A few years ago, I was worried about over supply of fleet vehicles entering the used vehicle market. To combat that issue, which never happened as predicted, we started to create a brand of used vehicles to differentiate our vehicles from the competition.
Wheels has spent the past few years working with our suppliers and dealer/customers to develop a strategy — extending our distinct Wheels brand to our used vehicles — that will differentiate our clients’ vehicles from other vehicles for sale at the auction.
Brand development isn’t easy. But we knew that extending our existing brand, built on the strength of our 80-year history and our reputation for customer service and quality, to used vehicles would attract dealers to actively search and buy our vehicles.
I’m excited to share how we continue to build our successful Wheels brand so that we can continue to sell our vehicles for strong prices and keep our clients’ depreciation cost low.
Supplier Management Program
We developed a supplier management program to make sure we were selecting and building relationships with the right suppliers.
- Dealers, auctions, logistics companies, finance and warranty suppliers were all carefully vetted to make sure they could deliver for clients and were aligned with our Wheels brand standards.
- Partnerships with the right suppliers help us deliver on our brand promise throughout the remarketing process. This helps to maximize the resale value of our vehicles and control our clients’ depreciation costs.
We learned what our customers – the dealers – want when they purchase used vehicles for their inventory.
We held a dealer appreciation event at an auction to learn about who, what, when and why they purchase used vehicles. The many dealers who participated were eager to share their thoughts as we held table-by-table focus groups. When we reviewed their input we discovered the dealers’ “Top 5” requirements:
- Product mix – consistent offerings with larger volumes of vehicles for sale in one location
- CarFax reports – support dealers’ retail sales efforts and to help them with their retail turn ratio
- Fully reconditioned vehicles – ready for immediate retail sale
- Comfort level – assurance they are buying a quality used vehicle, in lane or in auction
- Faster decisions – on the sale of the vehicle in auction lanes to better manage their floor planning expense and to ensure they are getting the vehicle they bid on
We gave the dealers what they asked for by addressing their “Top 5” used vehicle purchase requirements:
- Product mix – we narrowed down lower performing suppliers to increase volume at stronger suppliers to have more vehicles available to purchase in a central location
- CarFax reports – not only do we provide CarFax reports for dealer review, we label vehicles with Wheels Maintenance Program (MAP) stickers and inform dealers about the benefits of purchasing a vehicle that’s been on our Maintenance Program
- Fully reconditioned vehicles – Wheels vehicles are now marketed as one-owner vehicles with an average grading of a 3 and above on our standardized 0-5 scale (5 being a brand new vehicle)
- Comfort level – at the time of purchase we add silver certification 7-day guarantee to Wheels vehicles in the lanes and online
- Faster decisions – Wheels Regional Sales Managers represent every vehicle for sale either online or at the physical sale so dealers receive a quick win or no-win bid decision
We’re confident that the groundwork we’ve laid over the past two years to extend Wheels’ brand to our used vehicles will continue to pay off in years to come as we continue to sell vehicles at higher prices and keep our customers depreciation costs low.
Join the conversation! Do you think our used vehicle brand strategy will pay off? Email me at email@example.com