BSC America’s new Bel Air auction hosts 1st sale

BEL AIR, Md. - 

BSC America hosted its first regular sale at its new Bel Air Auto Auction facility last month.

Several county and elected officials, including Harford County executive Barry Glassman joined the Nichols family for a formal ribbon cutting event just before the auction opened the doors for its first sale.

Following the sale, the Nichols Family also hosted a special customer preview and happy hour event for guests in celebration of Bel Air Auto Auction's 70-year history.

The new location includes a new 75,000 square foot, 10-lane auction facility and a 50,000 square-foot Vehicle Enhancement Center that includes a mechanical shop, body shop, recon center, paint booths and imaging center.

It is located in Riverside Business Park at 4805 Philadelphia Road, Belcamp, Md. 


AuctionVcommerce releases new 'basic' online clerk training simulator version


AuctionVcommerce announced Friday it has introduced a new basic version of its Online ClerkTraining Simulator released in 2015.

In recent years, auctions using the original program have requested a modified solution with minimal investment, according to the company.

“My original vision included the idea that auctions would validate the certification with a new pay structure that would ultimately serve to increase clerk retention, and improve morale. However, it seems that we still have an issue with perception,” AuctionVcommerce president and co-founder Kelly Bianchi said. 

“When you are selling the future, your collateral is simply your belief. I have come to realize that I need to meet the auto auction industry halfway,” she explained.

The new Online Clerk Basics training aims to elevate perspective clerks to a skill level more comparable to a digital version of the auctioneer, according to AuctionVcommerce.

The program includes a guided tutorial, and only requires that participants complete the first level of the full certification training.

Training covers all of the fundamentals for performance, along with additional features that are designed to teach perspective clerks how to effectively incite participation.

“Millennials will not be nostalgic about the way things used to be,” Bianchi added. “We have to re-invent the traditional auction. The industry has not defined standards, or expectations when it comes to online execution. First, and foremost, we need stability.”

Additionally, the new program is also cheaper for auctions. It is roughly half the price of the original version, according to AuctionVcommerce.

Online Clerk Basics is now available on the AuctionVcommerce website.

New RMS, Manheim co-listing tool gives dealers access to open-sale Nissan, Infiniti vehicles


Announced Monday, RMS Automotive and Manheim has given independent U.S. dealers a new co-listing capability that provides access to all open sale vehicles listed on RPM, the Nissan and Infiniti digital sales platform powered by RMS Automotive.

The open sale inventory on RPM will be simultaneously listed on and OVE, Monday through Friday, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. (EDT).

With the new offering, both the exposure of the manufacturers’ inventory to Manheim’s digital buying audience is increased, and independent dealers have access to a larger selection of high-quality used vehicles.

Dealers can choose from inventory located nationwide across the Nissan and Infiniti dealer network, and can conveniently move the inventory with transportation options provided by Ready Logistics.

“Obtaining vehicles as cost- and time-efficiently as possible is the name of the game for dealers in today’s competitive used-car market,” Nick Peluso, president of Manheim Digital Marketplace and RMS Automotive said in a news release.

“By offering open sale listings to the largest base of online buyers on and OVE, we can offer dealers early access to thousands of sought-after, pre-auction Nissan and Infiniti vehicles,” he explained.

With this solution, open sale inventory found on the Nissan and Infiniti RPM platform is now included in dealers’ and OVE search results.

Using single sign-on authentication, Manheim and RMS Automotive directs dealers to Nissan and Infiniti’s private label website where they can evaluate, bid, buy and make offers.

“In addition to enabling buyers to access an unprecedented selection of inventory, this digital solution helps manufacturers’ like Nissan and Infiniti drive transaction speed and efficiency by offering the right vehicles to the right dealers at the right time,” Peluso added.

RMS Automotive said Nissan and Infiniti have conducted closed franchise sales and grounding returns on the RPM technology platform with the company since May of last year.

Manheim prepares to gift 5th car to Calif. auto shop students


Manheim California recently announced that it has planned another trip to Valley High School in Santa Ana, Calif. for the third year of its “Flip this Car” project, which shows auto shop students how to recondition cars and auction them off to expand their understanding of career options in the automotive industry.

The program provides students with both the opportunity to learn real-world skills and raise money to support their auto shop programs.

Manheim California developed the program with High School, Inc., a non-profit organization established to help prepare students for the 21st century workforce.

