EUROPE USED CARS MARKET
As a general rule, the definition of a used car (motor vehicle) is linked to its registration. Any motor vehicle that has previously been registered is a used motor vehicle. For instance, in Belgium the description of what a used car is that “a used motor vehicle is to be understood as being one which has previously been registered”
Used Cars have been of major importance in recent years with the pandemic affecting the basic lifestyle and buyable range of various consumers in terms of reference towards automobile sales. Used cars are more preferred by new or first-time buyers of automobiles in various regions of the world as this helps in inculcating the required user driveable experience which would have a positive impact on a long-term usage time frame.
The development of the Internet has changed the power struggle between dealers and consumers in terms of requirements towards the User cars segment of the European Nations. Buyers can now potentially gain the upper hand. Customers are increasingly knowledgeable about cars, their quality, residual value, prices applied, finance charges, availability, and, more and more frequently, the exact profit margin that the dealer makes in closing a deal.
The importance of the used car market is growing significantly. In both the U.S. and France, for example, the used-to-new vehicle ratio (which demonstrates the level of used market activity) has increased since 1999 from 2.4 to 2.6 showing a steady growth of used vehicle sales by volume.
The key to growth has been transparency and symmetry of information, as consumers continue to apply the same approach to research and collection of information in their search for used vehicles as they do in the new car buying process.
As with new car sales, the relationship between dealer and customer will need to be based on respect and trust, as well as ease of purchase. Such a symmetrical relationship will presume that buyers and sellers possess the same information by which to determine a product’s quality.
The most important success strategy in the used car business is the development of trust-inducing initiatives such as certified used vehicle programs. These programs provide the best protection against channel competition and allow dealers to improve margins significantly while offering an additional source of revenue for OEMs.
Franchised dealers are in a strong position to benefit from growth in the used vehicle market, supported by OEM involvement in marketing and certification programs, access to high-quality off-lease vehicles, online inventory pooling and a more professional image in the mind of the consumer.
EUROPE USED CARS MARKET DYNAMICS
The used car market covers all private and remarketed sales of second-hand cars. Private sales are those in which buyer and seller are both private individuals. Remarketing refers to the sale of vehicles by companies that had used them in the course of business or to generate revenue. Remarketing sales include the disposal of used cars by manufacturers, rental and leasing companies, and others.
The used car market is among the world`s biggest in the European Union Nations, France, and the UK. In these markets, the used car business generates considerable economic income. In contrast, the used car market is weaker in Canada, Japan, and Spain.
In addition to this, used vehicle sales in the U.S. and Europe are today more than twice as profitable for dealers as new vehicle sales (roughly 2.7% profit margin, compared with 1.2%). Moreover, the used vehicle financing and insurance segment is often the most profitable operational unit of a franchised dealership, posting 11.3% profitability in 2005 in the U.S.
The European used car market generated total revenues of $268.3 billion in 2007 with a generation of total sales volume of 16.3 million units, equivalent to 56.8% of the market’s overall volume. But in the recent year, there has been a blockade placed upon the manufacturer dealer networks in both Europe and North America have experienced consolidation in recent years, a process that has been historically characteristic of the automotive industry and is likely to continue.
In Europe dealers have experienced high rates of consolidation, largely due to the Block Exemption legislation, which came into effect in 2002. Sources indicate that the number of franchised dealer sales outlets in France declined by about 17%, while the number of German outlets declined by approximately 18%.
With the increasing knowledgeable platforms and outreach , The market share of independents is likely to fall in Europe because leasers are more and more looking after others channels to remarket their vehicles such as : auctions (ex: Germany, Holland), dealers, export, re-rental with the best example being Italy and other nations in Europe which run on rental requirements.
The other main agenda of development for used cars within the market has been through the auction on platforms of varied levels. Used car sales via auctions are mainly developed in England which used to be part of the European Union till January 2021 and to a smaller degree in Germany and Holland and are emerging in other countries.
However, players such as Manheim or BCA setup aggressive strategies to expand in Europe. Auctions are more and more regarded by leasers as a remarketing channel at the expense of independents. Online auctions are rising
EUROPE USED CARS MARKET SEGMENTATION
The Europe market of Used Cars can be segmented into following categories for further analysis.
