Auctions

TradeRev organizes free transportation for Houston-area dealers

CARMEL, Ind. - 

TradeRev found a way to help dealerships that are still trying to get their businesses back in order after Hurricane Harvey.

On Tuesday, TradeRev launched a special offer to help Houston-area dealers replenish inventory lost during the Category 4 storm. For a limited time, Houston-area dealers will receive free transportation through CarsArrive Network on any vehicle purchased on TradeRev from Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.

The company hopes this will alleviate some of the financial pressure dealers are experiencing while helping them quickly source high-quality units to meet surging consumer demand. TradeRev and CarsArrive Network are both business units of KAR Auction Services.

“KAR’s auctions and affiliated business units have played an active role in the hurricane relief efforts, and we’ve witnessed the hardships our customers are facing first-hand,” said Becca Polak, TradeRev president and chief legal officer and secretary for KAR Auction Services.

“Using TradeRev will help Houston dealers source inventory more quickly and conveniently from a broader seller-base than the local auctions. And the CarsArrive promotion is one way we could show our support and help dealers rebuild their businesses,” Polak continued.

This free shipping offer ends Nov. 30. The company explained it is limited to buying dealers located in Texas ZIP codes impacted by Hurricane Harvey. For more information on the zip codes eligible and offer restrictions, visit the news section on TradeRev.com.

“CarsArrive is proud to partner with TradeRev to help our shared customers in Houston recover and rebuild,” said Michael Briggs, president of CarsArrive Network and RDN. “We have strong, long-standing relationships in Houston, and we want to see this great automotive market back on its feet as quickly as possible.”




Barrett-Jackson, The NASCAR Foundation to auction Jeep for Las Vegas ER personnel

LAS VEGAS - 

The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company and the NASCAR Foundation will host the charity sale of a 2016 Jeep Wrangler Red Rock Edition on Thursday to raise funds for the UNLV School of Medicine Dept. of Emergency Medicine Residency Program Fund.

The fund helps provide physicians training as emergency medicine specialists at UMC, Nevada’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, where victims of the recent Las Vegas shooting continue to be treated.

“Like Barrett-Jackson, our friends at NASCAR have strong ties to Las Vegas and were deeply saddened by the recent tragic event,” Barrett-Jackson chairman and chief executive officer Craig Jackson said in a news release. “We’re so proud this longtime partner of ours is stepping up to help the medical personnel who are fighting daily to save the lives of those injured. It is just one of many initiatives to help to show our support for Las Vegas at this difficult time.”

The rare Jeep hails from the personal collection of NASCAR vice chairman and chairman of The NASCAR Foundation Mike Helton. It is one of less than 50 production vehicles built by Jeep and inspired by the celebration of the 50th Annual Easter Safari in Moab, Utah.

“It’s an honor to donate this vehicle to benefit the UNLV School of Medicine Dept. of Emergency Medicine Residency Program Fund,” Helton said. “We were reminded of the importance of emergency room personnel two weeks ago in Las Vegas. The work that was done under the most trying of circumstances was admirable – and invaluable. This is a cause the Foundation is proud to support, and we urge others to do so.”

The charity sale will take place during Barrett-Jackson’s 10th annual three-day Las Vegas Auction at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where Helton and NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace will be present as the rare Jeep crosses the block at approximately 3:30 p.m.

“We are proud to be a part of an incredible culture where many of our partners have stepped up over the years to donate spectacular charity vehicles, and this Jeep is another great example,” added Steve Davis, Barrett-Jackson president. “We are honored to provide the platform for moments such as this, which are all about us joining together as a community to support Las Vegas and the many families that need our help after such a tragic event.”

The three-day auction will be broadcast on Discovery and Velocity, and internationally on Velocity Canada, Discovery UK and Discovery Turbo UK.

For information about becoming a bidder, visit . Both advance tickets and three-day ticket packages are available.




Cox Auto helps in ongoing Puerto Rico hurricane recovery

ATLANTA and SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday that during the next seven days, 20 million meals and more than 11 million liters of water would be arriving on Puerto Rico.   

After confirming the safety of all 30 employees on the island, Cox Automotive put in motion a variety of initiatives to help the Manheim Caribbean team and their families as well as other citizens impacted by Hurricane Maria.

According to an update shared with AuSM on Friday, Cox Automotive:

— Airlifted in and delivered 10,000 pounds of water and two water filtration systems; generators, batteries, tarps and other emergency supplies along with 480 MREs (Meal Ready-to-Eat rations) which the Manheim Caribbean general manager explained how to use.