“When you can connect the best of what your organization has to offer with a need in the community, that’s where magic happens,” Manheim California general manager Tom Wemhoff said in a news release. “We’re thrilled to be continuing our partnership with High School, Inc. and working closely with our dealer partners to continue inspiring the next generation of the automotive workforce.”

Manheim California connects with its dealer partners to secure vehicles for the auto shop students and donates the total sale price back to the school once the vehicle is bought at auction.

All proceeds have gone to support Valley High School’s auto shop program for student’s new tools and resources.

Additionally, students can watch the sale from their classroom via Simulcast.

“From the first time I saw the hopefulness and pride in the students’ faces as their first vehicle crossed the auction block, I knew we had something special,” said Wayne Hefft, Manheim’s client solutions executive who has led the partnership for the last two years. “We’re proud of the success these students have achieved and look forward to continuing this great program.”

Manheim California has completed the "Flip This Car" project with four cars, earning a total of $14,000 in two years.

Hefft is currently working with Valley High School and dealer partners to secure the project’s next vehicle, according to Manheim California.

“Our goal at High School, Inc. is to set students up for success in the workforce by enabling them to build the skills and knowledge they need,” added program Director, Shaylin Johnson. “The unique partnership we have built with the Manheim team is exemplary of how local businesses can get involved and help drive students toward brighter futures.”

Units from as far as California and Wisconsin heading for Texas


While the September used-vehicle sales projection might not show it, dealers are certainly bracing for additional sales stemming from hurricane-damaged vehicles that need to be replaced.

And it’s reflecting in how prices are moving, according to the latest this week’s Black Book Market Insights report. Editors found that prices for both compact cars and crossovers were strong as dealers, especially in Texas, search from long distances for inventory that hasn’t been touched by floodwaters.

“Nearly all segments besides luxury vehicles and sporty cars performed well last week as buyers from Texas bid up prices to acquire replacement vehicles,” said Anil Goyal, Black Boo’s senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics, who also is one of the many experts on the docket for , which begins on Nov. 13 in Palm Springs, Calif.

Based on volume-weighted data, Black Book determined overall car segment values decreased by 0.19 percent last week, much better than the average weekly decrease of 0.42 percent in values spotted during the previous four weeks.

Editors said, “Compact cars performed the best while sub-compact, midsize, and full-size car values were strong as well with no depreciation last week.”

Again looking at volume-weighted information, Black Book found that the overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs, and vans — decreased by 0.10 percent last week; an improvement compared to the average weekly decrease of 0.19 percent in values noticed during the previous four weeks.

Subcompact crossover and compact crossover/SUV segments increased the most among truck segments by 0.46 percent and 0.39 percent, respectively.

Turning next to what Black Book’s representatives noticed in the lanes, observers watched Lone Star State dealers hunt for vehicles. Apparently Texas dealers are looking to auctions in Georgia to find what they need.

“It was a mixed bag at the auction this week. It seemed like there was no in-between as the reps were either selling everything or selling very few. The lanes that were selling were heavily influenced by the Texas online buyers,” said Black Book’s lane watcher stationed in Georgia.

Black Book’s representative stationed in Texas added, “The sales percentages and prices are high as you would expect after Hurricane Harvey. Dealers say that they will have to be diligent in their inspections for the next few months as damaged or damage repaired vehicles will be available.”

Even on the West Coast, hurricane impact can be seen as Black Book’s observer in California mentioned, “Several dealers stated that they are buying vehicles that will be loaded up and transported east to Texas.”

It’s also happening in the Midwest since Black Book learned from Wisconsin, “While local buying is not great, the internet sales are doing quite well due to the replacement vehicles being purchased for Texas.”

Also out of the nation’s midsection, Black Book’s other anecdote from Illinois mentioned, “There was strong bidding here, and the prices continue to hold their own. All in all a pretty good fall market.”

Behind the numbers: 10 charges seen most often at auction


After a 30-day window of studying auction sales and their associated auction charges earlier this year — a period that included more than 347,000 vehicles sold by clients — AutoIMS was able to determine the 10 most common charges spotted in the auction marketplace.

And while some, like sale fees, transportation and detailing, were reported quite often, the use of many were relatively infrequent.

“Most vehicle remarketers are responsible for minimizing losses for their organizations, and with an average total charge amount of $385 per vehicle, the most successful clients have found ways to keep auction fee management simple and easily reportable,” AutoIMS said in a  that was released this month.

