UK auction and remarketing company Aston Barclay will use new technology as part of a push to double in size in the next five years.
The move follows a multi-million pound investment following a management buyout, supported by Rutland Partners.
The MBO was led by new chief executive officer Neil Hodson, who brings more than 25 years’ experience to Aston Barclay, having held senior roles at Manheim, HPI and Experian.
He plans to double vehicle sales through its sites from 80,000 to 160,000 vehicles, with staff numbers growing from 250 to 350 and its customer base quadrupling to more than 8,000.
A major initiative to drive an increase in customers is the launch of its first-ever app, which will bring enhanced auction services to buyers’ smartphones and allow them to bid on vehicles within three clicks of entering the app. Nearly half of all the company's web traffic comes via mobile.
Investment in Aston Barclay’s digital strategy will be at the heart of every auction centre, creating a seamless connection between physical auction hall and online bidding.
Investment also covers updates to its entire sales network, including a new site at Donington which is set to become the company’s biggest auction centre when it opens later this year.
Hodson said: “Donington will be a great flagship site for us, but it is the investment in people and new IT and digital systems that is extremely exciting.”
Aston Barclay’s senior team includes group operations director Martin Potter, who has joined the board after six years with the group and 25 years working in auctions, including a spell as general manager of Europe’s largest physical auction.
Robert Hoy becomes group financial director with 17 years’ experience in finance, while Stewart Ford joined in March as the group’s new IT director after 25 years working in IT in the motor industry.
Ford has already developed the new app which will be updated and enhanced throughout the year, while a vendor app aims to help asset owners maintain close control over the sale of vehicles.
Glenn and David Scarborough remain as non-executive directors and investors while Laurence Vaughan has joined the board as non-executive chairman and investor. He was previously CEO and is now non-executive chairman of high-profile car retailer Sytner Group.
Oliver Jones, Tristan Craddock and Jason Birt from Rutland Partners all join the board as non-executive directors.
Aston Barclay has also revealed it will work with training firm Break Point, whose consultants are made up of veterans of the UK’s special forces. They will provide team-building and leadership support to help the company’s growth.