Enterprise awards 14 auction partners for exceptional performance


Enterprise Holdings, owner of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, announced Thursday that it has honored 14 automotive auction partners with its 2017 Auction Achievement Award.

The annual program awards several auto auction partners for exceptional service, in two categories: whole-car auctions and damaged-vehicle auctions.

Recipients are recognized for their strong performance in areas such as communication, customer service, marketing and reconditioning, operational success and strategic planning, Enterprise said. 

“The Auction Achievement Award winners play an important role in our efforts to showcase vehicles in cities and regions across the country,” Enterprise Holdings vice president of vehicle remarketing Nate Lattimer said in a news release. “We created this award as a way to say thanks for the accomplishments of these valuable business partners.”

The 2017 Auction Achievement Award winners in the whole-car category include:

  • ADESA Los Angeles
  • Manheim Central California
  • Manheim Cincinnati
  • Manheim Dallas
  • Manheim Fredericksburg
  • Manheim Omaha
  • Manheim San Diego

The 2017 Auction Achievement Award winners in the damaged-vehicle category include:

  • Dealers Auto Auction of the Rockies
  • IAA Atlanta
  • Manheim Dallas TRA
  • Manheim NJ TRA
  • Manheim Southern California TRA
  • Manheim Tampa TRA
  • Metro Salvage Pool

Regional Enterprise Holdings teams will present their respective auction partner honorees with their awards, according to the company.

“Our Enterprise teams have terrific, long-term relationships with local auction operators so they are in the best position to nominate the best of the best for our Auction Achievement Awards,” added Lattimer. “Our auction partners are essential to our success and we're excited to recognize them for their commitment to quality and exceptional customer service.”

New ServNet president, board for next two years

FRANKLIN, Tenn.  - 

The ServNet auction group has a new president for the next two years: Eric Autenrieth, who is general manager of Carolina Auto Auction and owner of Indiana Auto Auction.

This is part of a planned leadership transition and was confirmed by the owners of the group’s member auctions during their semi-annual business meeting last month.

He has previously been ServNet’s vice president and treasurer.

“It is both a privilege and an honor serve as ServNet’s president,” Autenrieth said in a news release. “ServNet has become an important voice in the independent auction community and in the industry as a whole, and it is my pleasure to represent the ServNet auction owners as we set the agenda for the group for the years ahead.” 

His mother, Patty Stanley, was ServNet president from 2014 through 2015, and was chair of its board in 2016 and 2017; meanwhile, father Henry Stanley was the 1999-2000 president of the National Auto Auction Association. Each one is a member of NAAA’s Hall of Fame.

“My parents set a tremendous example not only in their devotion to their own business, but in their service to the auto auction industry,” Autenrieth said. “Their shoes are huge, and I can only imagine trying to fill them, but am grateful for all that I have learned from them over the years.

“It has been a blessing to be part of such a strong and dynamic family business in an industry that has been so good to so many, and I welcome the opportunity to do what I can to contribute to its growth.”

As for the remainder of the ServNet board, Kevin Brown of Missouri Auto Auction — who had been president the past two years — will be chairman.

New board members will include: Bruce Beam of Dealers Auto Auction of Oklahoma City, who will be vice president; and John Poteet of Louisiana’s 1st Choice Auto Auction, who will be secretary/treasurer.

Beth Barber of State Line Auto Auction, Steve DeLuca of Auto Auction of New England and Ashley Dietze of San Antonio Auto Auction will continue on the board. They are directors.


Manheim broadens OVE to give dealers digital sale hosting capability


For dealers who have units that just won’t turn, Manheim rolled out another solution on Thursday to solve that problem.

To offer dealers more ways to meet their buying and selling needs on their terms, Manheim launched a new OVE “Dealer Direct Event” sales channel.  With this offering, dealers can host digital event sales using inventory on their lots, without transporting it to a physical auction location.

 “This is one of many ways we are helping dealers prepare for the emerging digital future,” said Derek Hansen, vice president of digital at Manheim, in a news release. “We are bringing more options to dealers than ever before — especially outside our own locations — to give them the flexibility and control they need to more efficiently buy and sell vehicles.”

