Prepare for the Future
Going forward, the Barendrecht branch will be the main site for used Volvos. “As Volvo prepares to transition to agency sales, we are planning for a single branch for new cars – probably our Rotterdam location. This means that our Barendrecht branch will offer used cars exclusively,” said Griffin Houppermans, Location Manager at Mobility Centre Volvo Barendrecht.
“Our used cars showroom in Barendrecht currently features some 60 to 65 models, with new Volvos on the first floor. The switch to 100% used cars means that we can stock almost 100 cars in Barendrecht. This is why we have started preparing for the future – and it is JP.cars’s software that helps us strengthen our used cars practices.”
Responding Faster to a Dynamic Market
While the increased emphasis on used cars was a primary factor, Mobility Center’s decision to partner with JP.cars was also driven by the dynamic changes in the market. Where common sense and gut feeling used to inform decisions, there is now a growing need for reliable data.
“There is no going back to working without data. We used to make a few calls and ask each other: ‘What do you think?’ And there would be a difference of a couple of hundred euros. Now, the discrepancies are much larger, which makes the impact that much bigger. This can really affect whether you make a deal or not – or even purchase an entirely wrong model. The JP.cars software enables us to compare with a larger number of cars and access reliable data. As a result, we can make well-informed decisions.”
Daily Focus on Data
It was the data accuracy that convinced Mobility Centre, in particular when it came to appraising cars from other brands. Says Griffin: “We monitor the market every day to keep track of the details of our used cars in stock. Obviously, data accuracy is very important in this context. We also exchange many cars from other brands and JP.cars provides us with reliable information that allows us to make solid comparisons.”
Perhaps the biggest progress for Mobility Centre is the grown awareness and the daily focus on data.
“In the past, we would occasionally postpone certain tasks. But now, we receive daily mails with points of concern for certain cars, urging us to address any issues immediately. Our entire team focuses daily on this, which is a great step forward. We monitor the cars that require attention every day. ‘What is wrong with the ad? Do we have a pricing problem?’ The stock days policy in the software is perfect for this. It helps us reduce our stock days, which increases turnover rate.”
Griffin is all for a long-term partnership between Mobility Centre and JP.cars. “The software aligns with our vision and expansion plans for used cars. Strengthening our used cars practices, boosting our turnover rate, reliable data – all in all, Mobility Centre and JP.cars make a great match. If you are looking to future-proof your used cars sales, this is the way to go.”
“You can quickly assess the car’s marketability and price worthiness, which helps us work more efficiently.”
“Does it have a high marketability and will it sell?” is a frequently asked question in the automotive industry. Answering this question consumes a lot of time and effort. “Previously, to determine the purchase value and selling price of a car, we would browse websites listing cars for sale. Not very efficient,” says Mark Slegt, Used Car Manager at Auto Hoogenboom. “Towards the end of 2021, JP.cars came on our radar and demonstrated that their data was sufficient to answer this question.”
Consequently, Auto Hoogenboom decided to work with JP.cars. The software provides a wealth of relevant information, which according to Mark is unique in the automotive industry. “You can quickly assess the car’s marketability and price worthiness, which helps us work more efficiently.”
Since the start of this year, Mark has been actively working to harness the full potential of JP.cars, utilizing it for purchasing and dynamic pricing.
Adapting to market developments
“The used car market fluctuates so much that we need to consistently monitor our inventory to maintain turnover rates. This gives rise to what we call: Dynamic Pricing. Every week, we review our advertised inventory to determine if adjustments are required, guided by the data JP.cars offers.”
A foundation for decision-making
But that’s not all, as Mark points out: “To employ a successful strategy, you need insights. JP.cars grants clarity through management reports. For every branch, we can view the vehicles available, along with their days on lot, turnover speed, and marketability relative to the broader auto market.”
"JP.cars is constantly engaged in guiding the customer to ensure it becomes a success story. That, to me, is very important."
Examining procurement and sales
Radu Nicodim (Managing Director of My Way), made the switch from consultancy to the automotive industry four years ago, enticed by the changing landscape. “The automotive market is currently undergoing a 180-degree turn, with changes such as electrification and a shift from physical to online sales channels.”
