Finding the right balance between recouping maximum return on vehicle investment and providing employees with the best possible purchase deals on company vehicles can be tricky to negotiate. GE Commercial Finance Fleet Services has developed a remarketing channel that not only allows employees of its customers easy access to vehicles being remarketed, but also takes a good deal of the load off the fleet manager. According to Jason Lee, product manager in Vehicle Life Management at GE, the remarketing channel “enables our customers to remarket off-lease vehicles to their employees. It makes it possible for them to offer an additional perk to their employee base and potentially get higher returns from vehicle resale. The advantage over wholesale comes by pricing vehicles somewhere between retail and wholesale. Also, because it is an upstream remarketing channel, fleets can reduce overall days-to-sell and depreciation. In addition, the system allows some cost avoidance for transport, detail, and sales fees that they may encounter through the wholesale channel.” Drivers Have Two Weeks to Buy
Lee explained that the vehicle is offered first to its driver. “After that,” he said, “if the driver does not want to purchase the vehicle, we will evaluate the vehicle to determine if it is likely to sell to the employee base.” Lee added that not every off-lease vehicle is offered for sale to employees. “They are the best vehicles, because in our experience, the better vehicles are typically the vehicles that are purchased by employees.” GE assigns vehicles refused by drivers, but which pass all the filtering criteria, to Remarketing Solutions, Inc., a Manheim subsidiary, to schedule an inspection before they are taken off the road. Inspections take place at the driver’s convenience and are covered by a flat fee with no mileage charge. Managers Support Marketing
GE then works with client fleet managers to market the availability of employee sale vehicles through client e-mail and Web site communication. “While we actively market the vehicles to the employees through the Web site,” Lee explained, “fleet managers ultimately must get involved in marketing the Web site to their employee base. We work with our fleet managers to help them build partnerships with their HR departments or operations groups and provide best practices from our client base to get them started.” David McCauley, fleet manager for Red Bull North America, has found the new system lightens his workload. “I don’t have to do anything,” he said. “With the Web site, it’s between the employees and GE. I get an occasional call from an employee asking for clarification, and I just direct them to the Web site and let them go from there. The less I have to deal with it, the better.” He added that the remarketing channel benefits employees by providing a better price than offered on the open market.