Car-lovers have come out of Covid lockdown firing on all cylinders and taken the fast lane to trade in their cars for newer models or search for bargains at Eastbourne Car Auctions.
Business has been brisk, as car owners are now able to attend auctions in person and feel the
excitement of bidding for the car of their dreams.
It is great news for Eastbourne Car Auctions, who celebrated 50 years in business just as lockdown seized-up crucial parts of the UK economy.
“The Covid pandemic turned lives upside down and threatened the viability of key elements of the motor industry,” explained Jon Mitchell, owner and managing director of the auction house. “Car auction centres, which relied on the general public and car traders turning up in large numbers, stood on the brink of a catastrophe.
“We took the opportunity to explore
the online possibilities and re-position ourselves as THE place for the widest choice of cars online and the best deals available. It paid off.”
The online auctions allowed the car professionals to continue buying and selling, but the ending of lockdown has seen a pent-up rush from consumers to trade-in their old cars and head to the auctions to spot a bargain.
“It’s been great to see people turning up again,” Jon said. “The online auctions proved a big hit with our trade dealers, but our general customers love being able to come in and see the cars before they bid for them.”
The swift actions of Jon and his team over the 14 months of isolation has meant that Eastbourne Car Auctions is now in a great place to meet the growing
consumer demand, while offering traders a wide range of new services.
Jon has set up nearly 1,000 new accounts with used car dealers and signed “disposal” deals with some of the larger dealers. This means that the choice of cars coming up for auction is larger than ever.
“We now take used cars from Caffyns, the Eastbourne Motoring Centre, St Leonards Motors and many other dealers, so our customers get the top pick of the cars, Jon added.
“We feared the worst when Covid struck, but we have actually come out of it a leaner, fitter and even more customer- focused business,” Jon said. “We’ve added a significant number of new services to our portfolio and I am delighted with how we are currently trading.”
Eastbourne Car Auctions held its first sale at the original quarter acre town centre site in West Street, Eastbourne
It could be a classic car auction, with Triumph Heralds, Morris Oxfords, Ford Anglias and Zodiacs which were the typical of the cars of that era.
The black and white photos from our archive were shot by Peter Ekin-Wood, a local press photographer at that time.
Click on the 'First Sale' image to take a leap back in time to see photographs from the first sale at West Street.