AMS client list grows to 22 with addition of GMAA


Auction Management Solutions (AMS) recently partnered with partnered with Greater Milwaukee Auto Auction (GMAA) for business development consulting, growing its client roster to 22.

Founded in 2004 by owner Kristie Letizia, GMAA is the largest independent auto auction in the state of Wisconsin. What originally started as a 15-acre facility has now grown to cover more than 35 acres, running five lanes weekly and offering more than 800 vehicles, featuring a separate state of the art reconditioning facility including a full body shop and an on-site test track.

“We are very excited to be working with the AMS team to help grow our national account base and to increase our national presence,” Letizia said.  “We have a proven track record with accounts like Ally Bank, ARI and General Motors, and we want to bring that same positive experience and expertise to other national consignors. 

“Ultimately these units offered will bring added inventory opportunities to the local dealers that we partner with here at GMAA,” Letizia added.

AMS was started by industry veterans Tom Stewart and Richard Curtis, who along with Jamye Carpenter, Shelly Frank and Cynthia Meyer, provide consulting, training and recruiting services to the automotive industry that include independent auto auctions, service providers and vendors.

“GMAA is an auction powerhouse in their market with a superlative track record, and through their partnership with AMS, we hope to expose this excellent auction location and its remarketing prowess to the national account community,” Stewart said.

“Partnering with strong independent auctions has been a focus since we started AMS in July of 2016,” Stewart continued. “We have developed a comprehensive sales strategy that assists independent auctions to not only grow their consignment business but also their bottom line,” Stewart went on to say.

Adding GMAA brings the total number of AMS auction partners to 22, which also include:

166 Auto Auction
All Valley Dealers Auction
Alliance Auto Auction of Abilene
Alliance Auto Auction of Dallas
Alliance Auto Auction of Longview
Alliance Auto Auction of Waco
Columbus Fair Auto Auction
Central Auto Auction
DAA Chattanooga
DAA Huntsville
DAA Memphis
DAA Mobile
DAA Murfreesboro
Dealers Auto Auction of Idaho
Greater Erie Auto Auction
Greater Quad City Auto Auction
Oklahoma Auto Exchange
Rea Bros Mid-South Auction
Richmond Auto Auction
Rochester Syracuse Auto Auction
Southeastern Auto Auction

GAA Classic Cars announces 2 special collection sales in March


GAA Classic Cars Auction announced Tuesday that it is gearing up for two big sales that will offer vehicles and memorabilia from two collections in March.

On March 1, the Greensboro, N.C. auction will launch a three-day sale featuring 550 vehicles from the Gary Copeland Collection of 1932 and 1934 Fords. The sale will include a 1934 Ford Cabriolet and a 1932 Ford Sport Coupe.

Additionally, GAA Classic Cars' nale from March 22 through  March 24 will offer the collection of Jerry and June Smith of the Memory Lane Museum in Eatonton, Ga.

There will be 250 cars, along with 30 motorcycles and thousands of pieces of memorabilia up for bid during the three days.

Some of the classics in the collection include a low mile 1970 Super Bird, a 1957 Fuelie Bel Air, a Model A and a pink 1957 Series 62 Cadillac.

In addition to the helmet Evil Kenevil wore when he jumped the fountain in Las Vegas and an extensive group of 1970s’ baseball cards, pieces of available memorabilia include a wide variety of signs, a Harley Davidson bicycle and gas pumps, according to GAA Classic Cars.

Texas auto auction founder Walker passes away


Wade Walker, founder of Corpus Christi Auto Auction and San Antonio Auto Auction, passed away Saturday. He was 55.

“Wade was a devoted loving father, husband, grandfather, and friend to all. He enjoyed water skiing, snow skiing, cycling, traveling and spending time with family and friends,” reads an obituary provided by his family.

“Wade was always there to lend a helping hand in need and was described as a gentle, compassionate, wise, loving man of God. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him,” it said. 

The National Auto Auction Association said in a note, “N ational Auto Auction Association's deepest sympathy extends out to
the Walker family, friends and auction family.”  

