A closer look at KAR’s proposed IAA spin-off

CARMEL, Ind.  - 

In many ways, the spin-off of Insurance Auto Auctions that KAR Auction Services is pursuing comes down to simplifying things.

That is, for both investors and the entities themselves.

KAR made the announcement in late February, explaining that the proposed tax-free spin-off is designed to “increase shareholder value and focus each company’s strategic priorities on its respective marketplace and unique customers.”

KAR said in the February announcement that it would likely close within 12 months.

The proposed separation would result in two independent, publicly traded companies: KAR Auction Services and Insurance Auto Auctions.

IAA would retain its North American salvage operations and the UK’s HBC Vehicle Services business. The remainder of the KAR portfolio would stay within KAR.

The day after the announcement, KAR chief executive officer Jim Hallett and chief financial officer Eric Loughmiller held an investor conference call to explain more details about the separation.

Reasons behind move

Both KAR and IAA have “grown to levels that will allow them to succeed independently,” Hallett said when looking at the rationale behind the move.

“Both have sufficient size and resources,” he said. “We believe that each entity will be able to have an independent capital allocation priority, and the respective businesses will operate in independent markets, with minimum overlap.

“The separation will simplify what investors have told us is a very complex business model, and investors can now choose to invest in both companies or focus on one or the other,” Hallett said.

A slide presentation that Hallett and Loughmiller went through during the call included key investment highlights for KAR (which was also referred to as “RemainCo” in that presentation and call; IAA was also referred to as “SpinCo.”)

Those highlights emphasized KAR’s position as a “Pure-play wholesale service provider with a leading market position in the U.S. and Canada,” while also touching on the company’s growth potential in both digital and data analytics as well as global and market expansion.

It also touched on what KAR described as an “attractive financial profile with revenue growth and EBITDA margin expansion opportunity” — and a management team with experience.

“The separation will simplify our story and allow clarity around our strategy and future growth opportunities,” Hallett said. “The key elements of KAR’s current strategy are focused on RemainCo, in particular data and analytics, as well as the digital transformation of the auction industry, (which) is most impactful on our whole-car business.

“RemainCo will focus on growth outside of North America, and RemainCo will generate significant cash flows with strong top line and bottom line growth attributes,” Hallett said.

IAA in good shape

As for IAA, Hallett emphasized the company is “well-positioned.”

There has been an increase in miles driven, Hallett said. This can push the need for companies like IAA, which provide the salvage car services needed when auto accidents increase amid such a boost in mileage.

“Insurance industries are focusing on reducing net claims costs, which leads to more total losses,” Hallett said. “And an aging car park, improving commodity prices and a weakening U.S. dollar all favor the Insurance Auto Auctions business.”

Additionally, Loughmiller said the IAA spinoff “will allow investors to focus on a less complex business model that has a clear capital allocation plan to support its growth and create shareholder value.”

Turning to the investment highlights of IAA, Hallett noted: “The separation will create a pure-play salvage auction business with a direct comp. The salvage industry has strong business fundamentals with several tailwinds.

“We have key relationships in place, and the salvage industry continues to consolidate into two major players. Insurance Auto Auctions has an excellent track record, and we have a management team in place and ready to lead SpinCo,” he said. “We have a few holes to fill as an independent publicly traded company.”

One of those would be the need to bring in CFO with public company experience for IAA.

“Other than that, I think (IAA president and CEO) John (Kett) would tell you he’s ready to roll,” Hallett said.

Kett will remain president and CEO of IAA, and KAR’s management team will remain intact following the spinoff.

Why now?

During the Q&A portion of the call, one of the questions the KAR executives received related to the timing of the spinoff.

“As we look at these businesses, we’re very, very pleased with the way we’ve managed this business over the past 11 years. Proud of the way we’ve built the business,” Hallett said. “And it’s just the case where we feel, No. 1, that both businesses have grown to a size and a strength that we think they can stand alone.

“And we think that we have a management team that is very much in a position to take the lead as we separate these companies,” he said.

Overlap with ADESA, IAA, etc.

Another question posed to KAR management dealt with potential overlap between the shared infrastructure, technology and costs of the ADESA auctions and the IAA auctions.

