Shifting gear – part exchange focus

Shifting gear – part exchange focus by Andy Whitehair, CEO, Autofinity

With the ‘24’ new plate registration rush now mostly out of the way, retailers have shifted their attention to moving the part exchange metal.

Whilst some will be disposed of through remarketing channels, dealers hope most will be deemed suitable for retail including older vehicles and higher mileage cars as a result of improved longevity and buyer demand.

However, most retailers will struggle to understand group or even dealership inventory in real time. Instead, they will most likely pore over spreadsheets which have been cobbled together with much copying and pasting in March and April in a bid to understand their current part-exchange status.

It is likely that most dealers won’t know how many part-exchanges were taken in overall and which were earmarked for auction and which for retail. Their current location and status is likely to be a mystery – has transportation been booked, when are they off to auction, have dealers retained their margin, have retail vehicles undergone prep, are they live online?

Of those vehicles destined for the forecourt, details of their whereabouts will be scant or difficult to access and it is doubtful if an overview can be obtained of holdups in the prep process or how many of those vehicles now gleam spectacularly in the spring sunshine (if only the rain would stop) and how many of those live online meet marketing requirements in terms of images, video and description.

It makes understanding margin gained or lost in real-time impossible and end-of-month evaluation an arduous and imprecise process.

That’s not down to incompetence or unwillingness on behalf of dealers but a simple consequence of disparate and disconnected systems at work in the average dealership which do not enable oversight of vehicle inventory.

Instead of a series of clunky manual tasks, shifting to an automated process whereby one interface connects major platforms which undertake different but vital dealership tasks, revolutionises inventory management, speed to market and days in stock. Pooling vehicle information from all sources enables dealers to gain oversight of their vehicles, identify and rectify hold-ups, keep virtual and physical forecourts stocked, automatically update online marketplaces simultaneously and ultimately sell vehicles more quickly.

With this March the best since 2019 – 317,786 new car registrations marked a 10.4% year-on-year increase, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed, dealers will want to maintain momentum in the used car arena.

Growth may have been driven by fleet (up 29.6%) whilst private buyers saw a decline of -7.7%, but the part exchange vehicle is still a vital and significant element of the dealer’s used car arsenal. In a used car market where supply is in demand, selling those part-exchange vehicles quickly will help maximise profit.

Autofinity is the developer of ViHUB, a cloud-based software platform with integrated, functional modules for optimising dealer group strategy vehicle marketing and operations. Pooled from integrated systems, a single rich data source of vehicle stock, marketing and financial data is readily available to be analysed and actioned securely online in one place with automated updates to integrated platforms including marketplaces. 

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