Fleet News

Mix 'n' match pays dividends

By David Hill, senior editor, CAP Red Book

'Proactive thinkers are always looking for a new angle on remarketing. The latest I have been looking at is one of the big contract hire and rental companies which manages its own disposals.

Instead of sending everything to the block, they now go through every vehicle to distinguish those with maximum value potential from those best suited to disposal through auction.

The vans they are choosing to remarket themselves are almost immediately retailable and certainly only require a little investment to bring maximum returns. Their people are now busy also building relationships with their trade and dealer contacts who are responding by trusting them on a telephone description and buying blind.

To the buyer, knowing the van can be on the pitch for sale within two days at the most is a big bonus, especially when they are pressed for time and have retail customers already lined up to view their offerings.

Working properly with the dealers and traders entails keeping track of their differing requirements in terms of mileage parameters, price ranges and other factors and when the partnership works properly, the investment in manpower, time and effort on the part of the remarketer is rewarded with a loyal and reliable buyer base – so everyone is a winner.

Elsewhere a finance company has recently bought the book for a large number of utility vehicles and again has managed to retain some of the previous disposer's customers by developing a quick understanding of their needs. Again thanks to a trusting relationship there is a growing band of buyers prepared to order fresh stock blind.

With thousands of vans coming back into the market and a relatively small number of big doors into the trade, selling vehicles direct is an ideal solution, saving time and establishing reliable channels of supply which frees up the dealer or trader from the problem of choosing between being out and about or on the pitch making sales.

Really good operators in this kind of partnership are even able to pre-sell vehicles, slightly ahead of them arriving off the fleet.

This is not to say that it is always preferable to remarket your own stock. There will always be times when sending en masse to the block is the most effective, quick and economical answer. Nor must it be forgotten that the big auctions have buyer databases that are unsurpassed. The point is that variety is the key to success. Mixing and matching different types of stock with the different methods of disposal will, when managed effectively, guarantee maximum returns.

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