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Supercar Blondie Accelerates into the Future with Exclusive Hypercar Auction Platform SBX Cars

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Michael Chen

March 29, 2024 - 13:19 pm

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Supercar Blondie Shifts Gears: Launch of a Premium Hypercar Auction Platform

(Bloomberg) – Alex Hirschi, a renowned figure in the automotive media industry who leveraged her success from a radio talk show into a global digital empire, is now steering towards a bold new venture—an auction house by the name SBX Cars, geared towards the high-end vehicular aficionados. This pioneering platform, slated to go live on April 2, aims to trade in the extravagant hypercars and luxurious playthings that have risen her to fame.

Alex, better known by her online persona as Supercar Blondie, is set to fill a significant void she has observed in the market. Over a leisurely tea on a Beverly Hills rooftop, Hirschi reflects on the frequent queries they receive at Supercar Blondie. "We’re approached by so many individuals inquiring if we could potentially find a buyer for their unique cars. Also, we're often contacted by people who are on the hunt for specific high-end vehicles that they just can't seem to locate anywhere." Hirschi notes that there is an untapped demographic of incredibly wealthy car enthusiasts who are starving for a dedicated service—a niche she intends to cater to with SBX Cars.

Unveiling SBX Cars: A Connoisseur’s Marketplace

Before opening its digital doors, SBX Cars has already secured over $100 million in consignments. At the helm of the Supercar Blondie brand, 38-year-old Hirschi operates out of Dubai alongside her husband, Nik, and together they drive the company forward. SBX Cars will have its operations based primarily in Los Angeles and Dubai, with satellite teams positioned strategically in London. This international placement underscores their ambition for a wide-reaching influence across the collector's market.

Nik Hirschi, who shifted gears from a career in finance to become CEO of SB Media Group, pinpoints the absence of an online platform dedicated to exclusive sales. Unlike other websites where multimillion-dollar cars are often listed next to much less expensive models, thus diluting the grandeur of the luxury vehicles, the SBX Cars platform is meticulously crafted to exude an air of exclusivity and diligence. “Our new platform will not only feel premium but will also reflect that quality visually," Nik asserts.

A Challenge in a Saturated Market

Despite the enthusiasm and strategic positioning, SBX Cars is entering a sector that has seen a recent cooling off from the record highs experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the same sector is riddled with numerous startups that struggled to maintain their foothold, such as Vroom. The evolving market is dense with competitors all vying to carve out their identity.

Some, however, have succeeded where others faltered. Bring a Trailer thrived with a broad mix of high and low-end vehicles, recounting a substantial $1.4 billion in revenue, marking an improvement from the previous year. Car enthusiasts like Doug DeMuro expanded into this territory with Cars & Bids, appealing especially to a demographic engrossed in late-model vehicles. Across the Atlantic, Collecting Cars reports significant sales, further indicating the potential of the niche.

Redefining the Online Car Auction Experience

Traditional auction houses like RM Sotheby's, Barrett-Jackson, and Gooding & Co. have started to branch into online sales, recognizing the shift towards digital platforms. Juan Diego Calle, CEO of Classic.com, notes the digital acumen that now pervades the "offline" auction world. Online auctions provide ways to minimize overhead significantly, whereas a single physical auction event comes with a hefty price tag. Furthermore, online platforms offer unique pricing structures that could lead to increased turnover rates, something that couldn't be as easily replicated in live events.

David Gooding, the president, and founder of Gooding expresses that even though online sales are cost-efficient, the phenomenal success of Bring a Trailer has led many to believe that replicating its model would yield similar results—a presumption Gooding views with skepticism.

Exclusive Inventory: SBX Cars' Unique Proposition

Hirschi is confident that the unique inventory will be the jewel in SBX Cars' crown. In a departure from the more common high-end vehicles found elsewhere, SBX Cars is set to offer rare automotive treasures such as vintage Formula One cars from the revered Lotus F1 team of the golden era and modern marvels like the Mercedes-AMG One supercar, Tesla Cybertruck, BMW's glass yacht concept, and the futuristic Hyperion XP-1 prototype among the first lots.

Lance Butler, previously of Stratas Auctions and Bonhams, now the appointed auction director for SBX, indicates that Hirschi's long-standing documentation and promotion of exotic cars on Supercar Blondie has built the necessary trust with collectors. Alex herself reminisces about her foray into the union of automotive passion and journalism, a transition that led her from Dubai's celebrity interviews to her current crusade on the digital stage in 2017. The Supercar Blonde brand, synonymous with her laidback, enthusiast-oriented approach, has amassed over 110 million subscribers across multiple social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, BilBili, and their website.

Navigating the Headwinds of Rarity and Exclusivity

The initial strategy for SBX Cars is to launch a range of 15 to 20 auctions weekly, with the potential for expansion as the brand grows. Lasting anywhere between seven to fourteen days, these auctions will be open for public viewing and commentary—snagging a piece of the action will simply require a credit card and identification for bidding. Pricing is set to commence modestly, with a listing fee starting at $250 and a buyer's sales premium capped at 5%.

Underlining the financial structure, Butler points out that profitability hinges on the first sale, and recuperating the outlay for the online platform should be relatively prompt. Nik Hirschi delineates that SBX Cars is buoyed financially by the media business, ensuring the platform is devoid of debt and independent of external investors.

Yet, the challenge looms in balancing the mass appetite with the finite supply of these vehicular rarities. The platform will debut by offering a Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, one of only nine in existence, concurrent with a Veneno Coupe. The scarcity results in a rather steep asking price—around the $9 million mark—an exclusive circle that may prove challenging to tap into.

Edward Lovett of Collecting Cars speaks to the slim atmosphere that saturates this segment, emphasizing the necessity of profound operational knowledge and more than just technological leverage or robust SEO to succeed in this domain.

Supplementing Sales through Social Media Clout

As the Los Angeles sun bathes the open rooftop, Alex Hirschi's optimism remains undimmed, convinced that SBX Cars is honing in on a lucrative niche, fortified by a degree of exposure that her traditional counterparts cannot provide. It’s not about the entirety of billionaires being among the followers, Hirschi states. It’s about the strength of viral marketing; a video of a car garnering millions of views, that same car then being spotted for sale, and the cascading effect of shares across social platforms that bring it to the attention of a potential collector.

Supporting this claim, Nik details how a few high-profile private sales, notably those of Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce cars, materialized because the buyers' first glimpse of the vehicles was on Supercar Blondie. Though not offered at SBX's inception, facilitating private sales will be integrated into their broader business framework.

Verifying the Stability and Approachability of a Content Creator-led Business

The viability of this novel pursuit will indeed testify to the power influencers wield in today's market and their capability to harness social media followings for tangible commercial success. Curated co-founder John Temerian spotlights the kernel of the matter: trust. Should the same collectors who confide in Hirschi to represent their pristine cars in engaging videos believe in her ability also to sell them, then SBX Cars might mark the start of a significant disruption in the car auctioning scene. It potentially positions Supercar Blondie as a game-changer, transforming her from content creator to the lead contender in the high-end car auction industry.

The Supercar Blondie Media Explosion Springs into the Auction Scene

In essence, the transition from content creation to hosting a high-profile auction platform is not merely an expansion—it's a reinterpretation of influence. As the world watches the automotive industry evolve, Hirschi's venture with SBX Cars looks to converge the tangibility of luxury vehicles with the boundless potential of a digital marketplace.

For a deeper dive and the latest updates on the launch, followers of the automotive revolution can stay tuned to the official Supercar Blondie social media channels by following Supercar Blondie on Instagram.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.