CARA - winning battles for European remarketing
Fair wear and tear, mileage reading, cross-border logistics: why is the European Car Remarketing Association (CARA) so keen to develop Europe-wide standards for its industry? “Because we’re the experts”, says CARA President Wolfgang Reinhold. “And if we don’t come up with the rules, someone else will.”
CARA was set up in 2015 to provide a voice for the Remarketing industry at European level. The organisation also selected a number of ‘deliverables’ – themes crying out for a solution that would benefit international remarketeers.
At its core, this desire to ‘deliver’ Europe-wide solutions for the Remarketing industry was not just motivated by self-interest, but rather inspired by a desire for good governance. Says Mr Reinhold: “Look at what happened with WLTP: its introduction was prepared by bureaucrats, with minimal industry involvement. And chaos ensued.”
Last year, CARA finalised its work on fair wear and tear – a very important ‘deliverable’. At issue is the fact that de-fleeted vehicles are being inspected and evaluated according to standards that can vary per lease company and per country. A harmonised standard would make trading used vehicles across borders a lot more transparent, a lot easier and consequently a lot more profitable.
With that in mind, CARA last year inaugurated such a standard; not as the definitive end to the discussion, but to provide a point of reference and – hopefully – a basis for future unanimity.
Detailing what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to dents, scratches and much more, the guide (developed for both cars and LCVs, and for younger and older vehicles), is available in its entirety on CARA’s revamped website (see below).
For 2019, CARA is focusing on another set of ‘deliverables’: mileage fraud, first and foremost, and transnational transport solutions (pictured).
Examples in Belgium show that solutions are available to ensure that the mileage reading for used cars is correct – thus increasing consumer trust and, ultimately, the value proposition of the remarketing industry. CARA is fighting for a solution at European level and can count on the support of the European Parliament and various European governments.
“CARA has organised a task force to contribute to the establishment of a Europe-wide database that can provide trusted mileage information to used-car buyers”, says Mr Reinhold. Because the EU authorities – both the Parliament and the Commission – are expected to move on this topic, the CARA task force is focused on creating a recommendation to the relevant EU authorities – with the objective of achieving the most efficient result, which is in the interest not just of CARA members, but ultimately of millions of used-car buyers throughout the European Union.
At least equally important, but more difficult to deliver, is the need for an EU-wide, harmonised solution for transporting used vehicles. “At present, this comes with some risk, for instance in terms of VAT,” says Mr Reinhold. Not just VAT fraud, also insufficient lead times and associated logistics costs, and a general lack of transparency are at issue here.
A CARA transport task force is looking into solutions to streamline and secure the logistical aspect of the cross-border used-vehicle supply chain. One solution could be eCMR, an electronic certification of transported goods. Some EU countries have ratified it – Germany, crucially, hasn’t, at least not yet. “This is the tool we need”, said Mr Reinhold.
Meanwhile, CARA members can look forward to an exclusive presentation by Matthias Popp, Global VP Testing Services of Business Line Transportation at SGS. On 13 June in Düsseldorf, he will address a members-only CARA gathering on the future of autonomous driving and powertrain evolutions, and their impact on the automotive sector in general, and the remarketing industry in particular.
The presentation is just one example of the benefits of CARA membership for remarketing professionals. “As a forum for the remarketing industry, it is our job to provide unique industry insight – especially about the opportunities presented by digitisation and other new market trends,” says Mr Reinhold. But CARA is also an ideal forum to trade experiences and tips with peers, and network with experts, decision-makers and prospects. In short: CARA is the place where the battle for the future of European Remarketing will be waged – and won.
For more information on CARA’s ‘deliverables’, events and how to become a member, check out the website: https://cara-europe.org.