— Worked with a local contractor to transfer 820 gallons of diesel fuel to the auction site to power the generators.

— Delivered checks to employees from the Cox Employee Relief Fund, providing humanitarian assistance.

“Because supporting our employees remains one of our most important values,” the company reiterated that Manheim team members can access funds from its in-house charitable organization that helps those impacted by natural disasters, injury or illness, or loss of a family member with:

— Household necessities including furniture, kitchenware and linens

— Clothing and school supplies

— Home insurance deductibles

— Hotel expenses for short-term stays

— Rental cars to get employees to work and children to school

The Cox Automotive efforts are working alongside with what FEMA has been trying to do since the Category 4 hurricane blasted Puerto Rico on Sept. 20.

To date, FEMA, working in coordination with federal partners, has provided more than 8 million meals, and 6 million liters of water to Puerto Rico. At the direction of the government of Puerto Rico, FEMA and its partners deliver commodities to Regional Staging Areas (RSA) across the island, where mayors and local officials from municipalities can pick up food, water and other supplies.

Additionally, FEMA is sending direct shipments of meals and water to municipalities designated by PREMA. These shipments can be delivered by truck, or in cases where roads are inaccessible, by air. 

Officials said this is the longest air support food-drop mission in the history of the agency.

FEMA delivers roughly 200,000 meals a day. This is supplemented by the more than 300,000 additional meals distributed each day by organizations like the Salvation Army, Feeding America, the American Red Cross, World Central Kitchen, Convoy of Hope, World Vision, and Southern Baptist. These groups, along with other voluntary agencies, deliver and distribute across the island, to shelters and to senior centers on a daily basis.

The Departmento de Educacion is providing meals to more than 5,700 occupants in shelters, and distributing food to 224 schools working as community food centers, while also allowing children to do activities on site.

“As more stores open across the island where food, water, and other commodities can be purchased, there will be a lesser need for provided meals and water, allowing FEMA and its partners to continue to focus on the harder to reach communities,” officials said.

Along with supporting relief in Puerto Rico, other segments of the automotive industry are collecting resources to help those individuals impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Here’s how you can help:

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XLerate names new COO

INDIANAPOLIS  - 

The XLerate Group has a new chief operating officer. The auto auction company said Monday it has named former ADESA executive Pat Stevens to the post.

The COO position had been unoccupied for a while after Darris McClure moved over to lead XLFunding, a floor planning business the auction group recently launched.

As for Stevens, he had been executive vice president for the West at ADESA, following time as regional vice president for West. Before that, Stevens had been ADESA Dallas’ general manager, a role in which he had served since 2000.

“I am very pleased to be with the XLerate Group,” Stevens said in a news release. “I look forward to working with our employees, clients and partners to continue building this great company.”

His industry experience goes back to 1994, when he became a fleet manager at what was then ADT Automotive.

“Pat Stevens’ comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of auction operations makes him a perfect fit in the role of COO,” XLerate chief executive officer Cam Hitchcock said in a news release “Pat has worked in the auto auction industry for over 20 years, and 14 of those years in executive management positions. His addition to our management staff strengthens our company.”

XLerate executive vice president Chuck Tapp said: “We are excited to have Pat on board. His experience is essential to our future growth. We have confidence that Pat will help take our auction group to the next level.”




Black Book’s index makes largest sequential jump in more than 5 years

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

The surge Hurricane Harvey created still is rippling through the wholesale market.

Black Book reported that its Used Vehicle Retention Index for September posted the largest month-over-month gain since March 2012. The index reading increased from 112.6 to 113.9.

Hurricane Harvey caused major flooding throughout parts of Texas, resulting in an estimated up to 500,000 cars and trucks needing to be replaced. The replacement process began in September, with compact cars (up 2.8 percent), compact crossover SUVs (up 2.4 percent), full-size cars (up 2.5 percent) and mid-size cars (up 2.3 percent) each seeing significant month-over-month increases within the Index.

“We certainly anticipated a near-term increase in the Index in last month's report, and with the storm replacement activity kicking in we believe this activity will continue in the next month but not much longer,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics for Black Book.

“We saw a nice bump in several car segments, and we also anticipate several truck segments to see increases as well, especially with the demand for service and construction vehicles. It was interesting that mainstream car segments and compact SUVs experienced the largest increase in immediate replacement demand,” Goyal continued.

The Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index is calculated using Black Book’s published wholesale average value on 2- to 6-year-old used vehicles, as a percent of original typically equipped MSRP.

The index dates back to January 2005, where 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, .




5 ways to spot finer points of potentially weather-damaged vehicles

AUSTIN, Texas - 

An auction operator who likely saw at least some of the rain from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma spelled out his five points to consider as the industry watches for flood-damaged vehicles.

Chris Tomchay, co-founder and chief operating officer of The Appraisal Lane and co-owner of the Georgia-Carolina Auto Auction, shared his five thoughts as estimates approach 1 million units being impacted by the consecutive Category 4 hurricanes to touch the U.S.

“Apart from the basics, there are other telltale signs that dealers and private parties should pay attention to when it comes to signs of hurricane-related damage,” said Tomchay, whose auction is located 70 miles northeast of Atlanta. “Information is power, so arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible to avoid getting burned on the bottom line.”

Here are Tomchay’s five additional tips:

1. A clean history report doesn’t always mean a clean vehicle.

With widespread hurricane damage in Florida and Texas in recent months, and with Tropical Storm Nate now bearing down on the Gulf Coast, Tomchay explained that it’s important to note that dealers can’t always trust a clean vehicle history report.

“Sometimes there is lag time in the reporting of flood damaged cars to vehicle history reporting organizations. Even 60 or 90 days, at this juncture, is enough time for a vehicle that would otherwise been deemed as ‘salvage’ or ‘totaled’ to be sold to an unsuspecting buyer,” he said.

2. There’s a big difference between salt water and fresh water damage.

While fresh water submersion means damp upholstery or wet engine components that could ultimately be dried and restored, Tomchay pointed out salt water damage is something altogether different.

“Salt causes significant corrosion which, in the long run, can cause big problems to the major components of a car, including the steering and electrical systems, the transmission, the undercarriage, the fuel system, the body panels, and much more,” Tomchay said.

He added that while some waterlogged vehicles with minor damage can represent a good value, it’s important to know the type of water that caused the damage.

3. Flood damaged vehicles can break the bank — but they can also come at a value.

Tomchay acknowledged that certain flood damaged vehicles represent a value depending on the extent and type of damage.

“I’m all for buying a car at  ($0.50) on the dollar if it was submerged to the floor in fresh water, or purchasing a vehicle for ($0.75)  on the dollar if it was stranded on a ship in a salt water port and the manufacturer merely voided the exterior paint warranty,” he said. “It really depends on the situation.”

4. Beware of out-of-state registrations.

If a vehicle that is registered in a known hurricane-havocked region suddenly shows up for sale in your Northeast or Midwest market, Tomchay recommended that dealers should be extra diligent — particularly now.

“Take a little extra time to evaluate the vehicle using The Appraisal Lane’s SMART tips,” he said. “It could wind up saving you thousands of dollars in the end.”

5. Flood damage isn’t the only hurricane damage.

Tomchay also mentioned small sized hail on a light colored exterior could go unnoticed, as could sand blasting from high winds.

“Be sure to closely inspect a car’s exterior in proper lighting, preferably in sunlight and from various angles,” he said. “If you’re still unsure, solicit an inspection from a qualified body repair shop.”

Tomchay concludes that if dealers are still uncertain when it comes to evaluating a potential hurricane damaged vehicle, or off-brand/one-off inventory, a community approach to appraisals is best — one that connects you with expert appraisers in real time, backed by cash offers.

“Evaluating vehicles based on the law of averages is particularly risky, not to mention trying to evaluate vehicles that may have been damaged during this volatile hurricane season,” he said.

The Appraisal Lane — a Silver Sponsor at  which begins on Nov. 13 in Palm Springs, Calif. — consists of vehicle appraisers whose singular responsibility is to evaluate thousands of vehicles each month across all makes and models. The company’s mobile app can connect dealers with a larger community of appraisers and buyers to receive real time cash offers on inventory.

For dealers interested in more information about The Appraisal Lane, visit or send a message to [email protected]




AutoBuy opens 2 locations in partnership with ADESA, Manheim

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - 

Florida-based AutoBuy now has eight locations since opening two new locations in respective partnerships with ADESA and Manheim, the company announced Tuesday.

The new AutoBuy in Sanford, Fla. (which was launched in partnership with ADESA) and AutoBuy Orlando (launched in partnership with Manheim) have increased AutoBuy’s buy/sell capacity by more than 40 percent, according to the company.

