Used car marketplace Motorway is rolling out two new innovative features to help dealers sell more cars.
The first – Motorway Trade – will allow dealers to sell their part exchanges or overage vehicles directly to other dealers on the platform.
The second new feature – called Instant Match – will see the used car marketplace deliver prospective sales leads for the cars dealers have purchased on the website.
Both new features will be free to dealers.
In an exclusive video interview with Car Dealer, CEO Tom Leathes, said the new features are being first tested by a small section of dealers and will then rolled out fully in early 2024.
He assured dealers that the used car marketplace had ‘absolutely no plans’ to get in the middle of sales and sell cars themselves, and will be sticking to its goal of being a used car marketplace.
‘I am very happy to put on record, there are absolutely no plans to do that,’ said Leathes, when asked if Motorway was planning to retail cars itself.
‘Motorway is a marketplace, that is what we are good at, and we’ve built a very powerful platform around matching demand with supply.
‘We are building all these products to support our dealers building their businesses.’
Motorway Instant Match is designed to speed up the process of selling cars to private buyers and aims to combine the marketplace’s millions of users from Motorway and the recently acquired Total Car Check sites.
These visitors will be able to log what cars they are looking to buy with Motorway and dealers will be fed those leads the moment they collect the car they’ve bought.
Leathes said: ‘We have millions of private sellers on Motorway looking to sell their car and the majority of these also need to buy a car. Total Car Check also has millions of customers in market, looking to buy their next car.
‘Quite simply we want to use this audience to help dealers sell their stock faster than any other routes. We think there’s a real opportunity to help dealer partners increase their stock turn and sell to consumers in an innovative new way.’
Leathes said Motorway will qualify the buyers and deliver the leads to dealers ‘before the car even reaches the forecourt’.
‘The aim is to take a typically 30, 40, 50-day process from acquiring a car to selling it down to a few days, therefore rapidly increasing stock turn, increasing margins and also expanding the different options dealers have to sell their stock,’ added Leathes.
Dealers will still pick up the cars they have bought, take them back to the dealers and prepare them for sale, explained Leathes, but the sales leads will be delivered ‘far sooner’ in the process.
Dealers will have no obligation to sell the car to any of the leads Motorway provides, either.
‘But it does mean they may be able to sell it before they have to market it,’ added Leathes.
Meanwhile, Motorway Trade, is a free extra for dealers and will allow them to use the same technology that consumers use to list their cars, to advertise their part exchanges.
Motorway has 5,000 active dealers using its platform and the trade cars will be listed in daily sales and clearly labeled as ‘trade’. Only the purchasing dealer will be charged.
‘Trade selling has been the number one requested service from our dealers in the past few years,’ explained Leathes.
‘We think we can bring something new to the table. Dealers will use the same technology that powers our consumer profiles which uses a lot of AI tools so they can be the best they can possibly be.’
Speaking about the current market, Leathes said 2023 had been ‘a year of two halves’ for the used car market and there had been a lot of volatility in used car prices.
‘There’s still a lot of activity out there at the moment, but clearly there are some parts of the market that are more buoyant than others,’ said Leathes.
‘Dealers are being selective with what they buy because the speed of turn in this kind of market is more important than ever before.’
He said Motorway expects the volatility in pricing to ‘settle’ toward the end of the this year or early in 2024.
Leathes added: ‘Right now it’s very hard for a dealer to acquire a car and know where the price of that car will be in six weeks time, but soon as prices begin to settle – wherever that price point may be – dealers and consumers will get top understand the value of their vehicles and a lot more certainty comes back into the marketplace.’
Used car prices dropped 4.2% in October, according to trade price experts Cap HPI. The firm recently issued a warning that used car prices are still falling dramatically in November.
You can watch the video interview with Motorway’s CEO Tom Leathes in full at the top of this post.