Loughmiller emphasized the “minimal overlap” that Hallett had referred to earlier in the call.

“Where we have provided a shared services type of environment tends to be in HR, some finance functions,” Loughmiller said. “And the truth is, we operate separate accounting systems for the two businesses, with separate customer bases and separate operations, so I don’t view that as a complexity. But in the admin area, there will be a few things, and we think those will be easy to deal with.”

Along similar lines, they addressed KAR’s Automotive Finance Corp., where the salvage side has a “relatively small” piece of the pie, Hallett said. He mentioned that AFC plans to continue providing its services to the IAA entity.

Make it six straight weeks of car prices outperforming truck values


As you know if you’ve filled out a bracket for the NCAA tournament, basketball teams such as Villanova, Duke and Kentucky will need six victories in a row to claim a national championship.

Or a similar streak that Black Book has seen involving wholesale prices of cars versus trucks.

The latest Black Book Market Insights report highlighted that cars have outperformed trucks in price changes for six straight weeks. The report illustrated the continued strength displayed by a handful of car segments such as subcompact, compact and sporty cars.

“The spring market continues, especially for small cars and older units. Sporty cars are also starting to experience a seasonal lift in demand as warmer weather arrives,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book.

Volume-weighted, editors determined overall car segment values declined by only 0.14 percent last week. In comparison, the market values had decreased on average by 0.18 percent per week in the previous four weeks.

Within cars, Black Book reiterated the sporty car and sub-compact car segments performed the best, with values increasing by 0.20 percent and 0.08 percent, respectively, last week.

Again examining volume-weighted data, editors found that overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans — softened by 0.22 percent last week; an improvement compared to the average decrease of 0.30 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Among trucks, Black Book found that the full-size luxury crossover/SUV and compact van segments performed the worst with values declining by 0.66 percent and 0.47 percent, respectively, last week.

Turning next to what Black Book editors and personnel who attended about 60 sales throughout the country, anecdotes showed a wide array of activity — sort of how your bracket might look after the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament.

“The sale started off really well with a high percentage of sold units. Full-size trucks and midsize SUVs were the best sellers,” Black Book’s lane watcher in Illinois shared.

Not far away in Michigan, the story was a bit different.

“The market is still lagging here. It was a little bit better today, but customer traffic at the dealerships is below normal. We also can’t seem to get a break with the cold, wet weather,” the representative stationed in Michigan said.

Down in Georgia, the recap was: “Subcompacts and small SUVs performed much better than last week. Buyers complained that prices are too high on older units.”

Sliding out West, the upbeat mood was more evident.

“Best sale here in some time,” Black Book’s lane watcher in Colorado said. “The attendance was good as were the sales percentages. We are seeing a spring market turn for the better.”

Finally out in California, the observer noted, “We had a really strong sale despite the presence of poor weather. The retail demand is back as witnessed by the active bidding.”

Roundup: SGS previews new self-inspection app at CAR; Central AA holds 12-year anniversary sale


SGS recently previewed its new self-inspection mobile application — INSPEC — at the Conference of Automotive Remarketing (CAR) in Las Vegas.

The INSPEC app allows the capture of specific data, such as mileage and vehicle modifications ahead of vehicle turn-in and is now being offered as a pilot, hybrid or standalone solution.

When a vehicle lease nears its end, the app provides step-by-step instructions for the lessee to perform a self-inspection.

To note any damage or level of wear and use, the app allows lessees to take photos of the exterior, interior and tires that is pushed to the lessee and finance company.

“Our inspectors are performing full remarketing inspections prior to lease maturity when a third to half of these cars are either traded in early or bought outright prior to the turn-in date,” SGS operations vice president Tony Perkins said in a news release.

“This means our customers are wasting a lot of money on an expensive remarketing inspection that isn’t needed. By providing a more consumer-friendly inspection option, we believe INSPEC will help our customers drastically increase pre-term inspection rates, replacing the number of costly in-person inspections with an affordable alternative, all while lowering the overall cost of their program, improving the lease-end experience, and increasing brand loyalty,” he continued.

Along with producing a summary of self-inspection results, the app also provides an estimated range for how much might be owed for a vehicle at turn-in.

Estimates are calculated based on a proprietary algorithm from SGS, and the inspection can be completed in less than 20 minutes, according to the company.

