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Former Citroen UK boss Karl Howkins to lead growth for CD Auctions in new MD role at SMH

Time 1 year ago

Ex-Citroen UK boss Karl Howkins has told of his delight at joining SMH as the managing director of its CD Auctions division.

He will be in charge of the next stage of CD Auctions’ development and integration into the SMH Group, with expansion plans seeing more investment in digital platforms and physical infrastructure.

CD Auctions, which was bought by SMG Fleet Solutions owner Arctos Holdings in September 2017, has five UK sites, boasting refurbishment and digital remarketing services.


Martin McAuley, director at SMH Fleet Solutions, said: ‘Karl brings a wealth of experience to the group and will lead the integration of CD Auctions into the wider business.

‘It is the right time to expand our management team as we accelerate our plans and ambitions for the future.

‘We will continue to grow our technology capabilities while building our footprint across the UK to provide best in-class services to meet all of our customers’ vehicle management needs. I would like to thank Andy Brown, who retires in September, for all his efforts in growing CD Auctions.’

Howkins – who was the MD at Citroen UK from June 2018 to April this year and has also held leadership positions at Opel/Vauxhall and Fiat Chrysler in the UK, Switzerland and Netherlands – said: ‘I’m delighted to be joining the SMH Group and leading the CD Auction business.

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‘It is uniquely placed in the industry, with a digital-first offering that is a great fit for the future needs of fleets, dealers and OEMs.

‘Our remote sales mean far fewer links in the chain between defleet and dealer forecourt, which provides a faster, leaner and more efficient process. It’s a process that will continue to expand and evolve across the SMH Group.’

CD Auctions enjoyed a record volume of sales in June, with online sales attracting large numbers of first-time buyers. Overall sales were up nearly a fifth (18 per cent) on June 2019, with an average conversion rate of 85 per cent for cars and LCVs.

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John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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