My Way’s business model aligns perfectly with these shifts. Radu: “My Way caters to both B2C retail (My Way) and B2B wholesale (My Way Pro). Customers can buy cars from physical showrooms, or entirely online. In this case, they can choose when and at which My Way location they want their car delivered. My Way maintains a network of 20 dealerships that purchase vehicles and sell them to end customers.”
On the purchasing side, My Way also manages two sourcing channels. “One from D’Ieteren itself and the other involves purchasing cars from various locations across Europe, driven by competitive offers.” The company places great importance on monitoring and optimizing these buying and selling channels, based on data-driven insights within the Belgian market. In this endeavor, My Way heavily focuses on data analysis and dynamic pricing.
From proof of concept to business-wide integration
My Way was looking for a partner to support their vision and found the perfect fit in JP.cars, based on a recommendation from a Dutch client. Radu: “My Way is a startup, and we embrace an agile approach. The decision to start a pilot with JP.cars was swift.”
The most important aspect for My Way? “The accuracy of the data, as the software informs decisions involving millions. If the data is inaccurate, this poses a significant business risks.” During the pilot phase, My Way was highly impressed with JP.cars’ reliability index. “When the confidence index is high, the quality of the data is always correct. This enables us to determine when to rely on the data and when to involve our experts.”
Additionally, the system was perceived as user-friendly. “In the past, we’ve used other tools for analyzing data, but they often provided too much information. This made it complex and hindered adoption.” Based on these findings, My Way decided to roll out JP.cars across the entire business.
The right car for the right price
During the pilot phase, My Way utilized JP.cars for dynamic pricing. Now, it’s time for the next step. Radu: “We will introduce JP.cars into the My Way network of twenty partners, enabling them to price their vehicles more accurately and make their stock more dynamic.”
Looking ahead, JP.cars will also be employed for procurement in the wholesale market. “We receive numerous offers each day for cars on the international market. JP.cars helps us rapidly scan through this vast volume. However, the final decision always rests with one of our experts, someone with real-world automotive experience. But this person is backed by powerful software.”
For Radu, the ‘attractiveness score’ (ETR) is crucial. My Way’s main focus is not just buying cheap cars, but acquiring vehicles that have a strong performance in the market. Using JP.cars, they can conveniently filter out attractive cars, both for B2B and B2C.
“Instead of asking someone to manually inspect and analyze a hundred cars one by one, we use JP.cars to immediately focus on the top 25 most interesting vehicles.”
Radu applauds the collaboration with JP.cars. “The way JP.cars approaches the relationship with the customer, is truly outstanding,” says Radu. “You can see that they are a young and dynamic company as well. They are constantly engaged in guiding the customer to ensure it becomes a success story. That, to me, is very important. For instance, our team initially had a weekly meeting with the expert from JP.cars.”
Looking towards the future
A successful collaboration, indeed, that continues to grow on the business front. JP.cars will play an important role in helping My Way Pro identify the best alternatives at the European level, when cars cannot be sold in their own market. “Currently, we have data for the Dutch and Belgian markets. Together with JP.cars, we plan to expand this in the future to include France, Germany, and more.”
What determines My Way’s success in the long-run? “A tool like JP.cars should assist us in enhancing two KPIs. First off, the turnaround time of vehicles, by purchasing cars with high marketability. We already see a positive trend here. Furthermore, we aim to optimize our profit margins.”
"With JP.cars, we can obtain the right prices and recommendations within seconds. This makes our purchasing team highly efficient."
Responding to market changes
“With such a vast number of locations, it’s crucial for us to continue making the right moves to maintain and strengthen our current position,” says Jacco Poldervaart, Director of Used Cars at Hedin Automotive NL. “Because the market is constantly evolving.”
“We’ve had two good years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many manufacturers faced supply issues, resulting in fewer new cars available and increased demand for used cars. But now, new cars are being produced again. So we need to strategically respond to the opportunities and threats in the used car market.”
However, there are more developments in the new car market. Manufacturers are increasingly adopting the agency model, meaning they directly deliver their cars to consumers through importers. Previously, consumers used to order their cars through dealers who could set their own profit margins. Now, the dealer has become an agent who receives a delivery fee for their services. Brand dealers have less control over the sales of new cars, which is why Hedin Automotive chose to expand its used car operations.
