Autozen, which allows consumers to conveniently sell their used vehicles to dealers through a managed marketplace, officially launched its pilot service in Toronto, Ont. in January and plans to launch publicly this month.
It is big news for the company, considering it was in beta testing mode in British Columbia last year, with more than 50 rooftops on board and hopes of reaching 150 by March 2021—a goal they have since surpassed. They launched publicly in Vancouver in September, in select cities in Okanagan in December (i.e. Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops, to start), and now in Ontario.
“We launched our alpha beta (in January), so we’re operating in helping sellers in Toronto, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Brampton and Scarborough,” said Vivian Liu, Head of Marketing at Autozen in an interview with Canadian auto dealer. “We’re really going into the core of the GTA and expanding it from there.”
Liu said the company plans to expand across Canada and “touch every corner of Canada” by the end of the year. They are currently exploring provinces like Quebec as an option, but more immediately—once they launch in Toronto, they will be eyeing cross-border expansion.
The company’s goals for expansion come at a good time, in that dealers are still struggling to source vehicle inventory and consumers that want to get rid of their vehicle have that option. Liu said Autozen’s biggest value proposition to dealers is that they are not a dealership (or digital dealership) that provides one offer. Instead, they provide many.
The company’s process involves having consumers offer some information about the vehicle, followed by the company offering an estimated value range for it. If the consumer thinks the range is reasonable, Autozen sends an inspector to do a 140-point review of the vehicle and to take photos. They bring back the inspections and within 24 hours there is often an auction, similar to what TradeRev or Eblock would do.
“The way that we’re helping them is that, it’s less time that they have to spend inspecting the vehicle,” said Liu. “That step’s been done for them. We are helping them with not having to have the additional personnel in finding the vehicles, working with the customers themselves. We really take care of that entire process for them.”
She said the process is really about providing dealers with inventory that they would not have otherwise seen before, and that some of their more engaged buyers observed an incremental 10-15 units a month from Autozen alone.