Auto Remarketing has launched a new series this year called “Consignor Connection,” in which we catch up with a leading remarketing executive at a different consignor each month.
In a Q&A format, we talk about best practices, auction industry trends and more. The latest in this series features Nate Lattimer, vice president of remarketing, sales and operations at Enterprise Holdings.
Auto Remarketing: How does EHI strike a balance when it comes to choosing how your cars are sold, be it auction sales, online sales, open/closed sales, etc.?
Nate Lattimer: At Enterprise Holdings, we execute a multi-channel sales strategy which predominately uses two sales channels. While the majority of our units are sold directly to our franchise and independent dealership partners, it can vary from location to location. With more than 6,000 neighborhood and airport car rental locations across the country, we rely on our local operations team to guide our remarketing efforts. This decentralized approach enables us to maximize all of the opportunities in the local markets where we operate.
New technology is also playing an increasingly important role in our sales strategy. With more and more dealerships seeking ways to increase efficiencies, many prefer to shop and compare vehicles online. Today, we have a robust sales team comprised of more than 350 dedicated account managers who consistently update our inventory on a mobile platform, enabling our customers to browse and purchase our vehicles seamlessly.
Local auctions remain an important component of our remarketing strategy, as well. Both in-lane and online opportunities provided by our auction partners allow our vehicles to be showcased in front of as many buyers as possible. It's really a multi-faceted approach.
Nate Lattimer, Enterprise Holdings
AR: What are some of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) on the rental car side of the auction market for consignors like EHI in 2015?
NL: One of the biggest challenges we face is overcoming misconceptions regarding rental cars in the used-car marketplace. Several of our recent customer surveys have reinforced that the perception exits today. In reality, these used vehicles receive much more care than the average consumer-owned car.
At Enterprise Holdings, we offer a diverse range of late-model, well-maintained vehicles to reflect the preferences of our consumers. We feel that most of our late-model products we bring to the market are low mile, serviced regularly, in great condition and provide a great deal of diversity with regards to make, model and trim level.
The value of used rental vehicles isn't consistently touted in the used-car space, but ensuring this message reaches all buyers is important as more rental vehicles for dealer inventory become available this year.
AR: Looking at multiplatform buying and selling in the wholesale space, what are some of the benefits you see as a consignor, and what are the costs?
NL: As a consignor, we appreciate the opportunities that multiplatform listings can provide. We benefit from increased exposure to a wider range of potential buyers. Dealers, in turn, are able to see more vehicles and make a more informed purchasing decision. Ensuring that more buyers are given the opportunity to view, compare and bid on vehicles creates a "true marketplace," providing a more stable and consistent used-car market that benefits everyone.
There are still some challenges with multiplatform buying and selling, but we are optimistic that an efficient solution for the industry will be created. Once buyers and sellers become more efficient in their processes, we believe stronger residuals should result from this platform.
Enterprise Holdings sells at essentially all of the Manheim, ADESA and the independent auctions throughout the U.S.