Key benefits the app can provide finance companies, dealers and OEMs include reduced inspection costs, increased percentage of fleet inspected and retention of key insights and actionable data.

Central AA celebrates 12 years

In other news from the used-car market, Central Auto Auction held a 12-year anniversary sale last month where it also celebrated the opening of a brand-new fourth lane that is expected to be ready later this year.

The sale brought in 366 buyers and offered around 450 units across the auction’s three lanes.

“We are very much hands-on with our consignors and buyers. We are an extension of their team; their staff essentially,” Central AA owner Peter Saldamarco said in a news release. “We have the best auction employees in the business, and with our new full-service vehicle evaluation and enhancement center, there’s nothing we can’t handle for our customers.”

Central AA held its first sale in February of 2006. Located in Hamden, Conn., the auction offers weekly sales Tuesday mornings at 10:15 a.m., and all lanes are available for online participation via simulcast.

Manheim index movement off to consistent start


The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index certainly is consistent to begin 2018.

According to Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke, the index reading for February landed exactly where it did in January — 131.0.

While the reading showed wholesale used-vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) remained flat month-over-month, the February figure also represented a 5.1-percent increase from a year ago

Also of note, the February reading marked the lowest level since last July.

On a year-over-year basis, Smoke pointed out that all major market segments except midsize cars saw price gains. Pickups and vans outperformed the overall market with price increases of 6.2 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively.

The latest Manheim index update showed price gains for compact cars and luxury cars at 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively, as analysts also spotted a 3.6-percent rise for SUVs and CUVs.

And those midsize cars? Prices for those units softened by just 0.3 percent, according to Manheim’s index.

“As expected, now that prices are more in line with the general trend prior to the hurricanes, the rapid acceleration of depreciation has slowed to normal,” Smoke wrote in commentary that accompanied the latest Manheim index report.

“We will likely miss the normal ‘bounce’ in used-vehicle prices in March as tax refunds will again be delayed as part of the IRS effort to combat identity fraud,” he continued. “Weekly tax refunds for the week ending Feb. 16 were down 2 percent versus a similar time period last year equaling almost $2 billion in refunds.

“However, in the week ending Feb. 23, the number and total amount of refunds were up year-over-year during a similar week in 2017, suggesting an increase in the rate of tax return processing,” Smoke went on to say. “Prices should be on firmer footing by April as retail demand kicks into gear.”

According to Cox Automotive estimates, used-vehicle sales increased by 2 percent year-over-year in February versus last year. The February used SAAR came in at 39.6 million units.

Elsewhere in the wholesale arena, Manheim noticed rental risk pricing strengthens.

Analysts computed the average price for rental risk units sold at auction in February rose 4 percent year-over-year. Rental risk prices were up 2 percent compared to January.

Manheim also mentioned average mileage for rental risk units in February — at 46,300 miles — was 11 percent above a year ago.

As far as what Manheim is seeing in the new-model world, Smoke pointed out what many franchised dealers already know: new-vehicle sales decreased in February.

Smoke reiterated that the February new-vehicle sales volume decreased 2 percent year-over-year with the same number of selling days compared to February 2017.

As a result, February SAAR came in at 17.0 million, down from last year’s 17.3 million; but it’s the sixth straight month of more than 17 million SAAR.

Smoke indicated cars continue to see sharp declines as sales in February fell 13 percent compared to last year, with major car segments’ having sales declines. He added that light trucks outperformed cars in February and were up 4 percent year-over-year.

Smoke also noted that the combined rental, commercial, and government purchases of new vehicles rose 4 percent year-over-year in February, led by increases in commercial (up 4 percent) and rental (up 5 percent) fleet channels.

“New-vehicle inventories remained below 4 million units for the eighth straight month, but inventories are at their highest level since June 2017,” he said.

Smoke closed his latest Manheim index commentary by highlighting how consumers are driving strong economic momentum.

“Consumer confidence in February was the highest reading in more than 17 years. Likewise, consumer sentiment rose to its highest reading in more than 13 years,” Smoke said.

“Both increases suggest the consumer is buoyed by lower taxes that are starting to be seen in paychecks,” he continued. “Consumer spending continues to be strong and is driving the economy. 

