AAA Auto returns to Hungary after five-year sojourn

Competition

AAA Auto yesterday announced its reentrance into the Hungarian market, replete with the ambitious goal to “again become the largest used car dealer in the country,” promising at least 1,000 vehicles to be available for purchase from its main lot.

The purchase of vehicles for resale as well as establishment of a new AAA Auto call center will begin this month, with sales opening in March and operations including financial services in its former branch expected to be fully rebooted by April. The Fót lot boasts a 25,000-sqm area and will employ 40.

As for sales strategy, “We want to clearly distinguish ourselves from our competition through the age of our cars and kilometers travelled,” explained AAA Auto CEO Karolína Topolová. “We will offer, on average, newer and lower-kilometer vehicles.”

And of course AAA seeks to return its service offerings to the Hungarian market as well. “This mostly includes cash purchases of vehicles and ‘mobile purchases’ directly at an address specified by the customer,” said Topolová. “These services are common, for instance in the Czech Republic, but unique in the Hungarian market. … We will also sell accident and mandatory third-party insurance policies. Another product we will offer in co-operation with Lloyd’s of London is insurance for mechanical and electrical defects.”

Finally, the marketing is about to begin. With the announcement, Topolová stated that “Our primary marketing tool that will be used to facilitate our reentry into the Hungarian market is an intensive TV campaign. … Based on our past experience in other countries, we will also make use of an alliance with the Havas global media network, whose strength will allow us to set up our media campaigns to suit our needs…”

In March 2009, AAA Auto Group ceased operations its seven branches in Hungary; the company gave as reasons the global financial crisis and generally low local demand for the exit from the country. At that time, company representatives stated that AAA “does not intend to delist its shares from the Budapest Stock Exchange and plans to come back to the Hungarian market in two to three years when the economy recovers.”

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