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Oakwood Baptist Church in New Braunfels, Texas.

 A visitation with family is scheduled for Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home in New Braunfels.

Those looking to make a monetary donation in Walker’s name are encouraged to make donations to:

New Braunfels Christian Ministries
Attention: Kids Club
1659 State Highway 46 W.
Ste. 115-405
New Braunfels, Texas 78132

Dealers hunt for holiday season bargains


Holiday shoppers are in the throes of finding bargains for gift giving. Dealers are in the same predicament in the lanes while looking for inventory, according to the latest observations from Black Book.

Along with what auction watchers described, this week’s Black Book Market Insights report showed both car and truck segments depreciating more than usual. Both segments overall softened in value by 0.64 percent and 0.65 percent, respectively.

Editors noticed only two vehicle categories maintained their value from last week — sub-compact crossovers and compact vans.

“After three months of relatively strong performance, seasonal slide of used vehicle values kicks into high gear,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics. 

Volume-weighted, Black Book determined overall car segment values decreased by 0.64 percent last week, higher than the average weekly decrease of 0.58 percent in values spotted during the previous four weeks.

Editors indicated the near-luxury car segment decreased in value at the highest rate among all the car segments at 0.92 percent or $139.

Volume-weighted, Black Book found that overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans dropped by 0.65 percent last week, above the average weekly drop of 0.42 percent in values noticed during the previous four weeks.

Editors pointed out that the midsize luxury crossover/SUV and minivan segments dipped in value at the highest rate among all the truck segments, each sliding by 1.21 percent.

When it comes to lane activity, Black Book representatives reflected what the data revealed.

Down in Florida, a lane watcher said, “Late-model vehicles struggled to reach the remarketing floors while the older clean units brought good to excellent money.”

Another anecdote out of the Sunshine State noted, “As is always the case, the dealers gravitated toward the lanes where the consignors were selling off their inventory creating very sparse attendance in the others.”

In the Southeast, a certain kind of inventory kept auctioneers and ringmen busy with the Black Book representative stationed in Tennessee mentioning, “The buy here-pay here vehicles were the highest volume sellers today.”

Out West in California, the auction scene was described as “a typical December market with activity and conversion percentages down.”

Finally in Pennsylvania, Black Book's lane watcher reported, “The dealers here are optimistic about the end of year market and its chances of remaining fairly stable. This is especially true of the truck market.”

November data analysis

Black Book also sifted through its data for all of November and found that the average price of a used vehicle for model years 2012 through 2016 depreciated in value by 2.2 percent. Editors indicated cars dropped by 2.6 percent overall, and trucks decreased 1.8 percent in value during November.

Black Book added that all vehicles are averaging a 12-month depreciation rate of 13.2 percent.

Editors noticed that small pickups were the only vehicle category to increase in value during November, ticking up by 0.4 percent. Vehicles in the small pickup category include the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier and the Honda Ridgeline.

Small pickups ended the month with an average segment price of $21,454, a 6.8-percent drop from year-ago levels ($23,030).

Editors also mentioned sub-compact cars saw the largest decrease in value last month, depreciating by 3.7 percent. Vehicles in this segment include the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Kia Soul and the Hyundai Accent. This segment entered December with an average price of $6,211.

Black Book went on to note that full-size pickups saw the least depreciation from year-ago value levels. This segment, which closed out November with an average segment price of $24,020, has dropped only 4.3 percent from its value in November of 2016 ($25,111). Vehicles in this category include the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, GMC Sierra 1500 and the Ford F-150.

“After steady used car values in October, vehicle values overall decreased slightly in November,” Goyal said. “Values typically drop slightly around the holiday season as we reach late into the year, especially right before the tax rebate checks begin to spur buying activity in the first quarter.”

Dealers still optimistic on pre-owned car sales


Dealers are still feeling relatively optimistic about their user-car operations. And for independents, in particular, they’re starting to see some relief from supply shortages — albeit in the form of pricier units.

As part of the fourth quarter Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index, franchised and independent dealers were asked for their thoughts on the current used-car sales environment.