“Auctions benefit by spending less time on reconciliations, and more time on higher-value activities, to serve clients,” it continued.

According to the whitepaper, the top 10 most common auction charges are the following (along with percent of vehicles bearing those charges).

Sale fee: 84 percent
Transportation: 62 percent
Detail: 43 percent
Appearance/reconditioning: 27 percent
Promotional expenses: 20 percent
Material handling: 15 percent
Live Internet sale: 13 percent
Mechanical work: 12 percent
Miscellaneous: 11 percent
Recon: Keys: 9 percent

AutoIMS pointed out that there are 87 different auction charges in its platform, but most are used sparingly. In fact, only five charges had a usage rate higher than 20 percent.

“While the platform allows for 87 different auction charge types, most clients strive to limit the number in use to simplify the accounting process,” AutoIMS said.

The company later added: “AutoIMS was designed to add transparency and efficiency while offering the flexibility to serve many different indus­try segments, yet auction charges might be an area with too much flexibility.

“Luckily, savvy consignors and auctions have worked with the AutoIMS Client Experience Team to establish guidelines and customizations to enhance their ability to manage charges and other financial reconciliation steps.”

Behind the numbers

Granted, some of the low usage rates for some services/charges — appearance/reconditioning at 27 percent, live Internet sales at 13 percent and mechanical work at 12 percent — might seem surprising.

But there’s more than meets the eye. And the  addresses that. 

Asked what is driving those seemingly low numbers, AutoIMS vice president Joe Miller said there’s a “broad array of Inventory” involved, including many salvage units, so it is possible it’s just low numbers being requested for these services, he said.

“The other thing to think about is just the nature of the data — and large part of what the paper itself addresses — which is the charges might not all mean what they say. Certain reconditioning might just always be assumed and bundled in to the sale fee or detail categories, for instance,” Miller said in an email.

“The ‘live internet sale’ fee, while very common, may not be assessed on every car that sells to an internet bidder depending on the deal each client has struck with each auction,” he said. “These charges are heavily relied upon by the clients to reconcile sales, but at the end of the day, they are used in a very inconsistent and fragmented way.

“It’s one of the reasons I felt comfortable showing this graphic; it’s more a commentary on ‘how’ clients are being charged rather than ‘what,’” Miller said, referring to a graphic in the report detailing the top 10 charges. 

Meanwhile, the transportation charge was one of the higher ones at 62 percent.

“The majority of commercial consignment are ‘pick-up’ orders, where the auctions retrieve the vehicle (as opposed to ‘drop-offs’),” Miller explained. “So it makes sense that it is a common charge, even though the auctions often subsidize this expense.”

After delving into data from two years ago, this figure is also consistent with 2015, Miller said.

Want to show off your auction photos in our NAAA issue?

CARY, N.C. - 

The  — which is held in partnership with the National Remarketing Conference at — is just around the corner.

And Auto Remarketing is celebrating the annual event and the auction industry with our .

One of the special sections in that magazine (our Nov. 1 edition) is the annual “Auction Life” photo spread, where we invite NAAA-member auctions to submit photos of daily auction life from the past year.

If you and your auction(s) would like to participate, please have photo submissions emailed to AuSM staff writer Chris Hart-Williams at [email protected] no later than 5 p.m. (EST) on Oct. 2. 

If you are sending large or multiple pictures, a zip file or a photo-sharing site might work better. An additional option is to upload them to our . Either way you send them, we need to receive them by 5 p.m. (ET) Oct. 2. 

These photos can run the gamut: We want to see everything from the daily business operations and sales days to the life and fun that occurs at your auction (for example: cookouts, special events, holiday parties, team-building activities, etc.)

They will need to be in high-resolution, JPG format.

Please send captions, if they are available, as well. And while we strongly encourage these photo submissions, we won’t be able to print every photo. However, as a bonus, we will also be running some photos in our digital version of the magazine as an Online Extra.

If you need ideas on what kind of photos to send, last year’s photo spreads can be found here:

Thank you, and see you in California for the convention!

Late-model auction volume approaches 2 million

CARY, N.C.  - 

Year-to-date auction volume on late-model vehicles wrapped up August just a shade under 2 million units, with nearly a 22-percent sequential hike for last month alone.

