop a good following this way as the buyers find out where they are next selling and make for that auction in the knowledge they can get what they want. That includes all the paperwork correct and the cars generally in good condition, ready for retail with very little work.

The vehicles are one thing, but the personal touch and having somebody at the sale is the icing on the cake. Obviously, having someone dedicated to auctions is a luxury that not every company can afford, but it does make a difference if you are able to create a sense of partnership with the trade.

If it is impossible to dedicate someone to this job then it is all the more essential to present your vehicles at their best, with every relevant detail on the windscreen. If you can't do this, then your friendly auction manager or staff will help because this does also make their job easier too. In the meantime, the people who do attend every auction are worth their weight in gold.

Euro makes life difficult

For anybody who has been to Europe lately and bought even the most basic item, it can't go unnoticed how much more expensive things are becoming as the pound starts to sink against the euro.

A meal at e15 cost about £10 at an exchange rate of 1.5. But now we are down to e1.4 to £1 the meal rises to £10.71.

No wonder parallel importers are finding life tougher. A car that is e15,000 did cost the importer about £10,000, but now the same car has gone up by £700, which has to be passed on to the end user. The import suddenly looks much worse value than it did just a few weeks previously.

The question now is whether the parallel bubble is deflating at last. The manufacturers and importers must be feeling the pinch and I wonder how long it will be before they have to make alterations to price lists to compensate for exchange rate changes.'

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