“The first two months of the year saw severe winter weather and marginal declines in new sales, but higher paychecks from tax reform combined with tax refunds should see improving retail spending including auto sales this spring,” Smoke went on to say.

Lane watch: Tax season on full display


Dealers are banking on the hope consumers aren’t using their federal tax refunds any place other than their store to make a vehicle purchase.

The latest Black Book Market Insights report showed continued spring season momentum for cars such as sub-compacts and midsize models. And even though compact cars and full-size cars declined, editors emphasized the price drops were minimal.

Furthermore, the report touched on the specialty markets and discussed where incentives have fallen as of late, which could be a positive sign for residuals.

But now that we’re one week into March, the spring market appears to be in full swing.

“It was a great week for lower-priced mainstream brand vehicles as tax season buying continues with active bidding in the auction lanes,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s executive vice president of operations.

Volume-weighted, editors determined overall car segment values declined by only 0.10 percent last week. In comparison, the market values had decreased on average by 0.24 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Within cars, Black Book noticed the sub-compact and midsize car segments performed the best, with values increasing by 0.21 percent and 0.11 percent, respectively last week.

Again looking at volume-weighted information, editors determined overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans decreased by 0.19 percent last week, lower than the average decrease of 0.37 percent per week mentioned during the previous four weeks.

Among trucks, Black Book pointed out the compact crossover/SUV and compact van segments performed the best with values holding steady last week.

Black Book’s lane watchers who attend about 60 sales each week incorporated some specific financial figures when recapping what they noticed at the auction.

Beginning in Georgia, the observer mentioned, “Vehicles in the $30,000 range were not receiving bids, but the units around $12,000 or less were in demand, and most sold. The dealer lanes seemed to depend on the seller as some held to their floors while others were willing to negotiate the selling price.”

Meanwhile, up in Massachusetts, Black Book’s representative shared, “A franchise dealer reported that January and February were not particularly good, but he received lots of action on vehicles under $10,000.”

Elsewhere, talk about price floors and the spring market filled the bidding areas and cafeterias, including:

— From Wisconsin: “Almost all of the consigned vehicles, whether commercial or dealer owned, only sold if the floor was met, so the sold percentages were just ok.”

— From California: “We had a good sale with active bidding both from the auction floor and via the internet.”

— From Pennsylvania: “There was good activity today, which was indicative of the approaching spring market or the fact that the condition of the vehicles seemed to be better. Either way we had a good sale.”

Specialty update

As mentioned previously, editors also used this report to provide their monthly look at other portions of the wholesale world. Here is what they shared:

— Collectibles: Black Book explained that, “what started out as a national caliber Concours d’Elegance 23 years ago has turned into one of the top three collectible vehicle events in the United States, joining Pebble Beach/Monterey and Scottsdale to become the reigning collectible car triumvirate.”

— Recreational vehicles: For the second month in a row, editors indicated the values of RVs sold at auction, including motorized and towable, were very stable, with changes of less than 2 percent.

— Powersports: Black Book put this segment this way: “The old saying, ‘In like a lion, out like a lamb’ refers to typical March weather, but the first half of that phrase could just as well refer to a few segments in the powersports market this month.”

— Heavy Duty: Editors found that February ended in a similar fashion as January with strong used wholesale values. “This trend includes some commercial trailers; in fact, many dry vans and reefers appreciated in value,” editors said.

— Medium Duty: Overall, Black Book explained the medium duty market stabilized during the last couple of months of 201,  and that trend continued for the first part of 2018. “Reports are indicating that truck orders are up on almost all truck classes, but the increase in inventory will not necessarily have a negative impact on the future market,” editors added.

18 auction partners receive honors at 9th annual OVE awards


Eighteen independent auctions took home honors Monday night in Las Vegas at the ninth annual Awards show.

OVE recognized top-performing partners in several categories.