In general, the feeling was slightly less optimistic than it was in the third quarter, but not drastically so — and, by the way, it's still above average.

Overall, dealers scored the current used-car sales environment at 55 on a scale from zero (poor) to 100 (good), with 50 being average.  That’s down from 57 last quarter.

Franchised dealers were at 67, compared to a score of 68 in Q3. Independents were at 51, compared to 53 in the prior quarter.

On the used-car inventory side, dealers were similarly in the middle of the road.

On a scale of zero to 100 (zero being declining, 50 as average and 100 as growing), dealers overall put their used-car inventory levels at 53.

That’s up from 51 in the third quarter.

Franchised dealers were at 55 (steady from Q3), and independents came in at 53 (up from 50).

Pointing out the stability in the inventory measure, Cox Automotive said not as many independent dealers say they are struggling with “limited inventory,” which had been a hurdle.

“Inventory can be a positive or a negative factor for market conditions, but dealers seem to be successfully navigating shifts in new- and used-vehicle supply,” Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke said in a news release accompanying the report.

That said, the report does indicate that there is more pressure for independent dealers to lower prices. That measure climbed from 62 to 67 for independents (zero: less, 50: average, 100: more), pushing the overall number from 63 to 67.

Franchised dealers were steady at 67.

“Independents are having to deal with the scarcity of 5- to 8-year-old vehicles by shifting to what’s most available: less than 4-year-old vehicles,” said Smoke. “By shifting to newer vehicles, they are paying higher prices yet they are also continuing to serve a value-seeking consumer who is more likely to have credit challenges. That translates into relentless pressure on price.”

To Smoke’s point, the top two factors that independent dealers say are holding back their overall business are market conditions (45 percent) and credit availability for consumers (39 percent). For franchised dealers, the top limiting factors overall (not just used) were market conditions (40 percent) and competition (32 percent). 

Going back to overall used-car sales, it appears the optimism may be well-rooted. 

In a separate analysis, Cox Automotive estimated that there was a 4-percent decrease in retail used-car sales last month. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate for used-car sales was softer at 34 million units, but the company still anticipates full-year sales to reach 39.1 million, which would be a nearly 2-percent hike.

And while the report indicates the pre-owned market “took a backseat as momentum favored new-vehicle sales” in November, analysts with the company say that trend might reverse in 2018.

In a conference call with the media on Dec. 1, Autotrader executive analyst Michelle Krebs said:  “Next year, we also see an influx of off-lease vehicles coming that will give new-vehicle sales some competition, and especially in the utility segment, which we expect to continue to grow, but there could be some battling going on between new and nearly new.”

Black Book index climbs for third straight month


Along with aligning with another online marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of used vehicles, Black Book watched its Used Vehicle Retention Index rise in November, pushing the reading higher for the third consecutive month.

Editors indicated the November index reading increased 0.3 percent month-over-month, ticking up from 114.6 to 115.0. The movement triggered the third straight monthly increase dating back to August when the index sat at 112.6.

The Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index is calculated using Black Book’s published wholesale average value on two- to six-year-old used vehicles, as a percent of original typically-equipped MSRP. It is weighted based on registration volume and adjusted for seasonality, vehicle age, mileage and condition.

Black Blook explained that the index rising for the third straight month gives used cars and trucks relative strength heading into the final month of the year. The index has increased in five months during 2017, with a sixth month unchanged (June to July).

It’s the first time since 2013 that the index increased at least five times during the calendar year. Back in 2013, the index increased six times.

Editors noticed nine segments saw increases in the index during November, including:

—Compact crossover/SUV
—Full-size car
—Full-size pickups
—Full-size vans
—Luxury cars
—Midsize crossover/SUV
—Midsize luxury crossover/SUV
—Prestige luxury cars
—Small pickups

“The continued strengthening of the index indicates 2017 has been a little stronger than expected for used cars and trucks, helped along the way by the hurricane replacement activity,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics for Black Book.

“Any continued strengthening over the next few months will mean we’re getting an early jump at the oncoming tax spending season, when consumers use their checks to replace their vehicles in the spring,” Goyal continued.