“Keeping pace with the growing demand from consumers who want to sell us their vehicles means increasing our geographic reach,” AutoBuy chief executive officer Mark Maida said in a news release. “These two new locations not only help us meet that demand, but also give us two more ‘lanes’ from which to provide our fresh inventory to dealerships nationwide via simulcast. We are very pleased to be working with both ADESA and Manheim and plan to keep their lanes full and turning fast.”

The new AutoBuy in Sanford, Fla. is located at ADESA Orlando’s 30,000-square-foot facility. And the Orlando AutoBuy is located inside Manheim Central Florida.

“Our auction is all about having sellers with vehicles that bring more buyers to the sale. AutoBuy has an incredible range of inventory that has not been marketed online, so it’s fresh and ready to go,” said Jeff York, general manager of ADESA Orlando.

“Our experience with the AutoBuy team has been fantastic. They are excellent auctioneers — with about a 70 percent conversion on their inventory — and have the entire remarketing process completely dialed in. We are excited at the ways in which our relationship will expand both of our businesses.”

The used-car-buying company said it has served over 100,000 private car sellers and appraised over $1 billion in inventory since its inception.

“AutoBuy are fantastic partners who have cultivated an excellent buyer base that helped double their transaction volume at our West Palm Beach location over the past two years. The velocity at which they move their inventory is a key factor in their growth with a fresh and diverse mix of inventory offered every week,” added Manheim Central Florida auction manager Dana Lowenthal.

“Their astuteness at evaluating value and understanding the right repairs to optimize the opportunity to sell each unit is also remarkable and a tremendous boost to our reconditioning shops.”




Typical fall trends make their way into the lanes

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - 

With fall officially arriving, dealer behavior is changing accordingly based on the data and observations included in the latest Black Book Market Insights report.

Along with more perspective on hurricane-related buying, editors shared in this week’s rundown that truck segments performed much better than car segments. Three vehicle categories within the truck segments increased in value last week, including compact crossovers, compact vans and small pickups.

“Depreciation was steep on luxury cars and sporty cars while smaller cars, SUVs and pickup trucks held their values relatively well last week,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics.

Volume-weighted, Black Book indicated that overall car segment values decreased by 0.38 percent last week, close to the average weekly drop of 0.33 percent in values registered during the previous four weeks.

Editors noticed midsize, compact and sub-compact cars performed well, while prestige luxury car and premium sporty car segments declined the most.

Again volume-weighted, Black Book found that overall truck segment values (including pickups, SUVs and vans) softened by 0.17 percent last week, similar to the average weekly decrease of 0.14 percent in values spotted during the previous four weeks.

Editors mentioned the full-size luxury crossover/SUV and minivan segments dropped the most among truck segments by 0.43 percent and 0.46 percent, respectively.

Turning next to what Black Book’s representatives in the lanes reported back to headquarters, various auctions are involved in how dealers impacted by hurricanes are responding.

From Texas: “Consignment was off a little today, but the prices are holding steady.”

Another anecdote from the Lone Star State added: “The rental lanes are doing well with compact cars experiencing strong sales. The price point on those vehicles makes them popular as flood-replacement vehicles.”

And from Florida: “Buyers are being cautious and only purchasing vehicles as replacements for previous retail sales.”

Up North where the leaves are likely already turning to red and gold, dealers are bracing for when it turns cold and shopper behavior changes accordingly.

From Michigan: “Retail is just OK in the area. Two wheel drive SUVs and pickups have begun their seasonal dip in values.”

From Massachusetts: “The change in weather has prompted the usual shift in dealer buying. There is more caution and hesitation in the bidding process.”




KAR acquires remaining interest in TradeRev

CARMEL, Ind. - 

TradeRev now is completely part of the KAR Auction Services family of companies.

KAR announced on Tuesday morning that it has acquired the remaining interest in Nth Gen Software, better known as TradeRev, which is a mobile app and desktop solution that facilitates real-time dealer-to-dealer vehicle auctions.

KAR purchased a 50-percent stake in TradeRev in 2014 and acquired the remaining interest for $50 million in cash and an additional $75 million over the next four years contingent on certain terms and conditions including TradeRev performance.

Company officials highlighted that TradeRev brings mobile and digital technology to KAR’s portfolio of 250 whole car and salvage auctions, floorplan financing solutions and other ancillary and related services.

