Fleet News

Major changes for UK vehicle auction business


One of the country’s independent auction houses has warned the country’s two leading vehicle auctioneers that its plans for both global and UK expansion will give them a ‘kick up the backside’

With traditional auction businesses struggling with over supply issues and declining demand, the Fleet Auction Group (FLAG), which only sells to the trade, is set to announce a record financial year.

The news comes on the back of confirmation that the company has sold a 51% stake of its business to a Kuwait consortium, Ijara House Holding Company.

The multi-million pound joint venture will see FLAG enter the Middle East with the opening of the country’s first remarketing centre.

It will also allow the company to finance the opening of two new auction centres in the south of England in the coming months and develop operations on a ‘global scale’ according to FLAG CEO Andrew Walker.

“We have got some seriously big plans for the UK,” he said. “We can also now grow the group on a global scale – we can now give the likes of BCA and Manheim a kick up the backside.”

While other auction houses have reported a decline in demand over the past few months, FLAG will this month confirm that it has enjoyed a 50% increase in sales, said Mr Walker.

“This is an incredibly exciting time, not just for the Fleet Auction Group and its UK fleet vendors and trade buyers, but for the remarketing industry as a whole.

"It represents the coming together of two dynamic organisations with the shared vision of creating an imaginative and vibrant remarketing group with the skill base that will challenge the status quo on the global stage.”

The partners will initially concentrate on expanding the group’s presence in the UK, while developing a 35-acre undercover site in Kuwait.

There are no plans to export UK cars to Kuwait.

FLAG’s board of directors will maintain control of the UK operation, while providing operational and skill-based consultation for the Middle East remarketing centres.

Walker added, “It is day-to-day business as usual for FLAG’s fleet vendors and trade buyers, they will still be dealing with the same FLAG staff.”

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