24 Jan 19

Autorola posts record cross-border sales

In 2018, more than 150,000 used cars were either imported or exported via the Autorola online remarketing platform. That's a huge increase, and a record for European cross-border sales, Autorola Group says.

Autorola points to the turmoil in the European automotive industry last year as a driver of cross-border sales of used vehicles. Overall, more than 21% of the used vehicles sold on the Autorola online remarketing platform were imported or exported, but that figure was as high as 60% in a number of countries.

Pan-European strategy

Especially affected were those markets demand for diesels fell due to new emissions legislation, or where major used-car shortages led to increased demand for imports. Such changes demand a pan-European remarketing strategy, explains Morten Holmsten, global sales director for Autorola's Marketplace platform. 

“Legislation has caused used diesel demand to fall dramatically in some countries causing a major challenge for the likes of leasing companies where thousands of used diesels are being de-fleeted every week,” says Mr Holmsten (pictured). “Europe’s biggest challenge now is how countries respond to introducing new legislation to improve air quality.”

Air quality

Some interesting developments gleaned from Marketplace's last-year transactions:

  • Germany and France are leading the way to reduce emissions and improve urban air quality. As a result, more used diesels from those countries are being exported to Poland, Africa and the Middle East.
  • Following fiscal reforms that incentivise buying petrols, hybrids and EVs, Belgium is also exporting more cars.
  • Up to 55% of ex-lease stock from the Netherlands is being exported to Portugal, Croatia and Romania.
  • To balance the supply, Germany and Belgium are importing more used petrol cars, while the Netherlands is importing cars from Denmark and France.
  • The recovery in Spain, Portugal and Italy from the steep recession in 2009-11 means that demand for used cars in those markets now outstrips supply.

Supplementing stock

Marketplace is one way dealers seek to supplement their stock from beyond their own borders, says Autorola. 

  • Portuguese dealers are importing €10-12,000 cars from the likes of France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands
  • Spanish dealers are sourcing three to eight-year-old sub-€10,000 used cars.
  • Italian dealers are importing lower-value used cars while exporting around 20% of their high-value, high-spec used cars to Germany and Austria.
  • the Germans and Austrians in their turn export used vehicles to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.

“For MarketPlace, it's exciting to be at the heart of the European remarketing industry, supporting the ever-changing supply and demand for used cars,” says Mr Holmsten. “The cross-border trend will continue through 2019, and we're already looking at new export markets for future cross-border activity.”

Authored by: Frank Jacobs