Focus on data
To be able to quickly respond to these changes, having the right market information is crucial. Jacco: “We took the first steps years ago, by developing our own Power BI dashboard. But it’s a new day and as such, we had the ambition to take our data capabilities to the next level.”
This aligns well with Hedin Automotive’s vision for the future, aimed at growing their volumes and results. “This means that significant changes are needed in some stores, while small optimizations will suffice in others.” These decisions could be made based on intuition, but Hedin Automotive prefers to be guided by data.
From pilot to full rollout with JP.cars
Last year, Hedin Automotive started looking for a partner who could help them with their data ambitions. After comparing various tools, they ultimately chose JP.cars. Partly because it allows Hedin Automotive to unlock relevant data for their own Power BI dashboard.
“But for me, ease of use is one of the most important factors,” says Jacco. “JP.cars allows me to quickly access the KPIs at a cluster or branch level. And it’s a great tool for the local sales teams to work with. Additionally, JP.cars is at the forefront of dynamic pricing, which gives us a competitive advantage in the occasion market.
“To try out the software, we started with one cluster of locations during the pilot phase and gradually expanded from there. This allowed us to see the added value of JP.cars. We’ve also had positive experiences with their support. They actively contribute to our strategy and provide innovative ideas we can implement.” JP.cars has been rolled out across all Dutch locations as of March 1, 2023.
Hedin Automotive primarily utilizes the software from JP.cars to monitor their inventory. Jacco and his colleagues can track which cars are being sold and determine the average time in stock. “Inventory turnover is an important KPI for us. Despite certain market developments, we see a positive trend in this area.”
“We partly owe this to the insights from JP.cars and the strategic recommendations they provide. Within the tool, we have established several company-specific protocols, which for example allow us to actively sell older cars first.”
Additionally, JP.cars is leveraged for dynamic pricing, meaning the sales price is adjusted daily according to the market. Jacco: “This means we engage in pricing activities on a daily basis. JP.cars is an excellent addition for us. The software scans the market every day and proposes a sales price. The brand specialist then decides whether or not to adjust the price based on the recommendation. This ensures that we are always aligned with the market and optimize our returns.”
Jacco also sees opportunities in purchasing. Because JP.cars doesn’t only provide pricing advice but also offers real-time insights into the marketability of cars. “This doesn’t mean we automatically overlook any slow-selling cars. It’s all about striking the right balance with the purchase
price. Ultimately, we can find a happy customer for every car, as long as we have a sufficient margin between the purchase and sales price. This matters for the long-term success of our company”, says Jacco.
Growing with JP.cars
Although the collaboration with JP.cars has only just started, Jacco can already see that Hedin Automotive is successfully keeping up with the market. A positive outlook. “Compared to the past two years, we’ve managed to grow our volume while keeping our margins at a minimum. That’s definitely a win-win for our company.”
As such, JP.cars will remain significant for Hedin Automotive’s growth in the future. “Hedin Mobility Group operates in many European countries, so it’s also interesting to explore how we can incorporate cross-border purchasing advice. JP.cars can help us connect international markets.”
Find out how the Louwman Group is now able to create better propositions, buy the right cars more quickly and set exact prices based on demand.
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Our formula is simple: we provide automotive experts with complete transparency, based on reliable and independent information. We connect international markets with our state-of-the-art technology, built by the best software engineers and data scientists around.
‘Buying and selling the right cars, at the right moment, and for the right price is a complex business. Whether a used car is or isn’t interesting depends on all kinds of variables. As far as our customers were concerned, this process was based primarily on experience and gut instinct. Although this is a good place to start, it represents only half the analysis. What you should want to add to this is real-time, independent and reliable data, such as online sales prices, price changes, days on the forecourt, and sales and stock numbers. The result is an optimal balance between sales price and return. Whether you’re successful therefore depends on the interplay between the expert’s knowledge and experience on the one hand, and the data that allows the expert to oversee the entire market in real time on the other. Together with our customers, we prove every day that this approach works,’ says Jan-Willem adds.