Both the first-place winner and second-place winner in each respective Award category are listed below, in order:

  • Highest Commercial Volume — Southern Auto Auction and Norwalk Auto Auction 
  • Highest Commercial Mix — Greensboro Auto Auction and Bel-Air Auto Auction 
  • Highest Dealer Volume — America’s Auto Auction Atlanta and Clark County Auto Auction
  • Highest Growth of New Sellers — Auctions In Motion Thousand Oaks and Greenville Auto Auction 
  • Online Buyer Confidence Award — Dealers Auto Auction of the Rockies and State Line Auto Auction
  • Highest Commercial Sales Growth — State Line Auto Auction and Carolina Auto Auction 
  • Highest Dealer Sales Growth — Auctions In Motion Thousand Oaks and America’s Auto Auction Atlanta
  • Highest Conversion Rate Commercial Units — Norwalk Auto Auction and Southern Auto Auction 
  • Highest Conversion Rate Dealer Units — Speedway Auto Auction of Charlotte and America’s Auto Auction Jacksonville 

Richmond AA elevates Carter to GM


An auction executive who gained experience in Florida now is overseeing an operation in Virginia

Auction Management Solutions client Richmond Auto Auction recently announced that Wyatt Carter has been promoted from assistant general manager to general manager, effective immediately. 

Carter has been with Richmond AA since the beginning of 2017, previously working for ADESA Orlando and Sanford Auto Exchange in Florida.  He has been in the auction business for 13 years, holding many auction positions including fleet lease manager and assistant general manager. 

Richmond AA owner Mark Motley said, “We are very excited to have Wyatt move into this new role within the company.  He has done an excellent job with the growth and development of the auction and is very deserving of this position.” 

Carter said,  “I have been fortunate to work with great people here at Richmond AA.  Our operations team continues to improve on productivity and efficiencies while our sales team builds a credible base of dealer consignment business and aggressively growing commercial consignors.”

Auction Management Solutions president Tom Stewart who provides consulting services for Richmond AA, praised the operation for making this personnel move.

“We are excited for Wyatt in his new leadership role.  With his vast auction experience, we look forward to our continued success in servicing and growing their clients, both dealers and consignors,” Stewart said.

Richmond Auto Auction operates on 35 acres of land, offering more than 400 units weekly through seven lanes.  A full reconditioning and mechanical facility, in-house body shop, in-house transportation, AutoIMS and full integrated on-line capabilities are available. 

For more information, go to .

70 years: A platinum 2018 for NAAA

CARY, N.C. - 

I had to Google it. (and whatever you call checking “Wikipedia” these days).

But thanks to a among other online search results, I now know that the moniker for a 70th wedding anniversary — at least in the case of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, who celebrated theirs last fall — is platinum.

According to The Guardian, the British duo’s 70th anniversary was on Nov. 20.

In a royal coincidence, that was the Monday following the annual autumn gathering of another party celebrating its platinum anniversary this year: the National Auto Auction Association.

While the closest I get to British royalty is a red beard like Prince Harry’s, AuSM’s editorial lineup this year will be celebrating NAAA’s 70th anniversary in the most ‘platinum’ of ways.

Our plan is for a series of stories, podcasts and special sections that revolve around NAAA, its partners, members, history and beyond.

The series, as you have likely gathered by now, is called “NAAA Platinum.”

It launches with the  and will run up through the NAAA Convention in November, with our National Remarketing Conference at Used Car Week. 

For the kickoff installment of the series, we feature Frank Hackett, the chief executive officer of NAAA.

I talked with Hackett by phone in February about the changes in the association over his years as CEO, his work and travels with the NAAA leadership each year, auction opportunities for the future and more.

Where the organization has changed

So how has NAAA changed from its inception in 1948?

“I can’t tell you what it was like 70 years ago — you were around back then, I’m sure,” Hackett joked. 

But in all seriousness, he points to things like the Warren Young, Sr. Scholastic Foundation as one major measure of progress.

“As you start looking at milestones within the industry itself … I just think about little things like the Scholastic Foundation,” Hackett said.

“When I think about when I first started here, now it’s almost 14 years ago, they had just started out (with the Foundation) and were looking at, ‘how are we going to raise this money, and how are we going to become self-sustaining?’” he said.

“Like, for example, I think of the pedal-car auction that raised over a half-a-million dollars,” he continued. “And what makes our industry unique is when you bring a group of people together, and then in a room, in one night, with little investment from the NAAA, but yet the investment from 12 members, you can raise $600,000.”

