Fleet News

'Internet won't replace the traditional auction'

THE internet will never replace the traditional physical auction in the used car market, despite its growing importance as a defleeting tool.

That is the view of DaimlerChrysler Services Fleet Management sales and marketing director Rael Winetroube.

Questioned whether e-based sales would supplant the traditional vehicle auction Winetroube concluded that the answer was 'no'. He added: 'Like intelligently handled defleeting, the disposal process needs a range of strategies to draw on to suit the type and condition of the vehicle concerned. E-technology can prove more of a support to these strategies than a competitor to traditional disposal methods.'

He said vehicle disposal now took place in an environment where a large percentage of businesses had internet access and many used the internet for research purposes. Private individuals, Winetroube added, were still reticent about buying vehicles online, but were avid researchers on the internet.

He believes that e-technology now plays a similarly important role in defleeting, where digital imaging provides an accurate and verifiable audit trail of vehicle damage, and in every primary disposal route, namely:

  • selling to the company car driver before lease termination, with the opportunity to access e-based systems for information and pricing

  • retail sales via internet-based advertising
  • internet auctions, a growing niche for certain types of sale, primarily when dealing with vehicles that are a known commodity
  • stock locators, with large ranges of vehicles to view and buy and providing opportunities for early returns
  • physical auctions and trade wholesale events, where stock locators again offer an e-opportunity for pre-sale viewing and purchase.

    'The developments in e-commerce have had a positive impact on disposals, raising prices, cutting timescales and lowering costs,' Winetroube said. 'It assists in presenting vehicles in the best possible condition and disposing of them via the most effective sales route.

    'In short, e-commerce can provide major support to the objective of obtaining the highest possible price in the shortest possible time at the lowest possible cost.'

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