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Second-hand car parts: Purchasing power and environmental protection

Laurent Assis Arantes, co-founder of Opisto solutions and of the and websites, pioneer and specialist in second-hand car parts for professionals and individuals explains the success of the second-hand parts market in France in a recent interview with CNews.


Second-hand car parts: Purchasing power and environmental protection p one
Laurent Assis Arantes

Could you introduce us to the Opisto company?

Opisto was born in 2010 after a difficult experience: as students, we wanted to race in the 4L Trophy, and we were looking for second-hand parts in order to limit costs. What we thought was simple turned out to be a real challenge. We discovered all the difficulties that an individual or a professional could encounter in finding used parts. There was no tool that made it possible to consult the available parts and even less to simply order them. We had to call for scraps, move around, sometimes waste our time for poor quality parts that we had to dismantle ourselves.

This obstacle course was a revelation: an entire market was waiting to move into the digital age and, in addition, it was promising, because it responded to two societal issues: the purchasing power of motorists and the environment.

Second-hand car parts: Purchasing power and environmental protection p two

Opisto is the player that has revolutionized the sector by bringing it all the potential of digitalization in terms of simplicity, visibility and transparency. Opisto has developed digital solutions that have come to support car dismantling professionals in managing their stock, but also in the distribution of used car parts in France. We thus offer a platform dedicated to car repair professionals: and another for the general public: where reused parts are checked, referenced and shipped throughout France. Today, we have over 3.6 million coins on our platform. In 2021, we have nearly 40 employees for 4 million euros in annual turnover.

What are the advantages of a used car part?

Second-hand car parts: Purchasing power and environmental protection p threeThe first advantage is the cost with a price difference allowing savings of up to 70% compared to its new equivalent. You should know that the price of new auto parts increases year after year, making the use of used parts more and more profitable. Currently, the market for reused parts is mainly driven by bodywork and everything related to powertrains such as engines or gearboxes. It is obviously on these parts that the added value is the most important for professionals and consumers.

The second aspect is obviously ecological. The fact of choosing a second-hand part makes it possible not to contribute to the environmental pollution attributable to the production of a new part. Indeed, to produce the latter, you need raw materials, energy to produce it, logistics to transport it, etc. All this is a high carbon cost. On the other hand, using a second-hand part means extending its duration and life and, in a way, cushioning its negative impact on the environment.

It should be noted that the control of these parts is strict, standardized, industrial and, of course, regulated by law. It is forbidden to sell or buy second-hand parts known as consumables, that is to say wearing parts such as, for example, brake pads or the various filters.

What are the strengths of your consumer platform?

It’s simply to find second-hand parts that are verified, guaranteed and at the best prices. The used parts available on our platform are all checked by our approved partner centres. This security, for our customers, does not translate into an increased price. On the contrary, our used parts are sold at unbeatable prices.

The strength of our platform is the completeness of the offer.

We are the largest online platform in France. The great difficulty of the market is to meet a demand that continues to grow. Our challenge is to be able to meet this demand by using and developing our sourcing tools. This is a capital issue that requires, on the one hand, the dismantling of the parts, but also the systematic referencing of the recovered parts. thus allows its customers to have access to an unrivaled stock of used parts.

The used auto parts industry is booming. How do you explain it?

Second-hand car parts: Purchasing power and environmental protection p fourWe see that the craze for second-hand parts has gone from a trend to a fundamental change that continues to intensify. The main explanation comes from the structuring of the market which has become normalized, for a significant gain in quality and therefore confidence for consumers, and made more fluid with better product visibility.

Indeed, there is a noticeable increase in the volume of vehicles processed each year. This is explained by government measures such as the scrapping bonus. For its part, the profession has really changed its habits and we see that more and more parts are dismantled to be upgraded. At the same time, the quality of the parts increases. The combination of these factors encourages consumers to turn to second-hand parts which are more numerous, easier to find, thanks in particular to our platform, and more qualitative. Professionals such as bodybuilders no longer hesitate to offer these parts to their customers. Our industry has entered a virtuous circle. We have noticed for more than a year that we sell more parts to professionals than to individuals! This shows the appetite of an entire sector and its adherence to this new way of consuming car parts. This adhesion is also the result of external factors.

In addition to the shortage of new parts, we can note that more and more insurers require the use of reused parts for obvious cost reasons, but also to be perceived as a company that is committed to the environment. The reused part has become a reliable and economical recourse for the entire industry.

As a specialist, how could individuals be encouraged to choose this solution which seems to answer environmental questions?

It is simply necessary to make this offer known to as many people as possible by using the various communication channels. We realize that few motorists know that they can request an estimate with a spare part and that the repairer is required to provide it if, of course, it is available. Finally, environmental awareness is obviously a strong argument that should take more and more place in consumer decision-making.

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