KAR explained that it will further integrate those capabilities into TradeRev to expand its digital business and strengthen its share in the dealer-to-dealer market representing more than 10 million annual transactions.

“The digital revolution in remarketing has begun, and the acquisition of TradeRev ensures that KAR will maintain its strong leadership position in the mobile app and online auction space,” KAR chairman and chief executive officer Jim Hallett said.

“As a former dealer, I believe TradeRev is the most powerful and innovative mobile app for dealers on the market,” Hallett continued. “By injecting TradeRev with the full force of KAR’s technology, data, financing and service offerings, we plan to accelerate growth across North America and around the globe.”

The acquisition also triggered a variety of executive personnel changes.

KAR indicated TradeRev will be led by Becca Polak, who for the last 10 years has served as KAR’s executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. As president of TradeRev, she will focus on diversifying TradeRev’s product and service offerings and expanding TradeRev’s market footprint.

The company added Polak will also be promoted to the position of chief legal officer and secretary for KAR where she will retain oversight responsibility for KAR’s enterprise legal and corporate communications functions.

“This is a transformative moment for dealers, as KAR and TradeRev combine to deliver a more convenient, efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional auction sales,” Polak said.

“The speed and ease of TradeRev’s mobile app is already fueling sales for thousands of dealers in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom,” she continued. “Over the next several months, we’ll continue expanding into new markets and begin leveraging KAR’s data analytical capabilities to enhance the TradeRev buying and selling experience.”

TradeRev was launched in 2009 by CEO and co-founder Mark Endras along with co-founders Wade Chia, Jae Pak and James Tani, all of whom will retain leadership roles at TradeRev.

Endras will remain a member of the TradeRev senior leadership team reporting to Polak and will focus on enhancing TradeRev’s in-app experience and product development pipeline.

Endras will also take on the role of chief innovation officer for KAR reporting to Tom Fisher, KAR’s chief information officer. In this capacity, Endras will focus on advancing KAR’s innovation agenda and establishing new KAR innovation lab centers in Toronto, Chicago and Carmel, Ind.

“KAR has an incredible entrepreneurial culture and a proven track record of fostering disruptive innovation across their businesses,” Endras said.

“By applying a start-up philosophy to KAR’s development pipeline, we’ll be able to deploy new solutions more quickly than ever before,” he went on to say. “I look forward to delivering the next generation of innovative remarketing technology, products and services to KAR’s global customer-base.”

TradeRev has approximately 200 employees across office locations in Toronto, Chicago and Carmel, Ind., and field staff located in markets across the U.S. and Canada.

TradeRev offers dealers what it contends is fast, convenient access to high quality trade-in and commercial consignment inventory before it reaches wholesale physical auctions. The TradeRev mobile app can mimic the physical auction setting, enabling dealers to launch and participate in live, one-hour auctions directly from their smartphone, tablet or desktop.

Winning TradeRev bidders can complete the entire transaction within the app, including optional inspection, title and arbitration services and financing and transportation through KAR’s AFC and CarsArrive brands.

“I am thrilled for KAR, TradeRev and all of our employees,” Polak said. “Today marks a significant milestone in the digitization of vehicle remarketing and the beginning of a bright new era of innovation for our company. I am honored and humbled to lead TradeRev and this incredible team into the future.”




From mobile sale to Manheim Wilmington: Building an auction

WILMINGTON, N.C.  - 

A mid-September morning in Wilmington, N.C., feels a lot like AuSM’s previous visit to the D&E Mitsubishi grounds back in January

Sunny skies, pleasantly warm.

Auto dealers milling about, bidding on and buying cars from the Manheim auto auction sale happening on the property.

Except this time around, instead of cars running through an outdoor, asphalt lane adjacent to a satellite-equipped trailer, the cars are passing through a two-lane, covered auction arena.

That morning of Sept. 15 was grand opening sale at Manheim Wilmington, the culmination of converting a mobile sale to a permanent auction site.

What had been a traditional mobile auction for a decade is now a two-lane permanent auction facility. 

The launch of Manheim Wilmington was part of a larger local and mobile growth strategy for Manheim, which announced six new physical auctions in July, including the Wilmington site. 

The new sites are smaller, one- to four-lane facilities. At that time, the company also said it would be expanding its mobile and digital services to new areas of the U.S.