Collectively, Manheim’s offsite solutions, which include Digital Assurance, Dealer Direct Event Sales and Mobile Auctions, have grown 50 percent in volume year-over-year, according to a company news release. Manheim said that significant growth reflects rising demand for — and usage of — these useful tools by dealers.

This year, the company highlighted, these solutions will drive more than 100,000 transactions with more than 20,000 dealers participating.

 The Digital Assurance solution offers unique value for dealers who have a smaller quantity of high-quality wholesale units on their lots. With this solution, qualified vehicles can be listed on OVE with a complimentary DealShield 21-day purchase advantage guarantee provided to the buyer, which gives buyers greater confidence in making the purchase online.

 Manheim’s Mobile Auctions — where the auction comes to the consignor — are designed for those who have a minimum of 100 units to sell, but are farther from a physical auction location. With Manheim’s growing fleet of mobile units, company officials emphasized the versatility of these sales has proven to be a convenient and efficient option for independent and franchise dealers, as well as commercial consignors. 

“Mobile Auctions generate the highest sales rates among all Manheim channels — nearly 70 percent — and dealers tell us that they enjoy more profits from these sales,” added Alan Lang, division vice president at Manheim.

Manheim Index stretches record-setting streak to 6


Make it six months in a row that the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index has set a new record high.

Cox Automotive reported this week that wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 1.02 percent month-over-month in October. This rise pushed the index reading to 136.3, which was a record high for the sixth consecutive month and an 8.1-percent increase from a year ago.

On a year-over-year basis, all major market segments again saw gains, including midsize cars. SUVs/CUVs, pickups and vans, which outperformed the overall market with increases of 8.8 percent, 11.7 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively.

“Though wholesale market values continue to show strength as a result of growing retail demand, most of this price strength can be attributed to the recovery following Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma,” Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke said in commentary that accompanied the index update.

“Replacement demand combined with a reduction in available supply has caused wholesale inventories to tighten,” Smoke continued. “The impact to the wholesale market was widespread, resulting in abnormal wholesale price gains for another month.”

The last time the index generated an upward march this long came at the end of 2011 into the first part of 2012. That’s when the reading went from 122.8 in October 2011 up to 126.2 in March 2012.

As they were then, used vehicles now are rolling over the curb at a good clip.

According to Cox Automotive estimates, used-vehicle sales improved by 3 percent year-over-year in October. The October used SAAR decreased to 39.7 million units from September’s 41 million.

Smoke  indicated the retail growth in used sales is coming from vehicles less than 4 years old, which have grown 14 percent year-over-year, year-to-date. 

Vehicles less than 4 years old represent the largest age segment of vehicles in the used-car market,” he said.

And one other note on the wholesale market, Cox Automotive reported that rental risk pricing improved in October, as well.

The average price for rental risk units sold at auction in October was up 4 percent year-over-year. Rental risk prices were down 3 percent compared to September.

Cox Automotive added that average mileage for rental risk units in October at 42,500 miles was 1 percent above a year ago.

Smoke wrapped up his analysis by noting the U.S. economy “continues to chug along.”

Smoke relayed that the first estimate of real GDP growth in the third quarter came in at 3.0 percent, beating expectations of 2.6 percent growth.

“Two consecutive quarters of 3 percent or greater growth is a positive improvement, as we have not seen two such strong quarters in a row since mid-2014,” Smoke said. “After declining in September, consumer sentiment rebounded in October, with the final reading from the University of Michigan coming in at 100.7, its highest level since the start of 2004.

“Households are feeling more upbeat about the outlook for the U.S. economy, which is a solid leading indicator of consumer spending and the rest of the economy in the fourth quarter,” he went on to say.

New NAAA chief wants auction jobs to become industry careers

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.  - 

Warren Clauss knows first-hand that auction industry jobs can lead to dynamic careers.

The former certified public accountant snagged the controller job at the Auto Dealers Exchange Buffalo, in Akron, N.Y. — then owned by ADESA founder Mike Hockett, who went on to found Auction Broadcasting Co. — when the site opened in 1992.

