Q&A – Adrian Rushmore, Cap Automotive
Established for over 30 years in the UK, cap hpi is launching a new globally-applicable Cap Code in Europe’s biggest markets as a first step towards a worldwide presence. Adrian Rushmore, newly appointed international operations director, explains the benefits for the fleet sector.
When and why did you start developing the new code?
It goes way back to the point where cap was acquired by Solera. The reason Solera bought us is they wanted a valuation business to support their repair and estimating system [Audatex] in 78 countries and five continents. We said what we wanted to do was develop a much broader strategy – to do in Europe and beyond what we’ve already done successfully in the UK, which is to serve the leasing, manufacturing and dealer sectors.
At that point we were given a broad remit. We decided on the core data sets we were going to take – current and forecast vehicle valuations, new vehicle data, SMR and TCO – and in order to deliver them we’d need a code structure. So in the UK we have the Cap Code, and what we’ve done is create a code that is suitable to take around the world. The code is critically important, it underpins everything else that we do. It’s an enabler for the delivery of a whole range of different products.
How does it differ to the UK Cap Code?
There are some key differences. There are 28 elements and they describe the make, model, fuel type, number of doors, all of those key bits, and those are generally the same for any particular car you chose around the world. Then, in individual countries, there will be variations on the trim. Those are the things we would capture as part of a local element of the code. So we capture the global element once, then we append local elements as an identifier in every country. We would then be able to uniquely identify that particular model anywhere in the world.
That’s important particularly in Europe because of cross-border trading. In Spain you’ve got a lot of exporting of cars at the end of the summer season, and the difficulty is being able to identify those assets once they cross borders. Because we’ve got the code and identified it in Spain we will recognise it when it’s in Poland or wherever else it will be. So it’s being able to follow assets as they move across boundaries.
Is it a replacement for the UK Cap Code?
We’re not thinking about a replacement at the moment as, for most of our customers, they’re locked into the existing code. We have to support that for an indefinite period, but we will offer the new code as an alternative. So if you’re a leasing company with operations in Europe then it might be worth considering taking the global code because you would then be able to compare data sets across individual countries – that could be residual value forecasts, spec data, vehicle values whatever it might be. Linking to the global code could be an advantage.
But I don’t think people will switch overnight as taking a code that’s embedded in your system and putting another one in is very expensive. I think what will happen is, when customers are upgrading for other reasons, that’s the time to do it. For a lot of UK customers there won’t be a need to use a global code, but it’s there for those who have an international footprint.
What are the benefits for customers?
If you look at the sector we’re in, there has not been a challenge to the establishment in 50 years. So if you think about the big players in Europe they have a fairly free reign. I think that the benefit for the leasing sector is they will be given more choice. We are going to make it a much more competitive environment.
I’m not pretending that cap hpi will immediately steal all their business because these organisations are deeply entrenched and people don’t switch providers very often. To dislodge the competition is not going to be easy but we have the benefit of our existing business, Solera, we’re going to support them, and it’s a many-pronged attack. So we’ve got offerings for manufacturers, leasing companies, and the finance sector. That’s where we’re pointing our guns.
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