Vertu Motors sold 6,500 used cars in February when dealerships were closed thanks to its clever technology.
Analysts and investors were given a glimpse of the tech yesterday which helped the dealer group perform last month – with one expert labelling it as a ‘key differentiator’ in the sector.
Zeus Capital analyst Mike Allen said the technology gives Vertu ‘all the functionality of Cazoo and Cinch’ but with even more accuracy.
Allen said: ‘We were able to see how a Vertu customer can interact, buy or reserve a car online and how the buying process can be seamlessly executed on a mobile phone if required.
‘This includes accurate quotes allowing for part exchange, with all documents sent instantaneously so a complete audit trail is retained for compliance purposes.
‘We believe the systems and processes used by Vertu have all the functionality of Cazoo/Cinch from a customer perspective with the addition of the capture of outstanding finance on any part exchange leading to more accurate quotes for the consumer.’
Vertu currently has 35 in-house developers creating unique systems for the group’s 147 sites.
This tech advantage will help the group scale and with ‘decision making, integration and compliance’, believes Allen.
He added: ‘Omni-channel retailing is often discussed in the sector, but Vertu was able to demonstrate how this works for their customers.
‘We had the opportunity to look at Vertu’s bespoke systems capabilities, which we see as a powerful part of the investment case and key differentiating factor from its competitors.
‘To our minds this ultimately delivers enhanced scalability, decision making, integration focus and compliance, which are vital ingredients for future performance.’
Allen said Vertu showed off its used car stock management tools, dubbed ‘Vertu Analytics’ which ensures the dealer group keeps a close eye on stock turn.
Allen said: ‘This has been a key driver behind the average used car stock turn of 32 days, which is significantly below the industry average of 63.’
The dealer group also uses data from key suppliers – including CAP, Auto Trader, BCA and the DVLA for accurate mileage information – to accurately price cars.
This week, Car Dealer reported how Vertu is using robotic automation to assist with repetitive manual inputting tasks. The investment has seen Vertu achieve a £10m annual saving.
Allen said: ‘A key area of focus here has been around vehicle administration, particularly around taxing sold used vehicles, the automatic invoice of all trade vehicles sold at auction and informing service departments about preparation work required on vehicles received in part exchange.’
Zeus Capital think Vertu offer ‘compelling’ long term value to investors and that the current performance is ‘testament to the strength of its franchise and management team in challenging conditions’.
It believes the dealer group can achieve a share price of 65p. It is trading today at 37.5p.
This week, Vertu Motors chief executive Robert Forrester appeared on a special Car Dealer Live with Daksh Gupta.
On online sales, Forrester said: ‘A week last Saturday we sold 540 cars with the showrooms closed – 10 of them were pure online.
‘Omnichannel. Use of the internet, internet leads, phone enquiries, sending personalised videos it was a plethora of things. We have to define, as an industry, as to what “online” is.
‘This idea that things are “all online”. Well, pure online isn’t really that big is it? We’ll have done 130 purely online sales, at 2am in the morning while drunk, last month – but we did 6,500 used cars in February.’
You can what Forrester had to say in the video at the top of this post.
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