CarWave is expanding their online auto auction platform which only carries cars from franchised dealerships..
About a decade ago, John Lauer watched as his brother, an independent dealer, and others traded used cars at a physical auction. The then-retired Microsoft executive spotted pain points as dealers scoured physical lots and then completed transactions using "book sheets" with detailed vehicle descriptions and valuations.
"I was a little surprised it was still that manual," Lauer said.
Ten years later, Lauer is operating what he calls a viable online vehicle-trading enterprise, having come out of retirement to launch the company rebranded in February as CarWave. Last year, 35,000 used vehicles were bought and sold on his digital trading platforms, said Lauer, CarWave's President. He is now expanding the business beyond CarWave's home state of California, underscoring the thirst in the market for online dealer-to-dealer trades.
Digital auction prototype
CarWave started with Lauer building a digital auction prototype, which he took to about 60 dealerships to evaluate. He launched the online platform TheDealersForum.com in early 2010. TheDealersForum was open for trades only among franchised dealerships, focusing on lightly used vehicles that had been on the lot for a while. Lauer described them as vehicles that were reconditioned and generally up to standards of franchised dealerships.
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