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ShipCarsNow 2012 Auto Dealer Survey Reveals Shift in Used Car Sourcing Trends

Omaha, Neb., November 08, 2012 – Results from the latest ShipCarsNow dealer survey indicate that dealers plan to continue sourcing more used cars online. Each year since 2009, ShipCarsNow has conducted a survey of auto dealers on the subject of buying and selling used cars online. The survey objective is to better understand dealer attitudes toward trading used cars online and how the need for transportation affects buying behavior and decisions.

Sources for Used Car Inventory in 2011

Independent dealers reported they sourced the majority of their used inventory from physical and online auctions. Without new car sales or lease returns, Independent dealers have found it necessary to rely more on wholesale channels to source inventory. In comparison, franchise dealers reported a slight decrease in their use of auctions in favor of trade-ins and lease returns. Franchise dealers are benefitting from rising new car sales and getting most of their inventory from trade-ins and lease returns.

Convenience over Price

Dealers ranked convenience over price for the first time in the history of the ShipCarsNow Dealer Survey. In the 2012 survey, dealers ranked (1) inventory selection, (2) convenience, and (3) price as the top three drivers of online buying. The shortage of wholesale inventory moved inventory selection up from No. 3 in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Chris Antchev of The Lexan Group in Merrilleville, Ind., said that online auctions give him, "the ability to buy nationwide without traveling." Dealers also commented that online auctions provided a "wider range of inventory," especially for locating specific models, or vehicles not available in the local market, such as 4-wheel drive trucks.

Auto Transport Remains Critical to Online Trading Success

As dealers buy more cars online, there is a rising need for quality, affordable, nationwide auto transport. In light of this need, ShipCarsNow asked dealers to rank transportation options that would be most helpful when buying inventory online. Dealers responded that (1) showing savings for shipping multiple vehicles would be the most beneficial, followed by (2) vehicle shipment tracking, and (3) displaying the shipping cost during the bidding process.

Many dealers commented that they want competitive choices when it comes to auto auction transport, such as the ability to see shipping quotes from multiple carriers while bidding or within the sale transaction.

ShipCarsNow Auto Transport Solutions

In response to pre-owned vehicle market expansion, ShipCarsNow is working with online auto auctions and used car dealers to offer multimodal auto transport that includes flexible truck and rail options. As part of Union Pacific, ShipCarsNow has an established nationwide delivery network and vehicle logistics technology that allows used car dealers - even those shipping single units - to take advantage of rail's economies of scale.

"We help auto dealers expand their trading radius beyond the 200-mile range," said Roland Fortner, ShipCarsNow president. "We make it easy and affordable to ship cars nationwide using both rail and truck transport, so auto dealers can expand their reach and buy the cars they need without being restricted by local market supply."

Continued online trading growth, stimulated largely by supply shortages that impact the industry's supply and demand equation, could affect online auto auction growth prospects. Auctions can benefit by designing greater convenience and flexibility into their online offerings. With the right transportation partner(s), auctions and dealers can make nationwide buying and shipping easy and affordable to expand their business.

Survey Demographics

ShipCarsNow conducted its fourth annual dealer survey with 270 participating auto dealers. Survey respondents included franchise and independent auto dealers from all regions of the U.S., with 87 percent of 2012 respondents classifying themselves as small- to medium-sized businesses, and 79 percent as owners/principles.

About ShipCarsNow

ShipCarsNow is trusted by car dealers, auction attendees, fleet operators and consumers to reliably and economically move cars. The company provides safe, dependable transport whether an auto shipper needs to move one car or thousands, or shipping a few hundred miles or coast-to-coast.

For more information, visit or contact ShipCarsNow Toll Free at (866) 207-3360. Follow ShipCarsNow on Facebook and Twitter.

About Union Pacific

It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.

Media contact: Tom Lange, 402-544-3560 or

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