The index dates back to January 2005 when Black Book published a benchmark index value of 100.0 for the market. During 2008, the index dropped by 14.1 percent, while during 2016 the index fell by just 6.4 percent. During 2011, the index rose strongly from 113.3 to 123.0 by the end of the year as the economy picked up steam and used-vehicle values rose higher. It continued to remain relatively stable, rising slightly until May of 2014 when it hit a peak of 128.1.

To obtain a copy of the latest Black Book Wholesale Value Index, .

Latest weekly update

Along with sharing the month index, editors also released this week’s Black Book Market Insights report, which mentioned that compact cars sustained their highest depreciation in the past 26 weeks.

Overall according to volume-weighted data, Black Book indicated car segment values declined by 0.66 percent last week. In comparison, car values decreased on average by 0.57 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

Within cars, editors found that sub-compact car and compact car segments performed the worst, decreasing by 1.12 percent and 0.86 percent, respectively.

Moving over to the volume-weighted information for trucks, Black Book reported overall values (including pickups, SUVs and vans) declined by 0.34 percent last week. Truck values softened on average by 0.43 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

For trucks, editors determined the sub-compact crossover segment performed the worst, decreasing by 1.38 percent.

As far as what Black Book’s representatives in the lanes uncovered, it seems dealers are still struggling to find certain kinds of inventory.

Beginning in Arizona, Black Book’s lane watcher said, “The sale was low on inventory, which kept the prices fairly stable.”

Down in Florida, the report was, “Dealers need clean vehicles, but there weren’t that many here. The late model units struggled to make the set floor prices.”

And up in Pennsylvania, “Not enough truck supply here today to satisfy the demand,” was the focus of the Black Book recap.

Finally, another development surfaced in Colorado with the representative stating, “We had a pretty decent sale here thanks to the online buyers. The in-lane attendance continues to decline.”

Black Book to share vehicle data with Carable

In other company news, Black Book announced this week it has signed a partnership agreement with Carable, a unique peer-to-peer used-vehicle marketplace that connects individual buyers and sellers of cars and trucks. Black Book is providing all vehicle valuations for sellers listing their vehicles in the online marketplace.

“An accurately priced vehicle is always the key to connecting buyers and sellers,” Carable founder Patrick Juthberg said. “Carable is truly unique in the auto industry, and our success depends on resources such as Black Book for an efficient and transparent online marketplace.”

Jared Kalfus, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Black Book, added, “Millions of consumers today are accustomed to buying and selling goods online, therefore a marketplace such as Carable is a natural fit for people looking to buy and sell vehicles.

“We’re pleased we can contribute to such a unique marketplace with the most accurate values in the industry, thus ensuring a fair transaction for both sides and offering Carable a chance to realize repeat business as more people utilize the service,” Kalfus went on to say.

Podcast: ACV Auctions CEO George Chamoun

CARY, N.C. - 

This week, our episode is a chat from earlier this fall with George Chamoun, the chief executive officer of ACV Auctions.

An entrepreneur, Chamoun launched technology and services company Synacor with his college roommate in 1998, shortly after graduating college.

Check out the conversation below.

Download and subscribe to the AuSM Podcast on  or on . 

You can also listen to the latest episode in the window below.

All episodes can be found on our  or by visiting

Please complete ; we appreciate your back on the show!


Car and truck values soften at similar rates during Thanksgiving week


Be it a car or truck, Black Book saw both general vehicle segments depreciating at almost the same rate as auctions and dealers celebrated Thanksgiving.

According to this week’s Black Book Market Insights report, editors determined sporty cars and compact vans saw the most depreciation out of both segments, dropping by 0.82 percent and 1.31 percent, respectively.

“Normal seasonal depreciation continues for sporty cars. Commercial compact vans are depreciating faster than the full-size vans,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics.

Looking at volume-weighted data, Black Book indicated overall car segment values decreased by 0.48 percent last week, lower than the average weekly decrease of 0.54 percent in values recorded during the previous four weeks.

