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THE majority shareholding in east-coast auction house Carlins is paying off for Automotive Holdings Group Ltd with a successful debut last week of a vehicle auction in Perth.

It was the first time Carlins Auction Group had held an auction in Western Australia, but owner Rob Carlin told GoAutoNews Premium that one was planned each week, operating out of the AHG-owned easyauto123 used-car “yellow box” warehouses.

“The first one was very successful with 107 cars on offer and a 78 per cent clearance rate,” he said.

“This compares with 90 per cent clearance in our Sydney auctions and 80 per cent from Melbourne.”

Carlins, which will open an auction house in Brisbane in April, is selling only to the trade.

Mr Carlin said every vehicle in Perth was on consignment and there were no buy-sell vehicles. He sad the cars were properly checked to ensure they had no defects.

“We’re offering something new (by dealing only with the trade),” he said.

“The advantage to the vendor is the vehicle goes to a transparent market that is free from any relationships.

“We have no deal with AHG as they are in the market equally with other dealer groups.

“The advantage to the buyer is similar because they know that the only way to secure a vehicle is to have the highest bid.”

Mr Carlin said the volumes at the Perth auction could be expanded to 800 vehicles a month within the first three months and “grow from there”.

It will hold the auctions in Perth each Wednesday at 10am. The Perth location is the easyauto123 building in Canning Vale, in the southern suburbs of Perth.

Carlins shares auction sites with AHG – including easyauto123 warehouses – in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth but Mr Carlin said there was no direct relationship between easyauto123 and Carlins.

AHG bought a majority share in Carlins Auction Group in May last year.

In a statement, AHG said the shareholding allowed it to centralise its internal wholesale operations with a platform and management team that were already well regarded in the industry.

Carlins buys and sells about 7500 vehicles worth almost $60 million a year through its network of wholesale buyers and contracted relationships with dealers and OEMs.

It also handles about 5000 consignment vehicles annually.

By Neil Dowling

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