Former Citroën UK managing director, Karl Howkins, joins SMH Group
The former managing director of Citroën UK, Karl Howkins, has joined SMH as the managing director of its auction services.
Howkins will lead CD Auctions’ development and integration into the SMH Group. In his new role, he will lead the company’s expansion plans with further investment in digital platforms and physical infrastructure. It currently operates five sites across the UK, with onsite refurbishment and digital remarketing facilities.
Howkins previously held leadership roles for Opel/Vauxhall and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, in the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Martin McAuley, director at SMH Fleet Solutions, said: “Karl brings a wealth of experience to the group and will lead the integration of CD Auctions into the wider business. It is the right time to expand our management team as we accelerate our plans and ambitions for the future. We will continue to grow our technology capabilities while building out our footprint across the UK to provide best in class services to meet all of our customers’ vehicle management needs. I would like to thank Andy Brown who retires in September, for all his efforts in growing CD Auctions.”
CD Auctions recently reported a record volume of sales in June with online sales attracting large numbers of first-time buyers. Overall sales were up 18% on the same period last year with an average conversion rate of 85% for both cars and LCVs.
Karl Howkins said: “I’m delighted to be joining the SMH Group and leading the CD Auction business. It is uniquely placed in the industry with a digital-first offering that is a great fit for the future needs of fleets, dealers and OEMs. Our remote sales mean far fewer links in the chain between defleet and dealer forecourt, which provides a faster, leaner and more efficient process. It’s a process that will continue to expand and evolve across the SMH Group.”