Two years later Clauss became its assistant manager and two years after that, he was named its general manager. The site was renamed ADESA Buffalo when ADESA changed ownership in the mid-1990s.

ADESA is currently owned by KAR Auction Services Inc. Through it all, Clauss remains its general manager.

His already impressive resume gets even longer when he takes over as president of the National Auto Auction Association at its annual conference in Palm Springs, Calif.

The NAAA Convention is held in partnership with the as part of AuSM’s .

Among his goals for the coming year is to brainstorm with other auction leaders about ways to attract career-minded employees to the industry and keep them in the fold.

“We’ve all struggled with hiring and recruiting,” said Clauss.

He takes over the presidency from Jerry Hinton, who will become NAAA chairman. Hinton is general manager of ADESA Portland, in Portland, Ore.

“I’d like to collaborate with industry leaders whether they’re with ADESA, Manheim, independents, to see if we can do anything different or better from a recruiting perspective,” Clauss said. “Kids coming out of school may or may not realize there are some career opportunities in the NAAA industry. There are hundreds of job opportunities collectively throughout the country.”

Among those opportunities are management positions in auction body shops and in finance and transportation departments, he said. There are also positions in sales and labor jobs such as service technicians.

How to promote the array of jobs available at auctions is still in the planning stages and could involve recruiting at trade schools, community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, Clauss said.

Scholarships might help

NAAA’s Warren Young Sr. Scholastic Foundation, which awards scholarships totaling $52,000 annually in a dozen merit scholarships might be helpful, he said.

“It could be that with these scholarships, when we honor students, we stay in touch with them,” Clauss said. “We need to do a better job advertising who we are, what we do and what we have available.”

Still, this is a good time to be in the auction business. A widely anticipated and significant industrywide increase in off-lease volume means more vehicles being sold at NAAA member auctions and more opportunities to sell ancillary services, Clauss said.

But conversely, with those greater opportunities come greater challenges. This is especially true when it comes to meeting customers’ expectations when providing services such as inspecting, cleaning and performing mechanical and body work on vehicles, he said.

“Throughput becomes a concern,” Clauss said. “But we all have these processes and procedures and we’re able to handle (those tasks) with a turnkey approach. Most of us have the facilities and the workforce to make it happen as the volume is increasing.”

Like the three previous NAAA presidents, Clauss will continue to emphasize auction safety during his presidency. The push for greater safety awareness in auctions includes online training in a wide variety of topics such as distracted walking, falls and driving safety.

Add OSHA training

Clauss would like to add Occupational Safety and Health Administration classes to the curriculum for some employees.

The 10-hour class would be targeted to auction supervisors and managers of people and are designed to ensure that workers are knowledgeable about workplace safety and health hazards.

“It would be up to each individual auction to determine whether and who should take (the class) and how frequently,” Clauss said.

In his spare time during the summer, Clauss can be found on the golf course a couple of times a week — he has a 12 handicap — with a few golfing buddies.

But from about August through March, find him on the ice officiating USA Hockey games for high-school age and younger children. Clauss played hockey while in high school and college and coached his sons, Hans and Theodore, who also grew up playing hockey.

“When my kids were in grade school — which is when I (officiated ice hockey) back in the day — I asked them if they would be interested in becoming an on-ice hockey official. I told them I did it I when I was their age under the encouragement of my mom. I said ‘if you get your credentials, I’ll get my credentials again’. It was nice officiating with them, father and sons.” Clauss’ sons are grown and no longer involved in hockey.

He also has a daughter, Grace, and has been married to wife, Molly, for 29 years.

Dealers back off inventory build, triggering price reaction


Whether it’s just a momentary slowdown or the sign of a longer-term dealer trend, Black Book watched vehicle depreciation slightly intensify as store managers opted not to load up on potential inventory coming through the auction.

The latest Black Book Market Insights report shows both car and truck segments decreasing more in value than usual. Although car segments saw an overall larger depreciation, editors noticed two truck segments saw larger price declines as a percentage than any of the car segments.

“Depreciation rates increased on both car and truck segments as buyers become hesitant to load up on inventory,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics at Black Book.

