Auto Trader has launched a new tool to help dealers track trends in used car pricing as the market becomes ‘increasingly nuanced’.
The new product, named ‘Trended Valuations’, will work alongside Auto Trader’s enhanced Retail Check functionality and will be made available to retailers as part of all advertising packages.
Bosses say the latest offering will allow dealers to make ‘quicker and more profitable’ sourcing, advertising, and pricing decisions.
It will show what a vehicle has been worth over the last six months, and how its value is forecasted to change up to six months into the future.
The prediction is based on a combination of historic valuations, live market prices, seasonality, and age of the derivative within the lifecycle of its generation.
It can also be adjusted to cater for expected mileage usage over the forecasted period.
Customers will have access to the tool from next April when it will become accessible through Auto Trader Portal accounts. Early access for dealers with select packages will begin from December of this year and be extended the following month.
As part of the upgraded offering, Auto Trader’s enhanced Retail Check functionality will be also be made available for commercial vehicles for the first time.
Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s chief product officer, said: ‘Providing this powerful new combination of Trended Valuations and enhanced market insights marks another important step in our commitment to empowering our partners with the scale of our data and the power of our technology.
‘Given the growing complexity in today’s market and the rapid pace in which it’s moving, we feel this is one of the most effective ways we can drive confidence among retailers and help them to navigate it profitably.
‘Our valuations data alone was engaged with over 20m times in September, which highlights just how vital a role our insights play in key retail decisions.
‘We believe this added layer of intelligence will prove to be a game changer for many retailers, giving them what they need to adapt to a nuanced market and to identify the most profitable opportunities for their forecourts.’
Dealers already backing new product
The new Trending Valuations product has been designed with dealers at its heart and retailers are already excited about the new tool’s potential.
Michael MacDonald, business manager at TrustFord Bristol, said: ‘Trended Valuations will be hugely powerful for managing part-exchanges, especially where new car lead times can mean the transaction is months away.
‘Having an Auto Trader backed valuation forecast will help us manage consumer expectations. It’ll help us manage risk and margin when sourcing with a clear view forward, so we don’t get stuck. I’ll also have a much better view of risk value on how long I keep cars in stock and know what’s going to happen to protect margin’
Andrew Muffett, group used car buyer at Allen Motor Group, added: ‘I think Trended Valuations is essential, with fluctuating new vehicle lead times we need to be able to give customers an idea of what they can expect for their part exchange when their new car arrives.
‘It also gives valuable insight to your overall stock value as time passes and is a barometer of desirability, stock turn and profitability. As retail and trade markets don’t always move in sync, a point in time trade valuation only tells part of the story when sourcing and puts margin at risk when you hit the retail market.
Trended Valuations will provide us with a broader view of retail pricing over time, to chart the trajectory of a vehicles past performance and, crucially, where it’s forecast to go.’
Main image: Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s chief product officer