According to the latest Guidelines report from J.D. Power Valuation Services, the late-model auction volume tally of 1.94 million units through August is up 6.67 percent from a year ago.

The 257,831 units of late-model auction volume last month was a 21.8-percent hike over July.

In the report, J.D. Power breaks down some of the year-to-date gains, where trucks and SUVs have led the pack. That includes the luxury compact utility segment (up 55.3 percent) and midsize pickups (up 42.7 percent).

Luxury midsize cars, meanwhile, are off 19.6 percent. There has been a 14.2-percent dip for large cars.

“In terms of volume share, used cars continue to dominate at 54 percent of the market, while truck share lags behind at 46 percent, which is a reversal of what’s occurring on the new-vehicle side of the market,” J.D. Power’s report said.

Of course, the hurricanes in recent weeks have impacted the market in September, driving down supply and bumping demand, according to an analysis from Cox Automotive.

In a note to update used-car trends mid-month, Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke said: “As we pass mid-September, early indicators are the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index (UVVI) will reach a fifth straight record high. Prices are on track to be up nearly 3 percent over August and 6 percent compared to September 2016. 

“These are significant increases.  If the pattern holds for the rest of September, we will be seeing the strongest annual price gains since 2010, when the economic recovery was beginning and used car supply was severely limited,” he said.

“All seven light-vehicle segments are seeing price gains month-to-month and year-over-year.  Even lowly midsize sedans, which have been seeing price declines for 10-straight months, are seeing gains this month.”


Evidence builds that hurricanes are pushing September prices higher

ATLANTA and McLEAN, Va. - 

Like KAR Auction Services noticed as well, both Cox Automotive and J.D. Power Valuation Services are watching closely how Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are impacting used-vehicle prices in September. And evidence is prompting analysts to modify their expectations for where the price readings might be by the end of the month.

According to a note shared with AuSM, Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke is already seeing early indicators that would push the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to a fifth straight record high. Smoke noted that prices are on pace to be 3 percent higher on a sequential basis and 6 percent above the year-ago reading.

“These are significant increases,” Smoke said. “If the pattern holds for the rest of September, we will be seeing the strongest annual price gains since 2010, when the economic recovery was beginning, and used car supply was severely limited.

 “All seven light-vehicle segments are seeing price gains month-to-month and year-over-year.  Even lowly midsize sedans, which have been seeing price declines for 10-straight months, are seeing gains this month,” he added.

Meanwhile, the team at J.D. Power Valuation Services highlighted in the September issue of Guidelines that wholesale prices of vehicles up to 8 years in age are expected to decline by approximately 1.8 percent this month; much less than the 3.4 percent drop analysts recorded in September of last year.

Before the storms ripped through Texas and Florida, J.D. Power Valuation Services indicated that its September expectations included a 2.8-percent price dip with projected demand prompting analysts to make an adjustment.

“The impact of recent hurricane activity has affected the market for new and used vehicles in the United States,” analysts said in the report. “We have updated our September 2017 values to better reflect current market conditions.”

“While estimates of the number of vehicles damaged by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have a large range, it is clear the reduction in vehicle supply and the accompanying demand for replacements is significantly large. As a result the used-vehicle market will be affected,” they continued.

Analysts added that they are “monitoring this situation closely. Based on previous corollary events, we are implementing adjustments to our forecasts for values in September and October and potentially further into the future.”

As far as September goes, J.D. Power Valuation Services still thinks car losses are expected to outpace softening of prices of trucks and SUVs.

“Midsize and large pickups continue to perform very well and are forecast to outperform the industry average,” the report noted. “Losses for all premium segments are forecast to fall by slightly more than the industry average for the month.”

And as the industry moves deeper into fall with the ramifications of Harvey and Irma in play, J.D. Power Valuation Services reflected back on Superstorm Sandy (October 2012) and Hurricane Katrina (August 2005), noting how each storm trigged moderate and brief increases in used-vehicle values that “are not readily explained by coincidental economic factors.”

Analysts went on to say in the report, “The historical corollaries suggest the impact will dissipate after three to four months. Additional updates will be provided regarding adjustments in the future based on all available information and analysis.”

August price analysis

In the same installment of Guidelines, J.D. Power Valuation Services reported that wholesale prices of vehicles up to 8 years in age softened by 1.2 percent in August. Looking back over the past five years, price declines averaged 2.2 percent during August.

