American Honda Motor Co. Inc.'s captive finance company will give Honda and Acura dealers more time to make up their minds about buying off-lease vehicles online.
On April 15, American Honda Finance Corp. will expand the time off-lease vehicles are available for sale online from seven days to 21 days.
Dave Langley, manager of lease-end remarketing at American Honda Finance, said an average of 27 days lapse between the time an off-lease vehicle is returned to the finance company and when it is sold at a physical auction.
The new system fills the void between the time vehicles are turned in until they cross the auction block, Langley said.
'We have 100 percent participation; it has made our dealers more Internet savvy than (dealers of other brands),' Langley said.
Langley said American Honda Finance disposes of about 150,000 end-of-term lease vehicles annually. Of that, lessees purchase 20 percent and dealers purchase 35 percent - either at lease turn-in or via the Web site. The rest are sent to a physical auction.
The vehicles still will be sent to auction after seven days, but they will remain listed for sale on the Web while they they are on auction property awaiting sale.
Langley said the company expects dealers to buy 5 percent more vehicles during the 14-day window.
He said a vehicle sold online while it is on a dealer's lot saves the company about $400 over the costs associated with traditional physical auction costs; the saving is about $200 if the vehicle is sold after it has been moved to an auction site.
AutoTradeCenter.com of Scottsdale, Ariz., created the infrastructure and Internet technology for American Honda Finance.
Chris Pineau, used-car manager at Howard Cooper Honda in Ann Arbor, Mich., likes the program because it gives him access to just-in-time inventory and saves him the time and money of going to a physical auction.
'I buy about two or three (used vehicles from American Honda Finance) a week,' said Pineau. 'It's easier to see the vehicle on the Internet and having a description than going to the auction hoping they have what you want.'