Independent remarketing app business MOTOM, which launched this summer, has signed up its 350th retailer as it looks to build critical mass, and has now become an associate member of the NFDA. CEO Julian Humphreys says the ﬁrm has already achieved its targets of bringing the product to market and getting it noticed, and the goal now is to get around 2,000 retailers on the platform and to grow from there.
Humphreys describes the MOTOM app as a tech-backed social network for used vehicle wholesalers, with the idea that retailers and vendors – leasing companies, rental companies and large corporates running ﬂeets – will build a network of contacts to simplify and reduce the timescales involved in buying and selling vehicles.
“MOTOM brings a low-cost digital platform to the sector to reimagine how motor vehicles are wholesaled and to accelerate the buying and selling process from hours to minutes,” he says.
“Time matters, because time is cost. If you’re in a market that’s appreciating, it’s not so critical, but in a depreciating market time can be the enemy. Vehicle prices can be hit hard and fall quickly.”
The focus to date has been on getting retailers onto the platform, and Humphreys acknowledges that it is a chicken and egg situation.
“We could have all the stock in the world on the platform, but that would be no use at all without buyers. We’ve now got 350 retailers on the platform who we know are ready to make bids, so there is already some mass to it.”
MOTOM is led by a team of experienced ﬂeet, leasing and ﬁnance sector specialists who believe they have identiﬁed an opportunity in the market.
“We looked at the remarketing businesses that are out there, and how they looked to digitalise through Covid. But we said, rather than digitalise the processes that currently exist, let’s start with a whole new process. That’s a risk, but it’s also an opportunity.”
Of course, part of the risk comes from the cost of market entry, but Humphreys says there is a robust business plan, with MOTOM well invested for market entry. But it also comes from the need to change behaviours in the market:
“It’s all about changing hearts and minds,” he says.
But he doesn’t view MOTOM as a disruptor, with all the associated connotations. Rather, he sees the company as a challenger. And he is realistic in how long MOTOM might have a ﬁrst-mover competitive advantage.
“Within our research, we looked at how quickly a competitor could come to market. We think probably about three months.”
He doesn’t fear competition, however, seeing it almost as something to be welcomed when you’re trying to change market behaviours.