BCA is aiming to grow its business in the next few years confident that the new car market is returning to health.
Spencer Lock, managing director of the remarketing company, says it wants to increase the number of vehicles sold at auction to a million across the business in Europe.
“We remarket around 600,000 vehicles in the UK each year and 200,000 around Europe. Our aspiration is to take it to a million vehicles in total across Europe.
“As far as the UK is concerned we know the market is coming back. This year we’re going to see a market of 2.1 or 2.15 million cars. The corporate market is going to come back, rebuilding from 2009/10/11.”
But he said he did not expect to open more sites for physical auctions in the UK as selling cars online would increase in popularity.
“We’re very comfortable with the footprint we currently have. We mothballed two sites when the market was difficult and we don’t see the need to expand, and our online options help in that regard.”
Seeing BCA through a customer’s eyes
Lock, who joined BCA from Inchcape in 2012, said he can bring a new impetus to the business having previously been a BCA customer.
He said: “There are benefits in being able to see it through the eyes of a customer and identify new opportunities.
“We try to create a marketplace aggregating supply of high-quality vehicles with the demand.
“We have the biggest buyer base of any auction company in the UK.
“We want to become easier to do business with. We want to make our sites places that both vendors and buyers want to come to.”
Lock said he also identified an opportunity in offering market intelligence to customers, as well in shortening the process between a vehicle reaching auction and it being resold by a trader.
He said BCA should offer far more than physical auctions. “We are a far more sophisticated business than we have perhaps portrayed ourselves as in the past,” he said.
“We have pricing models that are very accurate. We know the value of vehicles better than anybody else. We think that with our data and insight we can unlock maximum value from vehicles.”
Lock believes there will be a greater appetite for ready-to-retail sales because of the potential it would offer for improving profitability for traders.
“The majority of vehicles in our sales will be retailed, and there will be more work around ready to retail auctions.
“We know that when a vehicle is sold at BCA it’s about 25 days on our customer website. Then the vehicle could be on the trader’s forecourt for 35 days. That’s a massive amount of time in terms of the vehicle’s value.
“We can shorten the process ensuring it’s ready to retail. It would increase a buyer’s capacity to sell vehicles helping to increase their profitability.”
Ready-to-retail vehicles are those at the top level of BCA’s condition grading system and require little or no further preparation by the trader before they are sold.
Products developed in UK will increase European sales
Lock believes most of the growth on the way to a million vehicles a year would come from Europe, but by using
products and expertise developed in the UK.
“The market in Europe is a lot more fragmented; we don’t have the same vendor scale or the big dealer groups, although many of the big leasing companies operate in Europe. But products such as our online Appraise Value & Sell tool (launched in the UK a year ago) could help dealers find better ways of running their businesses.”