More than any other company, Autohero epitomizes the rise of new digital marketing strategies in the used car sector. In the wake of coronavirus, customers are increasingly buying online rather than going to their local auto dealer – without even having set their eyes on the vehicle, let alone taken it on a test drive in the time-honored way.
Thanks to an entire fleet of see-through Sprinters, customers are sure to be dazzled on delivery right infront of their house. Autohero offers its customers a 21-day money-back guarantee, allowing them to take the longest test drive of all time; what’s more, a one-year warranty comes as standard. “Inspected and ready to drive” is the firm’s promise.
The lion’s share of the vehicles come from Ketzin in Brandenburg, where the company claims to operate the largest used car processing center in Europe. According to site manager and process expert Lutz Grunwald, up to 35,000 vehicles a year pass through the facility. Spanning 100,000 square meters, it is home to a car wash, a large mechanical workshop, a paint shop, various processing stations, two photo booths – and a dedicated DEKRA inspection center with a set team of inspection engineers.
But first: the main vehicle inspection
Autohero came up with the highly unorthodox idea to start with the main vehicle inspection. The vehicles, which arrive by car transporter, first pass through the on-site car wash before being taken straight to the DEKRA test center. Mirco Brunnert, Head of Vehicle Inspection at the Potsdam branch, is the DEKRA project manager; he explains: “Yes, this is something we discussed at length within the team. Normally, we would do the main inspection at the end of the process. Doing it at the start oft he process, however, helps to keep costs down for the end consumer. As such, Autohero can be sure that all repairs relevant to roadworthiness are subsequently carried out.”The three test stations at the DEKRA facility are always very busy, with an upward trend. All cars that have less than 15 months to run on their badge automatically undergo a new inspection.