Stellantis and SPOTiCAR launch UK multi-brand, used-car platform
16 June 2021
Stellantis and SPOTiCAR have launched the UK’s first multi-brand, approved used-car programme. The new initiative combines used models from the four Stellantis group brands on a single platform, along with any other brands a SPOTiCAR retailer may choose to offer.
The new SPOTiCAR website came online today (16 June), giving used buyers access to more than 12,000 approved used vehicles on a single platform. The platform is available across the Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroën networks, allowing buyers to view vehicles from home and provides part-exchange valuations and finance packages. DS models are also included, although the brand will remain separate through the DS Certified programme. Customers can link to the retailer to arrange home delivery or a site visit to view the car in the flesh and take a test drive.
’Stellantis is always looking at new ways to innovate the market, and with the launch of SPOTiCAR we bring our excellent used-approved programmes across our brands into a single platform for customers to use. We’ve also optimised the platform so customers can view online or visit a showroom to finalise the details, giving them the convenience and choice to decide what is best for them,’ said Nick Richards, Stellantis used-vehicle operations director.
All vehicles are guaranteed by a one-year comprehensive warranty cover, provided by the existing warranty providers of the Stellantis brands. If a fault cannot be rectified, a 30-day exchange commitment is provided, and customers also receive one-year roadside assistance cover, provided by the RAC.
During April 2020, Autovista Group surveyed more than 400 of its customers from across Europe to find out how COVID-19 had impacted their companies. Only 27% considered it ′likely’ that people would prefer to buy their next car online rather than visit a showroom. This figure dropped to 15% for Austria and 14% for Germany. However, the trend was slightly different in the UK, with 35% of respondents considering it likely. This suggests that dealers in the country were already improving their digital readiness in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A year on and the digital-sales channel continues to prevail. For example, Volvo Cars has committed to online-only sales. However, the Swedish carmaker has confirmed the ongoing importance of physical sites, calling them crucial to the customer experience. This sentiment is echoed by Stellantis.
‘The launch comes at a crucial time for the UK’s car industry, with the latest research finding that while the majority of buyers are increasingly comfortable completing their purchase online, nearly 65% still value the physical experience of viewing and test driving vehicles before signing on the dotted line,’ Stellantis stated.
Another lasting side effect of COVID-19 has been the resilient demand for used cars. The UK’s used-car market suffered the greatest downturn of the big five European markets in the first quarter of 2021, with 8.9% fewer transactions than in Q1 2020, according to the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). However, this compares favourably to the new-car market, which contracted by 12%, as it was more adversely affected by the closure of dealers until 12 April. Used-car transactions are expected to improve in 2021, but with a lower growth rate than new-car registrations.
The ongoing comparative strength of Europe’s big five used-car markets supports Autovista Group’s core prediction, outlined at the start of the year, that residual values (RVs) face limited pressure in 2021. Looking ahead, the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ongoing aversion to public transport, will support used-car demand. Furthermore, the semiconductor shortages are curtailing supply of new cars, favouring demand for young used cars.
The Stellantis and SPOTiCAR initiative in the UK is, therefore, indeed timely, and a rollout in other markets is deemed highly likely.