By Product Re Usage
- Remanufacturing Process
- Rental Services
- Showcasing and Museum Purposes
- Re Buying Purposes
By Product Sales Conveyance
- Online Sale
- TV Marketing
- Social media Marketing Platform
- Online Auction
- Platform based sales – OLX etc.
- Direct Purchase
By Class of Propulsion
- Electric Vehicle
- Hybrid Vehicle
- Fossil Fuel Vehicle
- Specialized Fuel Vehicle
- Gas Based Vehicle
By Age Classification of Usage
- Middle Aged
- Elders and Senior Citizens
By Regional Classification
- Republic of Cyprus
- Czech Republic
RECENT MARKET TECHNOLOGICAL TRENDS IN USED CARS
The used vehicle market has grown in size and importance in the past decade and is positioned to continue to do so in the future. A successful used vehicle strategy on the part of automakers and dealers is becoming essential to their operations and is increasingly recognized as such.
Sales of new and used vehicles are strongly interrelated; used sales affect residual values and new vehicle pricing, in addition to relationships with customers and the strength of brands. In short, used car sales have a significant effect on many aspects of an automaker’s sales and cannot be ignored.
OEM involvement on the levels of inventory management and used vehicle branding is crucial for enabling dealers to carry out successful remarketing programs. While national used vehicle markets differ in character and structure due to a variety of socio-economic factors.
There have been some core strategies being implemented that are essential for growing dealers’ used vehicle sales in the European Market in the recent years which includes Continually improve the customer experience, from the Internet to the showroom, rationalize customer relationships through CRM, perfect online promotion and merchandising efforts to reach prospects and existing customers, manage inventory and pricing with network-wide IT solutions, maximize high-margin sales opportunities, optimize certified used vehicle programs.
In the European markets, the dealers and manufacturers with successful used car operations make strategic investments in technology to improve customer experiences and build the trust that forms the basis of their ability to compete with lower-priced independent dealers and private sellers.
The recent integration of technology has to be followed alongside the integration of a branded OEM Dealership to have better notion of the complete market operability in terms of increased sales in European markets. There has been focus placed upon having this value-added service being integrated into the used cars market of the Union.
The urban customers would have better saviourism towards the OEM affiliated branded dealerships. The internet portals did not have a visible share. It looks like the customers looked to the information on the internet but concluded the transaction at a physical dealership.
It must also be said that the identification of a customer who transacted in a conventional dealership as opposed to a web portal is relatively lower when integrated directly into a non-branded platform dealership. It is, therefore, likely that there is a certain amount of bias away from the buyers on the internet.
The maturity of the used car market varies considerably according to country, and geographic proximity.France and Germany which work within the same European regulatory framework in terms of car distribution have strong national traditions in the automotive industry and develop brands that have worldwide coverage.
Germany has the most advanced online used vehicle market, used heavily by both sellers and buyers. Used vehicles in Germany already have the longest warranty among all markets. As a result, certified vehicles are not a strong differentiating factor in this market. Since recent years, dealers’ share of the used vehicle market has been recovering from six consecutive years of decline.
Third-party listing websites, complete with multiple photos, detailed descriptions and vehicle history reports to reassure used vehicle shoppers, have made it easier for consumers to sell vehicles of all ages in the private market.
In addition, franchised dealers within the EU Nations are also increasingly under pressure from the independent dealer segment, where new business models such as CarMax are retailing more of the late-model vehicles traditionally sold by franchised dealers.
Independent e-tailer sites were much more likely to be used by German customers. As many as half of German used car buyers plan to consult independent e-tailer sites for their next purchase, compared with only a quarter of French used vehicle buyers. Automotive publications have been more integrated to be used by Europeans as part of foundational requirements within this information source.
eBay Germany, although entering the market at a time frame later than expected, eBay Motors U.S., acquired one of the largest online classifiers in Germany – mobile.de – and has become a major competitor in Europe. It is also one of the reasons behind the growth of the private market in Germany. eBay Germany now has an inventory more than four times larger than that in the U.S.
- Auto scout 24
- HAQ Publishing Ltd – Vintage Cars
- Mazda Used Dealers UK
- Fleet Europe
- AAA Auto Export
- ADESA – A KAR Company