Image Left: George Dönni (jaguarclassic.com) and Christian Jenny. Center: Marcel Widler (goodtimer.ch); Right: Simon Frieden (oldtimer-galerie.com). With Julio Saiz CEO of TMC
It’s been three years since I put together the business model of The Motor Chain on a wall, built a PowerPoint and hit the streets searching for classic car market experts asking them to validate the concept.
Those conversations and further research confirmed documentation preserves and can enhance the valuation of a car. How is that value decided and who says the vehicle is good enough to achieve a certain value? To me, the answer was clear: the community ultimately makes the call. And by community, I mean the collectors, owners, buyers, garages, mentors, insurers, specialists, manufacturers, government agencies and experts that all play a part.
The overall value of a vehicle is obviously influenced by the forces of supply and demand, however when a vehicle arrives to the open market other forces appear. Public scrutiny of the community is now empowered by the various sources of information including modern communication tools and the online world. Someone asked me how I would describe today’s classic market, my answer: Informed.
These days, the incredible amount of information we have access to makes someone an “expert” on a certain model in a matter of days. This information is spread among many sources such as hard copy publications, Wikipedia, automotive forums, YouTube and with experts, mentors and museums you can connect with. With a little bit of time and patience someone can make a more informed offer than they ever could in the past.
But what about the owner of the car? How are they making the car ready to face public scrutiny? Well, the car will receive a nice wash and detailing, extensive photo shooting and an elaborate intro to its history, and probably some photos of the documentation binders. The car will appear in a dealer’s showroom, at an auction or be posted on the internet for sale. From that point on the community will decide whether the car deserves the value the owner has placed on it. The community decides whether the car is legit or not.
Legitimacy appears in any context where there is coordination, and the classic car market empowered by new technologies is very much coordinated. Legitimacy is powerful social force; it is a higher order of acceptance. The need to demonstrate to the community that the car and its documentation is legitimate, and the inherent coordination of the community were the two main reasons to include blockchain in the architecture of The Motor Chain.
With TMC, the owners of the car can have their trusted garages or certifiers participating in the car’s documentation. Their entries in the car’s history are irrefutable thanks to the blockchain’s protocols and the profile validation with real ID cards. The more reputed people or business you have participating in your car’s documentation the higher the trust you will achieve.
Simply put, we way TMC uses blockchain allows the owner mitigate concerns of whether documentation and the work done can be trusted, because the community who were part of that history and work are certified through it. A piece of paper can build some confidence and open questions, but that same piece of paper certified by a renown profession cements trust.
Having the community participating in the car’s history brings the legitimacy check ahead of the public scrutiny of the sales process, which increases transparency and reduces friction. To that end, The Motor Chain was created to be the engine to empower the Classic Vehicle community.