Auto Trader and Cox form digital auction joint venture
Auto Trader UK and Cox Automotive have launched a joint venture which will merge selected services to form a digital auction service for used stock from fleets, manufacturers and retailers.
Likely to be named Dealer Auction, the service will combine Cox’s Dealer-Auction.com and Manheim Online services with Auto Trader’s Smart Buying retailer-to-retailer platform, in a move aimed at creating the UK’s largest community of vehicle buyers, according to the companies.
The co-owned business will take advantage of services from both companies, offering access to NextGear Capital funding, consumer listings from Auto Trader and Motors.co.uk, logistics through Movex and Motor Trade Delivery, and Manheim’s inspection, imaging, recondition and preparation solutions. It will be run by Le Etta Pearce, who has held senior roles at Cox and Auto Trader.
Martin Forbes, chief executive officer of Cox Automotive in the UK, said: “Our core strengths are extremely complementary, and we believe that Auto Trader’s digital and data expertise combined with Cox Automotive’s wholesale channels and vehicle handling capabilities will deliver a market-changing B2B platform.”
Auto Trader chief executive officer, Trevor Mather, added: “The way in which vehicles currently move around the UK automotive ecosystem is overly complex and inefficient, and Auto Trader has the digital and data assets that can make it a quicker, more convenient and cheaper process for all parties. However, we know that we will have an even better chance of disrupting the market by partnering with an established player which knows this particular industry intimately.”
The joint venture is conditional upon clearance from Competition and Markets Authority in the UK. The wider Cox Automotive and Auto Trader businesses will continue to operate as normal, and in competition with each other.