Motrada: soon a household name in remarketing
Motrada is the remarketing industry’s best kept secret. The Vienna-based IT company has been providing white-label solutions for some of the biggest names – and the greatest volumes – in vehicle remarketing across Europe. But now CEO Guillaume Hebrard (pictured) wants the company to finally make a name for itself, with its newest specialism: “Our new bid aggregation system. It ensures that you’ll always get the best possible price for your cars.”
Don’t think of Motrada as a startup. The company has been around for 17 years. In that time, it has built more than 60 customized remarketing platforms, across 17 European countries, in 18 different languages.
You’ve been around since 2004, which means you’re both pioneers and veterans. How did you get started?
Guillaume Hebrard: “In 2002, I was appointed the manager of a Citroën dealership in Austria. My boss asked that I also take care of the B2B sales, as was customary in France. Since I was newly arrived and didn’t have a network, I was at a loss. I started thinking: Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool that would help me sell these cars as quickly as possible?”
In other words: that was the original idea behind Motrada.
“Indeed. That tool would offer descriptions of used cars for sale to a selected group of buyers – dealerships, typically – who could then bid on them. The highest bid gets the car, and done. Simple. The plan was also of interest to certain leasing companies, who thought that their regular channels to dispose of vehicles could use some more competition. So, in 2004 I left Citroën and started Motrada.”
What was the startup phase like?
“We developed a Software-as-a-Service solution that allowed each leasing company to set up and brand its own online vehicle auction house. While the biggest companies went for developing those platforms in-house, many mid-sized leasing companies were keen to externalize their remarketing platform via us. For example, we developed platforms for PSA Banque in 5 countries, for VB Leasing in 11 countries, for ALD Car Market in 7 countries. Some contracts that had an initial runtime of just six months ended up lasting more than 10 years.”
Moving forward to the present, Motrada has three pillars. Which are those?
“Our first pillar is that white-label remarketing platform, allowing our customers to resell their assets into a closed buyer group. We’ve noticed that this is especially interesting for captives or companies that have special selling methods. And by the way: that selling platform can be an auction site, but it doesn’t have to be.”
“Our second pillar is Workflow. We noticed our clients need more than just the platform to complete the remarketing process. So we have APIs with recovery agents, with transporters, with storage compounds, etcetera. We’re constantly improving Workflow, as we’ve noticed this is a very important tool for our clients, both lease companies and dealer groups. Mind you, we don’t offer those services. We’re just the IT guys. But we can connect our customers to the best experts in Europe.”
“Our third and newest pillar is a bid aggregation system. We can send the details of the car you want to sell to 10 of Europe’s main auction houses at the same time. Such wide exposure for your offer will guarantee that you always get the best price available on the market. Bid aggregation is the future. We will get to a situation where our clients won’t need to organize their own private buyer group anymore.”
What makes Motrada the ideal provider of a bid aggregation solution?
“There are other bid aggregators out there. But if those are offered by parties that are also involved in the trade itself, there will always be some doubt. Especially because price rallies often happen in the last split-second of an auction. And if you control the IT, you may be able to control the outcome of such rallies. We? We’re a white-label provider. We do IT. We don’t care about who finally buys the cars.”
“Also, we have 17 years’ experience. We’re not a startup. We have long-standing relations with some of the biggest players in the industry, including Sixt Leasing and BNP Paribas. We offer very stable systems, and can deliver high quality over long periods. And we’re extremely innovative – always developing new modules, integrating real-time technology or opening C2B or B2C opportunities. But if you would ask me to sum up our USP in one word, it’s adaptability. We can change the product to the customer’s needs. That’s why they stay so long with us.”
Final question. Where do you see Motrada in, say, two years’ time?
“First off, better name recognition (laughs). And more volume. In more countries. Right now, we’re very strong in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. With our bid aggregation system, we want to make a splash in Europe’s other markets, starting with the big ones: France, Spain, Italy and the UK.”