The foundation is now self-sustaining, and NAAA has actually raised the amounts provided by the scholarships. For eight of the 12, the amount has been raised from $3,000 to $5,000; and from $2,000 to $3,000 on the other four.

Other measures of growth include cooperation among auctions and competitors for safety initiatives like Safe T. Sam, launched by KAR Auction Services. 

Hackett also pointed to NAAA’s political action committee that was formed in 2012.

“We didn’t really have much of a presence in Washington, D.C., but today … I think we’re respected by some members of Congress that know us and hope that those that don’t will get to know us, as we continue to spend time in Washington making friends and trying to find support when we need it when legislation comes up that impacts our industry,” he said. 

Another big change was merging meetings. For the ninth straight year, NAAA has merged its spring meeting with Bobit Business Media’s Conference of Automotive Remarketing, and is going on three years having merged its annual convention with AuSM’s National Remarketing Conference.  This, of course, helps save time and money for NAAA members, reducing travel, among other benefits.

Hackett’s ‘theme’

Each year, the NAAA president is said to have a “theme” for his or her tenure.

So, I asked Hackett, as NAAA CEO, what his theme would be.  

“Training and education,” he said.

Part of that has come in the form of a study that NAAA commissioned Glenn Mercer to conduct on the future of the auction business.

It was set up so that the study could be completed in seven months in a process that might otherwise take upwards of three years, Hackett said.

“So when we say training and education, it’s really giving our members a faster look at the future of our industry, because things are changing so quickly,” Hackett said.

Some of results of Mercer’s study were revealed during November’s National Remarketing Conference, with the report being finalized for the CAR event.

NAAA also hired Mercer in late 2017 to work on a study about the future of technicians and mechanics.

“The challenge we’re having right now is how to hire and retain technicians and mechanics in our industry,” Hackett said. “We’re no different than the NADA or NIADA (in) that we’re all struggling with finding employees to be able to do these types of jobs at all levels.”

Similar to the project on the future of the auction industry, this study will include folks from inside and outside of the auction industry to help figure out a strategy to help with the challenge of hiring and retaining mechanics/technicians, Hackett said.

Travels with NAAA president and president-elect

Part of Hackett’s job is to travel to various auction sites with the association’s president and president-elect throughout their annual tenures.

“What we find that’s really valuable is to not only visit the auctions and see the members, but we also spend time with the leadership of the organization, and talking about issues that they have concerns about,” Hackett said.

“Like, safety as an example, was an important one,” he said. “We’ll actually meet with the players of the industry, the important leaders that we feel want to kind of get their pulse, too, as to what they feel should be the direction of the association or what’s really concerning them.

“It’s reading the pulse of the members, but it’s also trying to understand what the concerns are at every level.”

That’s how some of the strategy and platform items for NAAA are driven — things like finding technicians, the future of auctions and more.

Asked about what auctions are doing operationally that has impressed him during his travels, Hackett said:  “It almost sounds like a broken record, but they’ve taken safety very seriously, and you see things now that you didn’t see five or six years ago, whether it’s everybody wearing vests or they’re installing bollards. And they’re investing in their employees and it’s just different …”

Hackett said the people at auctions are “really safety conscious right now.”

NAAA has pivoted from safety mandate to safety guidelines, as they work with the auctions to get their back and see what works best for them, given how different each auction can be.

“They want to have a menu, and select from the menu, but not be mandated to follow that menu,” he said.

Preparing for the future

Futurist Thomas Frey has spoken a couple times at NAAA Conventions, the latest being this past fall. His message, it seems, is resonating.

“Seven or eight years ago, when he talked about the autonomous vehicle, we just kind of rolled our eyes,” he said. “And now as he’s talking about it, I think people are paying attention, because when you think about the future, the question that I ask, which is the very first question in Glenn Mercer’s report … will the auto auctions have to reinvent themselves?”

At least, in some ways, they might.

A decade or two down the line, Hackett believes auto auctions will be around, albeit perhaps with a “different look.”

“And I know we’re going to exist, but we’re probably going to exist and have a different look to us. But I don’t know what that look is. I don’t think any of us can look that far into the future, even though it’s very close,” Hackett said. “But realize that at some point, we’re going to have to reinvent some of the pieces that we’re currently doing.”