Jan-Willem Seeder set up Japiecars with his brother Pieter six years ago. ‘Together with our customers, we’ve made great strides. The logical next step is international expansion. Our formula is simple: we provide automotive experts with complete transparency, based on reliable and independent information. We connect international markets with our state-of-the-art technology, built by the best software engineers and data scientists around. Every day, we determine reliable residual values, future residual values, and the marketability of used cars, and that’s the foundation of what we do. The information provided by JP.cars has to be usable and profitable on a daily basis.’
‘We’re proud of the fact that these days more than half of the dealer top 20 in the Netherlands are customers of JP.cars. And that, for the first time, we also have customers abroad.
Our strategy for 2022 is also transparent and, on the one hand, involves the roll-out of the innovative fleet monitoring software to lease companies and financial institutions in the Netherlands – we developed this software in 2021 in cooperation with our launching customers. On the other hand, our strategy involves the continued roll-out of our market leading stock monitoring and procurement software to Dutch, Belgian, and German car dealerships,’ explains Ronald Scholtus, who is responsible for marketing and sales. He continues: ‘We’re able to grow quickly at national and international level because we’re using the latest technologies and a large number of retail companies, such as MediaMarkt, HelloFresh and Zalando, have already gained a lot of experience with the digital transformation which the automotive branch is now in the middle of. Incidentally, this is also one of the two reasons why we’ve changed our name to JP.cars because it underlines our international ambition. Having said that, we expect and hope that the name Japie will live on for a long time among our Dutch customers! It’s also a logical next step in our professionalisation.’ (PV)
Used cars can be bought and sold much more easily, quickly, and profitably. ‘Real-time data means you always know the right price and marketability of a car. That enables you to generate a return,’ explains Jan-Willem Seeder, director of JP.cars.
Brothers Jan-Willem and Pieter (Japie) Seeder came up with the idea for their company in 2016 when they were looking for a used car themselves. ‘We discovered that, just like consumers, car dealerships were analysing the cars they had to buy manually and based on their value for money. We were convinced that there was a better way, and so JP.cars was born,’ Jan-Willem explains. Five years, later the company is supplying software which car dealerships can use to determine the prices and marketability of cars they want to buy and sell both quickly and accurately. ‘Our software means we can solve the challenges of emotion, time, and volume for car dealerships,’ adds Ronald Scholtus, who is responsible for marketing and sales at JP.cars. ‘If you have dozens of cars in stock, it’s impossible to check all of them manually every day. Having said that, you still want daily insight into how your stock is doing compared to the market.’ The technology provided by JP.cars enables you to do just that. ‘The same applies to procurement, certainly now there is a shortage of used cars. You have to analyse more cars and place more bids to achieve at least the same result. That too is impossible without help from technology.’ The algorithms created by JP.cars analyse many hundreds of thousands of cars at national and international level each day and select those cars which are interesting using customer-specific protocols, based on marketability and margin.
By providing real-time insight into the market the JP.cars software always knows what the trend is in terms of current and future residual values and marketability. ‘This enables you to bid more on marketable cars than on unmarketable ones. Our data results directly in actions, and that has been proven to generate a greater return. Everyone is fishing in the same pond, so you want to be just that little bit faster than your competitor. If a car becomes more marketable, our algorithms automatically adapt the price accordingly. So, in a dynamic market, our software will immediately advise you to increase the price. For each of our customers, we’ve demonstrated that the turnover rate increases by 40 to 120%, that the age of the stock declines, and that the return increases. On top of this, an 80% time-saving can be achieved,’ adds Ronald.
So what happens if your competitor is also using JP.cars? ‘Our software is tailored to the specific wishes of the customer. A general car dealership will probably have a different strategy to a brand dealership. Even if everyone were to use JP.cars, there would still be diversity. The software does make for fewer relative price differences. Every car is unique and is weighted by such things as age, horsepower, options, and mileage. But the goal is to offer value for money: are you getting enough car for your money and enough money for your car?’ Ronald has another piece of urgent advice for the automotive industry: ‘Start managing cars based on value for money, so weigh up every option and every kilometre and base the price on that. This will result in a greater return than always trying to be one of the cheapest purely in terms of price.’
JP.cars is also looking abroad. ‘That’s what our customers want. We’re able and willing to be a reliable benchmark for the European automotive industry. This year we’re going to venture, for the first time, into our neighbouring countries, Belgium and Germany, and we intend to roll out our solution at an increasingly faster pace into the rest of Europe and America.