LAS VEGAS -
For dealers, time is more important than money, Kraig Quisenberry said, in the sense that dealers often are more concerned with having a car that is front-line ready than the price they’re going to pay for the vehicle.
And that ties directly into condition reports said Quisenberry, the director of sales at DCH Auto Group.
Dealers don’t always have time to inspect every inch of a car that comes through the auction lane, he said; thus, the condition report becomes necessary, not only to increase confidence but save time, as well.
“Dealers want a clear and accurate condition report. That is critical. Information, to us, is more important — more important than price, more important than anything,” Quisenberry said last week during a presentation to auctions and consignors at the NAAA/IARA/CAR Conference in Las Vegas.
“If the car comes through the lane, and there’s no condition report, we don’t even look at it,” he would add, referring to dealers in general.
But if there is one, it can sell much quicker.
For instance, Manheim’s “Selling in the Zone” promotion — which began Feb. 23 and runs through Sunday — touches on this very notion.
In last month’s announcement of the program (which help customers market their vehicles better and boost buyer confidence and conversion rate) Manheim senior director of customer marketing Stephen Smith shared this:
“As part of this promotion, we share best practices on how to help dealers increase buyer interest and confidence. It’s important that we make sure dealers know the right strategies to sell their vehicles. For instance, we know that vehicles with condition reports are three times more likely to be sold at auction than vehicles without CRs.”
Manheim's 2015 Used Car Market Report also addresses the importance dealers place on having the right information, including what they gather via CRs.
“Successful used-car dealers know more about the cars they buy and sell than ever before, a necessity due to the significant increase of information available to consumers via digital and mobile channels,” the report indicates. “To stay ahead of the curve, dealers need to better understand everything about the vehicle they are buying in the wholesale environment.
“In a world where time is money, it is vital that dealers have easy access to all available vehicle information to efficiently make purchasing decisions. This information needs to be accurate, complete, and consistent,” it continues. “The more information sellers supply, the better: Studies have shown that transparency leads to increased sales conversions, bids per vehicle, and increased sales price while decreasing average days to sale and arbitration. This ultimately impacts the seller’s bottom line.”
The report goes on to mention five products/tools that allow for this efficiency, with CRs being one of them: “Condition reports provide unbiased documentation of the current state of the vehicle. This gives the dealer vital information on what the 'all-in' cost of the vehicle will be prior to offering it at retail.”
And as one might imagine, the condition report can become especially critical in online sales. In an interview with AuSM on site at CAR, ADESA president and chief executive officer Stéphane St-Hilaire discussed the focus his company has put on condition reports, particularly as it relates to the online sales environment.
“There’s no doubt condition reports have been, and continue to be, very important to (dealers), and we invest heavily into condition reporting technology,” St-Hilaire.
“That’s where it all starts when it comes to selling a car upstream and private-label programs; we see it as a perfect fit,” he added, also emphasizing the importance of this technology at the physical auction.
ADESA continues to invest in the inspection business, St-Hilaire said; in fact, its subsidiary inspection company — AutoVIN — signed a definitive agreement to purchase the vehicle inspection business of DataScan Field Services earlier this week.
The two combined companies plan to provide all major leasing companies and auto lenders with inspection services.
“AutoVIN’s field inspectors provide peace of mind for our clients who want a professional, competent experience for their customers and business partners. And, our geographic reach ensures their portfolios are inspected and processed in a timely manner,” St-Hilaire said in the announcement.
“This acquisition will provide an unmatched offering by combining DataScan’s innovative technology for capturing vehicle information and communicating customer data with AutoVIN’s vehicle inspection
Last but certinaly not least, don’t forget about that condition report writer.
That was one point of emphasis made by Mike Hockett, founder and chief executive officer of the Auction Broadcasting Co., during his keynote address at CAR.
“We have to be better at writing CRs,” Hockett said. “I know we have a grading system on CR, but it still depends upon that CR writer. Are we doing everything (we can) for that CR writer? Are we paying him right?”