Which, in all honestly, is probably just fine.

NAAA’s membership has been reinventing, adjusting and adapting for 70 years and counting.


Car-price strength reflects spring-market activity acceleration


In some places nationwide, grass is becoming greener and buds are forming on trees and other plants.

And the spring market is blooming, too, according to the latest Black Book Market Insights.

The latest report released on Tuesday indicated momentum is picking up steam in the early weeks of the spring selling season with prices rising on sub-compact cars, compact cars and prices unchanged on mid-size cars.

“Spring market demand is in full swing with lower value vehicles selling the best last week,” said Anil Goyal, executive vice president of operations at Black Book, in the analysis. 

Volume-weighted, editors noted that overall car segment values decreased by 0.18 percent last week, much better than the average weekly decrease of 0.34 percent in values spotted during the previous four weeks.

Turns out, the subcompact car segment performed the best among all car segments with values going up by 0.31 percent last week.

Moving over to volume-weighted truck trends, Black Book found that overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans — decreased by 0.21 percent last week, an improvement compared to the average weekly decrease of 0.44 percent in values recorded during the previous four weeks.

Editors pointed out that small pickup and full-size pickup segments performed the best among all the truck segments.

The four recaps from Black Book’s lane observers also illustrated how the spring market is taking off. Here is the latest nationwide rundown:

— From Missouri: “There was a mix of frontline-ready units and some poorer condition trade-in vehicles which provided potential inventory for everybody. The edgy older vehicles with lower condition ratings sold well but the newer units were hit or miss.”

— From Florida: “Clean older cars are in demand but are becoming harder and harder to source.”

— From California: “Attendance was good and most of the vehicles received bids at some level. With the active bidding the prices seemed to be fairly strong.”

— From Nevada: “Retail is obviously improving as franchise dealers are more prevalent and are making their presence known with auction purchases.”

ServNet celebrates 30 years bringing US independent auctions together

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - 

In three decades, ServNet’s network of independent auto auctions has grown from a small group of independent owners wanting to share marketing strategies, to a group that has set a standard for service, efficiency and innovation within the remarketing industry.

The group has grown from its original eight members to now include 22 auctions from across the U.S.

In addition to setting standards for auction best practices in the remarketing industry, ServNet said it has also built effective partnerships with auction customers and helps facilitate a level of communication that benefits both the member auctions and consignors.

"ServNet Auctions represent some of the very best auto auctions serving the vehicle remarketing industry today," said Eric Autenrieth, president of the group and co-owner of the Carolina and Indiana Auto Auctions. "Over the course of thirty years, the ServNet auctions have shown a progressive spirit when it comes to innovative ideas and practices. With locations from coast to coast, active and involved owners, and progressive technology, ServNet Auctions provide both auto dealers and institutional accounts with a complete remarketing platform."

ServNet was founded in 1988 when eight independent auction owners participating in a performance group sponsored by the National Auto Auction Association developed the idea for forming a cooperative marketing network after discussing forming an alliance to both share ideas and promote their auctions on a national level. 

"We discussed the advantages of working together with other independent auctions which shared the same philosophy and offered the same level of service," explained Jeff Barber, one of ServNet's founding members and owner of State Line Auto Auction. "We talked about pooling our resources and promoting ourselves collectively, and in 1988 ServNet was born."

When it comes to progressive technology within the industry, ServNet touts that its initiatives have powered the development of AuctionPipeline, known today as AuctionEDGE and AutoIMS in partnership with ADESA, ADT, Manheim and independent auctions.

Carolina AA celebrates Santander, Chrysler Capital account return

Additionally, in other auction news, ServNet member Carolina Auto Auction recently announced that it's  lanes creation has brought an additional 100 units to the auction each week, and that Santander and Chrysler Capital will return to its lanes on Wednesday.

Santander and Chrysler Capital run units twice a month and will eventually run every week. The auction said it expects at least 100 units with each run.

This year, in response to a high influx in commercial units, following last year’s addition of another larger account — US Bank — Carolina Auto Auction designated four lanes to be strictly commercial.

The company estimated that it could expect at least 650 commercial units every week.

To keep up with its recent growth, the auction said that its number of full-time staff will likely increase by 30 percent over the next month.


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