Refocus needed for EV remarketing
EVs have been a bit of a blind spot for the used car industry. The focus has been firmly on new markets and new processes – both digitally unlocked. “With EVs now starting to reach the used market in growing numbers, a refocus is due”, admits Philip Nothard (Cox Automotive).
If you’re a customer looking online for a used EV, you’ll look long and hard for a customer journey that perfectly fits your requirements. Many OEMs and retailers have yet to realise that buying an EV is quite different from buying an ICE vehicle for consumers. They have different needs and questions. Unfortunately, the reassurance and the answers they need are hard to find.
Yet that is precisely what they need, says Mr Nothard: “Many prospective used EV buyers will be entering the process unfamiliar with the new technology, terminology, ownership experience, and even with some of the brands they will encounter. Plus, there will be nervousness about the financial aspects of buying a used EV for the foreseeable future.”
Morten Holmsten (Autorola) agrees there is an issue but doesn’t think it is a three-alarm fire: “First of all, we should remember that EVs are still only around 3 to 5% of the total number of cars being remarketed. Secondly, the core of the remarketing process is not different between ICE vehicles and EVs. That is: Finding the right buyer for the individual car.”
State of Health
“The main difference is the EV battery's State of Health (SoH). Here, the opportunities for doing a solid independent review are still limited. There have also been a few examples of used EVs with technical problems that created big challenges for their buyers.”
“We believe steps are being taken to create the right environment for EVs in remarketing”, says Johan Meyssen (Adesa Europe). “This involves creating the right descriptions, searching for an SoH standard, and finding the procedure for measuring this SoH in the best possible circumstances. Also, the logistical flows are being reviewed and adapted where necessary.”
“So, changes are taking place and will become visible soon. But this will require involvement from all stakeholders in the process – not in the least the OEMs, who have a lot of information available, which they should share with the market.”
The next development?
Mr Nothard stresses the similarity between the used EV and used ICE journeys: “Many buyers today have a vehicle type, mobility need and price point in mind when considering buying a car. However, many are indifferent to whether that car is new or used. And yet the typical digital journey forces them down either a new or a used route.”
In a physical retail environment, a good salesperson would guide the customer in the moment, but the digital experience still falls short in this respect. “This feels counterproductive, so is this the next digital development we’ll see?”
This article is from our latest remarketing E-Book: Optimising the Used Vehicle Customer Journey in a Changing World, which can be downloaded for free.
Author: Frank Jacobs