As a result of the latest movement, J.D. Power Valuation Services’ Seasonally Adjusted Used Vehicle Price Index rose by 1.1 percent to 111.5; the largest index climb since May of last year.

Looking at segments, large cars led the price declines, softening by 2.6 percent and falling in line with the average decrease of 2.4 percent analysts spotted during the past five years.

Midsize van values dipped by 2.1 percent in August with decreases for compact and midsize utilities both coming in at 1.3 percent.

On the premium side of the market, the report mentioned losses for luxury large utilities (down 2.3 percent) and luxury midsize cars (down 2.2 percent) led the way. However, analysts spotted a 0.4 percent uptick for luxury large cars, the first positive August movement for this segment since 1998.

Harvey needed only days to influence August prices

CARMEL, Ind. - 

Hurricane Harvey landed in Texas with a week left in August, and its flooding left an immediate impact on wholesale price movements for the month, according to KAR Auction Services chief economist Tom Kontos.

According to ADESA Analytical Services’ monthly analysis of wholesale used-vehicle prices by vehicle model class released on Wednesday, wholesale used-vehicle prices in August averaged $10,947. The reading represented 0.6 percent uptick compared to July and a 1.9 percent rise relative to August of last year.

“Average wholesale prices in August were once again up largely on the strength of truck prices, although another factor could be early impacts from Hurricane Harvey, which appeared to drive prices up at the end of the month, particularly in Texas,” Kontos said in his latest Kontos Kommentary.

“Luxury cars had a stand-out month, with significant average price increases on both a monthly and annual basis,” added Kontos, who is set to appear again during the National Remarketing Conference at , which begins on Nov. 13 in Palm Springs, Calif.

Kontos also continued his analysis of fleet and off-lease midsize cars and midsize CUVs/SUVs; units likely to have between 36,000 and 45,000 on the odometer. He found that price softening was less evident in August than in previous months when holding constant for sale type, model-year age, mileage, and model class segment. 

In fact, midsize car prices were up on a year-basis as they rose by $113 to $11,667.

“Last month, we noted that midsize SUV/CUV prices were reversing their previous trend and softening more than midsize car prices, and this month the two bellwether segments moved in opposite directions.  This pattern may change in the aftermath of Harvey, as truck demand in Texas should ramp up,” Kontos said. He also elaborated about this point in a as well as at the top of this page.

Kontos closed his analysis by mentioning average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers climbed 4.6 percent month-over-month and up 6.5 percent year-over-year.

Prices for fleet/lease consignors were up 1.4 percent sequentially and up 2.3 percent annually.

He also mentioned average prices for dealer consignors softened by 1.2 percent versus July and jumped by 3.0 percent relative to August of last year.

ADESA Wholesale Used-Vehicle Price Trends
   Average  Price  ($/Unit)  Latest  Month Versus
   August 2017  July 2017  August 2016  Prior Month  Prior Year
 Total All Vehicles  $10,947  $10,887  $10,738  0.6%  1.9%
 Total Cars  $8,732  $8,613  $8,675  1.4%  0.7%
 Compact Car  $6,624  $6,582  $6,597  0.6%  0.4%
 Midsize Car  $7,639  $7,633  $7,748  0.1%  -1.4%
 Full-size Car  $7,063  $7,018  $7,651  0.6%  -7.7%
 Luxury Car  $14,003  $13,582  $13,356  3.1%  4.8%
 Sporty Car  $13,903  $14,164  $13,605  -1.8%  2.2%
 Total Trucks  $13,036  $13,058  $12,751  -0.2%  2.2%
 Minivan  $8,777  $8,064  $8,183  2.0%  7.3%
 Full-size Van  $12,317  $11,875  $13,350  3.7%  -7.7%
 Compact SUV/CUV  $10,468  $10,467  $10,673  0.0%  -1.9%
 Midsize SUV/CUV  $11,407  $11,402  $11,448  0.0%  -0.4%
 Full-size SUV/CUV  $13,353  $13,353  $13,292  0.0%  0.5%
 Luxury SUV/CUV  $18,947  $19,099  $18,610  -0.8%  1.8%
 Compact Pickup  $9,599  $9,615  $8,485  -0.2%  13.1%
 Full-size Pickup  $16,989  $17,061  $16,141  -0.4%  5.3%

Source: ADESA Analytical Services. July data revised

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