Black Book’s representatives in the lanes back up Goyal’s assertion beginning with what the lane watcher in Florida reported back to headquarters.

“More no sales than the past few weeks as buyers don’t seem to be speculating at all,” said the representative in the Sunshine State.

Next door in Georgia, a similar story unfolded as Black Book’s watcher said, “A large quantity buyer says that he will wait until the sellers lower their floor prices, which he believes is just around the corner.”

Out West, the sentiment continued with dealers not ready to gamble in Nevada.

“The market remains good but dealers are cautious about over supplying their retail lots in the event of a downward market pivot,” Black Book’s representative said.

And in Arizona, the lane recap was, “More hesitation in the bidding process this week, which produced a noticeable amount of no sales.”

The impact of those dealer decisions meant that based on volume-weighted data, overall car segment values declined by 0.60 percent last week. In comparison, the market values had decreased on average by 0.41 percent per week in the previous four weeks.

Among cars, editors determined the full-size car and sporty car segments performed the worst, decreasing by 0.94 percent and 0.82 percent, respectively.

Again looking at volume-weighted data, Black Book reported that overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans softened by 0.40 percent last week, worse than the average decrease of 0.25 percent per week recorded during in the previous four weeks.

Among trucks, editors noticed the sub-compact crossover and compact van segments performed the worst last week, dipping by 1.03 percent and 1.13 percent, respectively.

Specialty market update

As the editors do on a monthly basis, Black Book also offered its latest assessment of the specialty segments of the wholesale market. Here is the rundown:

— Collectibles: Editors indicated most segments of the collectible car hobby have done well at the various auctions held so far this fall.

— Recreational vehicles: Black Book reported values of both motorized and towable units sold at wholesale auctions increased once again this past month, “which, as we said last time, is unusual for this time of year,” according to the editors.

— Powersports: Black Book said November finds the powersports market in a leveling off period. “Changes in value this month are more subdued than we have seen recently,” editors added.

— Heavy-duty: Black Book calculated a good supply of units in several segments helped to maintain steady depreciation in October. Editors noted that construction/vocational group values have dropped the most since August, but still bring strong numbers.

— Medium-duty: Black Book acknowledged the wholesale market continues its downward trend. However, some late-model unit prices have stabilized,” editors said.

Podcast: Grace Huang & Nick Peluso of Cox Automotive

CARY, N.C. - 

The same week she was named president of Cox Automotive Inventory Solutions, Grace Huang joined the AuSM Podcast, along with Cox Automotive's Nick Peluso.

In this late-September interview, they join Joe to talk auction strategy at Manheim, RMS Automotive, autonomous vehicles, digital strategies and more.

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!


ACV Auctions CEO aims to change wholesale via tech

CARY, N.C. - 

Entrepreneur George Chamoun is driven by his desire to change the wholesale industry via technology as head of ACV Auctions.

After graduating from the University at Buffalo in 1997, the North Syracuse, N.Y., native would go on to launch technology and services company Synacor with his college roommate Darren Ascone, a year later.

Chamoun, an early angel investor in ACV, spent two decades leading Synacor as president of sales and marketing prior to joining ACV.

ACV Auctions’ recent procurement of $15 million in venture funding in a Series B investment from a Silicon Valley-based firm is is the largest the company has received since it began operations in 2014.

That $15 million in venture funding, which occurred not long after Chamoun became CEO,  was led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

In September 2016, the company had announced that it both brought aboard Chamoun and raised $5 million in venture funding, led by Tribeca Venture Partners, with participation from SoftBank Capital NY, Armory Square Ventures and Rand Capital.

“It’s my job to lead the company to be a very success oriented company,” Chamoun said in an interview with AuSM. “We’re growing the business in a very, very exponential way — growing in hitting all of our goals and objectives that we’ve set for ourselves. We’re out there growing four new markets a month. We’re going strong from Buffalo all the way down to just now entering in Florida.”

“It’s helpful that I spent 20 years building a technology company where we utilized technology to change the way businesses and consumers operate. It started out with email many years ago. We were a company that operates email services, and back then that was a new service 20 years ago,” Chamoun explained.