In a September news release on the Wilmington location, Manheim said its local and mobile growth strategy is “designed to meet the needs of a variety of sellers—from independent dealers to franchise and commercial consignors, enabling them to do business when and where they need”.

Matt Laughridge, who is director of mobile auctions at Manheim, said in the same release: “Our expansion decisions are always driven by our clients. We have worked closely with our dealer clients throughout the region to identify opportunities to provide a marketplace that often delivers greater net value than traditional dealer-to-dealer sales.

“And with the Manheim Simulcast and OVE platforms, we can extend the buyer base and help our sellers achieve even greater success.”

‘That looks like an auction building’

In April 2016, Kevin Cook was the newly minted general manager of Manheim North Carolina and attending his first-ever mobile sale, which was taking place at this very location.

“And I’m standing there in front of our trailer, enjoying the scene, enjoying the experience, and I look to my right and I see this building.  It’s vacant. (I’m) like, ‘That looks like an auction building,” Cook said, referring to the building in which Manheim Wilmington is now housed.

Cook, who is general manager of both Manheim North Carolina and Manheim Wilmington, readily acknowledges he wasn’t the first person to think of that idea. It had been discussed over the years. But the idea planted the seed for a goal to make that conversion.

And discussions with D&E Mitsubishi then started and continued over the next six months to get more input on expansion of the sale.

In early 2017, they locked in an agreement, and then in the spring, Cook, Laughridge and Manheim North Carolina dealer services supervisor Justin Rogerson walked the facility and started brainstorming plans. They drew up a blueprint of sorts, utilized some capital from Manheim and D&E, and got to work.

The technology infrastructure was a big part of transition, and the auction worked with corporate headquarters in Atlanta on that project, Cook said. The team worked with local contractors on the design and construction of the new space during June and July.

Before remodeling, the arena looked like a “garage,” Cook said.

The team replaced the insulation and installed new doors on either side. They also added a barrier from the dealership, since D&E will still be using the showroom space, counters, fireproof safes and Simulcast screens and more.

“It was really starting a brand new auction from scratch,” Cook said.

He has had experience doing this before, dating back to his days working to getting Manheim Nashville launched in 2001.

 “This was as complicated to me as that was,” Cook said.

Down to everything from renovating bathrooms to ensuring security measures and taking care of the tech infrastructure.

“Those kind of things you forget,” Cook said. “It’s not just opening up a garage. You have to build an auction.”

Other facilities across US

There are 14 of these smaller Manheim facilities in the U.S., Laughridge said, including another N.C. location across the state in Charlotte.

“It’s an evolution that we have to go through,” Laughridge said, “They almost have to have a proving ground of the more traditional mobile auction and then grow to it. We don’t often (have a) ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy. We want to partner with a dealer or two or multiples and grow it organically.”

Some dealers find that a more boutique approach can be less intimidating than a massive auction facility and provides a more personalized service, he said.

If there are 350 vehicles, there will likely be 350 buyers at these types of sales. And 60 percent or more of those buyers will be online, Laughridge said, meaning the 25 staff/personnel will have less than 150 folks to work with on site.

“That gives us a really good ratio for being able to work hand-in-hand with the buyers,” Laughridge said.

Those buyers hail from all over the East Coast, Cook said. As far as the sellers, there’s a good mix here at Wilmington, as well. That includes eight to 10 larger franchised dealers, Triangle Auto Sales, independent dealers and wholesalers.

Typically, there’s an average of 25 sellers at this location, with cars averaging a $6,300 price point.

‘Work hand-in-hand with buyers’

One of the benefits to having a permanent place is the ability to secure the lot and allow sellers to bring cars on site Mondays and Tuesdays for the Friday sale instead of a “surge” of vehicle drop-offs Wednesday through Friday, Cook said.

And for the sellers, that also means the car can be checked in quicker and posted online three to four days earlier, as well.  Buyers can come check out the cars earlier, as well.

With the full-service office now on site, folks can drop off titles and receive payments on Monday, as well, instead of waiting until Friday or go through the mail, for example.

“And we invested in (Manheim Wilmington) having its own inventory management system here, which is a pretty extensive process,” Laughridge said.

So instead of it being under the inventory system of Manheim North Carolina (which had run the mobile sale), it has its own, letting the auction post cars on OVE, facilitate transactions and thus give customers more of “full-service offering,” Laughridge said.

Plus, it gives the auction its own identity, he added.

Cook said, “I think the word he used, ‘identity,’ is probably the biggest change.” 




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