Volume-weighted truck segment information showed that values for pickups, SUVs and vans softened by 0.49 percent last week. That figure is higher than the average weekly decrease of 0.36 percent in values editors posted during the previous four weeks.

Likely not because of any drowsiness triggered by that Thanksgiving turkey, Black Book’s representative in the lanes uncovered reasons why dealers aren’t moving as much used metal as they would like, which is impacting the lanes at auction.

The first instance of this trend surfaced in Tennessee where Black Book’s representative shared, “Retail is slow on both new and used in our area, causing our wholesale market to sputter after a pretty good fall run.”

In Pennsylvania, a similar story unfolded as the lane watcher relayed, “The number of vehicles sold was noticeably lower today. Dealers commented that we should expect this through the end of the year.”

And in the Northwest, Black Book’s auction visitor mentioned a specific reason why dealers are hesitant to load up on used inventory.

“A used car manager from a new-car store stated that Incentives are really starting to put a strain on his late-model used market,” the lane watcher stationed in Washington said.

Down the West Coast, the seasonal trends of the wholesale market surfaced.

“A national remarketer commented that the end of October seemed to signal that we are pushing toward the seasonal normalcy in the market after a really good late summer/early fall run,” a Black Book resprenstative in California reported.

Up in Michigan, where signs of winter are clear, a lane watcher said, “Four-wheel-drive trucks are still selling well. This is a typical market trend here during late fall when hunting season kicks in and snow and ice lurks.”

Manheim announces 100% sales rate at Las Vegas off-site auction for Citroen


Manheim has announced a 100-percent sales rate following the exclusive off-site auction for Citroen its Nevada team recently held in Las Vegas in collaboration with Manheim Online in the U.K.

The Las Vegas auction follows the successful unique off-site sale Manheim and Citroen held 'at sea' last year on No Man’s Fort, a 150-year-old facility off the coast of the Isle of Wight near Portsmouth, England.

This year, 23 Citroen dealer representatives flew from the U.K. to Manheim’s Las Vegas auction center to attend the event.

“We are incredibly pleased with the success of the Manheim Nevada event. Taking them to Las Vegas was a fantastic opportunity to build on our reputation for providing the best service to our dealers,” Citroen UK remarketing manager Paul Drake said in a news release.

“The back was extremely positive, and all dealers were fully engaged with, and purchased all vehicles on offer, which is a fantastic result. We would like to thank the Manheim U.K. and U.S. teams for organizing an incredible, unique and memorable five days for both Citroen U.K. and the dealer network,” Drake continued.

Each of the 125 Citroen used-vehicles offered at the Nov. 10 auction was sold at 102.88-percent CAP, which is approximately 4.5 percent higher than current market conditions, according to Manheim.

“Our off-site sales are always spectacular and showcase our ability to provide market leading service around the world,” added Tim Hudson, managing director of inventory solutions at Cox Automotive.

“Having partnered with Citroen UK for off-site sales since 2015, we are thrilled that the Nevada event was such a success. Our team was outstanding, and we look forward to next year's location.”

RVI Group pinpoints October wholesale price increases

STAMFORD, Conn. - 

No matter which way the analysts at RVI Group looked at October wholesale prices, they noticed increases versus September’s readings as well as from year-ago figures.

The RVI Used Vehicle Price Index (Real) increased from September to October by 2.0 percent. When compared to October of last year, prices rose by 1.1 percent.

The firm’s Used Vehicle Price Index (Nominal) climbed by 2.1 percent in October versus September. That index also increased by 3.0 percent year-over-year.

Analysts pointed out that used-vehicle prices also are up on a year-over-year basis for more than half of vehicle segments, with full-size pickups leading the way at 3.9 percent.

Also making notable upward year-over-year movements in October were full-size vans (up 3.2 percent), sports cars (up 2.3 percent) and midsize SUVs (up 1.7 percent)

Conversely, small pickups paced the declines in October as prices for these units softened by 3.5 percent. Only one other segment sustained a year-over-year decline greater than 1 percent in October; subcompacts at 1.1 percent.


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