Is the motor retail world prepared for a move
online? Some 44 per cent of consumers surveyed by Capgemini said
they were looking to the internet as a viable sales channel for
cars, up from 20 per cent a year ago, while traffic to online car
retailer Autoquake has grown by 260 per cent since June. Autoquake
is now selling over 800 cars a month – equating to an annual sales
figure of 10,000 units, even without factoring in projected
“Our sales grew tenfold in 2008, and we are
predicting a threefold increase in 2009,” said chief marketing
officer Fredrik Skantze.

Finance and insurance are also sold through the Autoquake
website, with 20 per cent of cars sold along with finance, Skantze
said. The remainder are typically funded through debit or credit
card payments, he said. 

DSG Financial Services handles the back end of the online
finance application process, although some finance customers are
sent directly to the banks with which Autoquake has partnership
agreements – a list which includes Santander and Bank of Scotland.
After filling in a form, customers receive a credit decision
“within a few hours or the next day”, said Skantze, and it is then
up to the customer to decide whether to take up the credit or not.
“It’s a very smooth process,” he added.

Separately, Autoquake has announced that it has recently signed
up several new fleet partners, and boasts remarketing agreements
with 11 of the top 20 largest players, including ALD Automotive and
ING Car Lease. Duncan Metcalfe, head of remarketing at ING Car
Lease commented: “We have remarketed cars through for
18 months now and are pleased with the performance. Consumers pay
higher prices for cars than what is achieved in the trade and that
ultimately results in better returns for us.”