This places Autocare Services trucks in every town where there are dealerships and it puts them in these towns around the nation more often.
However with the business of delivering new cars from the main capital city storage depots to dealerships with trucks filled to capacity, the business now has a major new focus of offering the empty space on the return journeys in a cost-effective manner to the dealers they service, other dealers in the same town and dealers in towns they pass along the way back.
The initiative is designed to appeal to dealers for the following vehicle movements:
- Swapping cars between dealers of the same brand
- Transferring cars between dealerships within the same dealer group
- Transferring cars in dealer-to-dealer purchases
- Relocating cars bought or sold by wholesalers
- Sending cars to auctions
- Delivering cars bought by online regional or interstate customers from a dealer’s website
Autocare Services’ Business Development Manager Michael Brownlie told GoAutoNews Premium: “We are so much more than delivering cars to dealerships. Most dealers know us, but they may not be aware that we can look after all their transport requirements.
“Obviously, we have a large portion of the new-vehicle dealer market and that puts our trucks in a lot of places a lot of the time. The message we want to share with dealers is that we are wherever they are, we go wherever they want their cars to go and we are in their towns more often.
“If we don’t go to their actual dealership or call at one of the brands in their dealership portfolio, then we go to the dealerships down the road,” Mr Brownlie said.
“When we’re in their town quite frequently, there’s always a connection that should be made to dealers that we are going to need to turn around again and go back and we are now putting our case for filling up that backload space.
“Our message is: ‘Yes, we can take your vehicles back from wherever you are to wherever they need to go or connect them to anywhere around Australia because we utilise a national network.’”
Mr Brownlie said that he had noticed that dealers were increasingly relocating cars to follow market trends.
“They are following prices in different markets and significant differences could be found for the same car in different states where some make and models of used cars were in very short supply.
“If there’s a better chance for the used cars out on the east coast to get a better price in Perth because they might be worth a bit more, or the other way around, then they make that choice to relocate the cars to pick up a better sale price in a better market.
“And we can be the facilitator of the connection between A and B. And that’s what we offer. We have that ability to relocate that vehicle from one site, or one state or one region to the other.”
He said that Autocare Services was also able to support dealers who were increasingly receiving remote sales from buyers driven to shop online by the rules operating under the pandemic.
He said buyers searching for vehicles online were also discovering some cars were better value on the east coast for example and that west coast shoppers were able to make savings even after they paid for freight charges to get the car to them.
Referring to remote internet sales, he said dealers can factor the freight costs into the negotiation for the sales to remote customers.
He said regional dealers are selling used cars online into the cities by including the transport cost within the price.
“Once the finance is fixed and the car is theirs, the buyers don’t have to do a thing. We collect the car and they can collect it from our depot or, in some cases, we can deliver it to their home or office depending on the road network in that area.”
Mr Brownlie said some dealers use other dealers they know in other states to deliver used cars to customers who bought remotely online.
“Dealers have ‘friendlies’ everywhere that they will pay a few dollars to hand over the keys and deliver a used car for them that has been bought elsewhere online. Can you do the handover to mum and dad at your dealership?
“It makes sense because if someone has just bought a car, the buyer might have their old car on Gumtree or something and that gives that dealer an opportunity to ask questions: What’s the other car and can we buy it from you? They get their name and address and they live nearby. That seems to me to be an opportunity for that dealer as well.
“So that gives them another avenue of business and we facilitate the transport that sits in between A and B. That’s where we operate and what we offer,” he said.
Mr Brownlie said that wholesalers were another market for Autocare Services.
“Wholesale buyers have a great relationship with us. We know that the dealerships in some of the regional areas throughout Australia have a lot of trade-ins and they don’t keep them all because they can’t handle more than 10 or 15 cars on their lot and they want to keep the right ones.
“The wholesalers come through dealerships every week or every second week, offer a price on the trades, scoop them all up and then arrange as quickly as they can to get them on trucks and get them back to their resale point.
“We know we offer a really good service in that space. We know the wholesalers that use us like that, because they know those cars could otherwise sit for weeks and they know that we’ve got a truck there today or tomorrow and that works well for them. We can back freight the cars to wherever they want them to go.”
By John Mellor