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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Construction Equipment Firm Holds Sales Via Online Auction
  • March 16, 1999 (TOKYO) — Komatsu Used Equipment Corp., a subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., generated sales of about 70 million yen (US$585,000) worth of used construction machinery during a four-day Internet auction staged in late January.
    Komatsu Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of construction equipment.

    The sales in the four-day period are equal to about a third of the company’s annual sales on the membership Web site called “U-RECA” (http://www.ureca.co.jp/).

    The company plans to make the auction a regular event after April 21. It will hold an auction every three or four months.

    Also, the method of auction will be altered. It will be switched from determining a successful bidder from among those who send in their bids by a single email message to having the tenders bid up on the home page.

    In the January auction, photos and specifications of the used equipment were provided, and the equipment was sold to U-RECA members that submitted the highest bids. At U-RECA, construction equipment is sold at prices set by the company. According to Tetsuo Tanaka, a company vice president, bidding prices at the auctions were often higher than the prices the company would have sought.

    Komatsu Used Equipment has held conventional auctions three times a year. Nearly all of the 150 participating companies are based overseas, and representatives have had to travel to Japan to participate in the auctions.

    “Internet auctions won’t require extra expenses for airfares and other costs, and we can expect to increase the number of U-RECA member companies,” Tanaka added.

    About 70 of the 170 U-RECA member companies have joined after Komatsu announced the auction on the Internet.

    After U-RECA is upgraded in April, Web pages will be offered in Japanese, Chinese and Spanish, in addition to English. At that time, its name will be changed to Global U-RECA.

    By holding auctions on a regular basis, the company expects to increase U-RECA member companies and it aims to generate sales of 1 billion yen on the Internet in fiscal 1999, which starts April 1.

    (Nikkei Multimedia)

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