When asked about the similarities between his prior and current role Chamoun said his commitment to growth as a leader remains the same.

“The commonality is that you’re hiring great people to build great technology, to service very important customers and changing the way the industry works and in a way adding value via technology and people, to help an industry grow and become better.”

ACV has continued to add markets this year and has plans to do even more expansion. 

“We’re very core mission-driven, everything we do is about trust and transparency, so we’re leveraging technology and our people know the trusted and transparent platform,” Chamoun said. “ And we’ve got the capital partners and investors who all believe in our mission and funded our business to help us have the capital needed to grow at a rapid rate.”

In mid-October, AuSM recorded a podcast with Chamoun, which can be found below.


Roundup: Auction charity sale, expansion & more

CARY, N.C. - 

During the President’s Gala held during next week’s NAAA Annual Convention festivities in the , there will be a new fundraiser (Chapter Charity Auction) to benefit five charities.

The Gala itself is on Nov. 16 from 7 p.m. (PT)  to 9 p.m.

In addition to identifying the four charities to support, each NAAA chapter selected four exclusive items to go on the block for the charity new sale.

The auction items include a two-day high performance driving course package, a men’s Rolex watch with a gold NAAA logo, a 2018 Masters Golf Tournament package, along with a his and her Rolex and Louis Vuitton package featuring a two watches paired with a wallet and mini purse.

Proceeds from the sale will go to House in the Woods, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Lynnway Accident Fund, Victory Junction and the American Cancer Society.

Calif. auction gears up for new expansion

AVDA Auction recently announced plans to add a fourth lane to its newly expanded location in North Hollywood, Calif. in January.

The company said its upcoming expansion is in response to high weekly inventory at the auction.

The location runs approximately 900 cars weekly, with highline vehicles making up about 20 percent of the inventory, according to AVDA.

“AVDA Auction the simple choice in auto auctions and has become a must-attend auction for dealers who are looking to buy or sell highline units,” AVDA Auction vice president Justin Soghomonian said in a news release. 

KIA joins CFAA

On Oct. 25 Kia Motors America began selling its vehicles through Columbus Fair Auto Auction.

“We are pleased to welcome Kia Motors America to Columbus Fair Auto Auction,” CFAA chief executive officer Alexis Jacobs said in a news release.

“As we continue to differentiate ourselves in the auction community, Kia will be the beneficiary of our targeted marketing approach and our willingness to experiment with technology to nurture our buyer base.”

This sale, along with all sales at CFAA, can be accessed via simulcast and on IAS Marketplace and

“CFAA has a unique strategy that addresses the roles and responsibilities of each department as well as specific buyer needs through social media and client management,” added David Crockett of Kia Motors America. “CFAA’s approach to client engagement bodes well with Kia’s strategy to reach and assist Kia dealers.”

2 ingredients keep Black Book index moving higher


Black Book sees two elements coming together to prop up used-vehicle prices and, in turn, push its Used Vehicle Retention Index higher for the second month in a row.

Black Book recently released its October index and noticed an increase of 0.6 percent month-over-month from 113.9 to 114.6. It’s the second straight monthly increase dating back to August when the reading stood at 112.6.

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. It is weighted based on registration volume and adjusted for seasonality, vehicle age, mileage and condition.

Black Book explained the last remaining expected replacement activity stemming from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma drove continued vehicle valuation stability and shopping demand during the month of October.

During the month, vehicle segments such as compact crossover SUV (up 1.3 percent), full-size car (up 1.3 percent), full-size crossover SUV (up 1.7 percent) and full-size pickups (up 2.0 percent) were a few of the categories that saw noticeable retention strength due to increased demand during October.

“So far this year, we have seen a very strong performance for used-vehicle value retention, driven largely by the surprising value shoppers found in the affordable smaller cars after spring, and the huge demand resulting from hurricane replacements in the fall,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics for Black Book.

“Looking ahead in the next two months, we expect the market to decline slightly but still end this year with a better-than-expected strength in used vehicle values,” Goyal continued.

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.

The index continued to remain relatively stable, rising slightly until May 2014 when it hit a peak of 128.1.

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

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