For vehicle leasing companies, motor manufacturers and other companies involved in large scale fleet remarketing, 2020 might be remembered as the year when online disposal platforms became the norm. Why? Because the coronavirus crisis has not just made digital solutions of this type the preferred choice in this sphere but, in many cases, the only option.
As I write, much of the UK is in lockdown and heading into winter many of the large fleet organisations disposing of cars and vans with which we work are still encouraging employees to work from home. Online platforms uniquely allow these atomised businesses to maintain a high degree of control over their disposal activities.
Meanwhile, the traders to whom they sell also remain noticeably slow to return to their previous habits. While some physical auctions are reopening, they have become carefully controlled environments where the useful buzz and chatter that makes them a good barometer of current market conditions has become unavoidably subdued. Our opinion has long been that physical auctions will always have a place in remarketing, and any hopefully temporary issues caused by the current situation have not changed that belief, but buying online undoubtedly makes more sense to a growing number of traders at this moment.
Proof of all of these views can be seen through the activity we have recently seen on our 1link Disposal Network platform, used by large fleet companies disposing of assets to sell cars and vans to a community of more than 3,000 independent and franchise traders.
We’re now seeing the volumes of vehicles being sold through the platform meeting and exceeding pre-coronavirus levels. Initially, following lockdown, overall activity was sluggish but there are now strong signs that the fleet remarketing sector is developing a sustainable and relatively buoyant cycle, with much-improved supply and demand.
Interestingly, we’ve also seen a marked increase in traders requesting to sign up to 1link Disposal Network with more than 200 opting to join us during the last five months. Partially, this is because of the launch of 1link Trade Buyer (see story below) but also dealers are recognising that digital sources of stock have become more important in current conditions.
Looking ahead, it is difficult to see the trend towards online changing ahead of any dramatic developments in how coronavirus is handled. The used car and van sectors appear as though they will remain relatively strong for the near future and the systems powering them will increasingly be digital. When it comes to fleet disposal, online is the new normal.
Why use 1link Disposal Network?
For companies involved in large-scale vehicle fleet disposal and remarketing, 1link Disposal Network offers a range of key advantages.