Even in a wholesale auto industry that’s increasingly going digital, it’s never really quite as simple as “push a button, buy a car.”
Be it at a physical auction, through an online auction or any other form of wholesale transaction, there are many moving parts behind the scenes that facilitate the sale.
In the wholesale auto business, one of those crucial ancillary pieces is the inspection and condition report process.
And as more wholesale sales happen online, that process becomes even more important.
“Accurate inspections and condition reports are absolutely vital to the success of a digital marketplace. This isn’t about technology or features — ensuring our buyers receive exactly what they paid for is our goal,” said Srisu Subrahmanyam, who is chief operating officer at the ADESA auction chain, in an emailed Q&A.
“We are committed to giving our customers complete confidence when they sell and buy vehicles via any of our marketplaces,” he said. “In an increasingly digital environment, buyer confidence is strengthened through accurate and consistent condition reports.
“Our goal is to exceed the on-premise viewing experience for dealers and provide them with more information, imagery and data than they could gather from watching a car run through an auction lane. The addition of enhanced high-res undercarriage photos provides dealers a more in-depth view of the vehicles they are considering for purchase and will help them make more confident, predictable and data-informed decisions.”
In May, ADESA added several new CR capabilities, including the undercarriage imaging to which Subrahmanyam referred.
The company generates those photos through a new inspection technology platform it launched this year, allowing for high-quality and high-resolution imagery in condition reports.
“The undercarriage images allow us to showcase perspectives from the left side, right side, rear and front views that allow buyers to better assess a vehicle’s undercarriage for rust, any damaged structural components or leaks as well as exhaust, frame and rocker panel conditions,” Subrahmanyam said.
“If you’re watching a car drive through an auction lane, you wouldn’t typically have time to check for these items,” he said. “And unlike with video, buyers can enlarge and zoom-in on our high-res images to see close-up, highly specific undercarriage detail.”
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