Cars Direct rebrands and predicts online growth
And it believes that more defleet business will migrate to online trade auctions over the next five years.
Roger Woodward, managing director of CD Auction Group, said: 'Time is money and, in this more difficult financial climate, vendors are acutely aware of the need to get a rapid return on their investment.
'We have recently invested heavily in our IT infrastructure to build on our success over 21 years of trading as the UK's leading online auction. Currently with three divisions – Cars Direct, Plant Mart and Pre-loved Office – but soon to expand into other markets we will offer professional remarketing outlets for these valuable business assets and are dedicated to maximising sale values.'
The group conducted a survey of future buying trends, with respondents responsible for more than 200,000 vehicles with average fleet sizes of 9,357 cars, 2,295 light commercial vehicles and 200 heavy commercial vehicles. Together they sell more than 80,000 vehicles a year.
The survey found there is already a strong trend towards online sales. In the past five years, 83.3% of respondents have used online trade auctions more and they have also sold more vehicles direct to retail (62.5% of respondents).
During that time 42.9% have used conventional auctions less and 37.5% have shied away from selling directly to trade.
Looking ahead to the next five years, 80.0% are going to use online trade auctions more while complementary channels such as affinity scheme sales and direct to retail are also set to increase.
'We've seen a number of operators trying to break into this market but it's no good if the system freezes or falls over the moment more than a couple of people place a bid,' added Mr Woodward.
Larger vehicle fleet operators appear more likely to be using online sales currently, the research found. The average fleet size for companies using the system was 13,189 units while non-users averaged just 1,053 units.
In all cases, vendors see "percentage of book value achieved" as the most important key performance indicator that they measure.