Remarketing will change in 2016
The only constant is change, also in Remarketing. So what will the new year bring for the sector? The recent Remarketing Forum in Rome offered some insight. For, as another truism says: The future is already here – it's just unevenly distributed.
The 2015 Remarketing Forum coincided with the first General Assembly of the European Car Remarketing Association (CARA), one of the principal goals of which is the dismantling of fiscal and regulatory stumbling blocks that are hindering the industry, especially in cross-border trade. These challenges CARA aims to address by entering into a dialogue with the competent EU authorities – not forgetting that cross-border challenges are not limited to trade within the European Union.
Another, related item on the conference agenda, and one in which some progress could be expected in the coming year, is the consolidation of Remarketing logistics. At present, and despite the relatively limited number of supply routes throughout Europe – about 280, the Remarketing Forum was told – there is precious little concertation between the companies who actually move vehicles (both new and used vehicles, both vehicle suppliers and traders) from A to B.
Vehicle inspections are another area where a variety (and in some respects, a lack) of standards is rightly seen as an obstacle to the verifiable level of trust needed for the Remarketing industry to grow in confidence and strength. Some standards exist, the Belgian one was held up as an example for instance, and the difficult but necessary quest for a universal standard is yet another of CARA's lofty ambitions.
Big Data will increasingly come to bear on Remarketing, transforming used car valuation from a mathematical to a statistical exercise – with huge implications for price-setting in the near future. Technology is also continuing to disrupt traditional methods – and places – for used-car buying: out of the showroom or auction house, onto the internet.
In short, the Remarketing industry is facing a number of challenges in the near future, with emergent technology enabling or requiring standardisation of certain business practices, or even the invention of new ones. The question, also asked at the Fleet Europe Remarketing Forum, is: will change come from within the sector, or will it prove so conservative and traditional that an outside disruptor will need to come in and shake things up?