McConkey Auction Group establishes 7-member executive team

SPOKANE, Wash. - 

On Friday, the McConkey Auction Group announced that it has formed an executive team to oversee the strategy, operations, national sales, finance and marketing of its auctions in the Spokane, Wash., Kansas City, Mo., and Seattle markets.

The new seven-member team includes:

—David Pendergraft, DAA Northwest general manager

—Doug Doll, KCI Kansas City general manager

—Dave Blake, DAA Seattle general manager

—Greg Mahugh, senior vice president of operations

—Jennifer Leocardi, vice president of national sales

—Jerome Rauen, vice president of finance

—Mitzi VanVoorhis, vice president of marketing

The executive team will be charged with instituting best practices, nurturing and growing the group’s unique culture, vision casting, goal setting and mentoring the organization’s next generation of leaders.

“While we are not an auction chain, we are a single auction family with a unified team and consistent core values,” president Bob McConkey said. “Our auctions share many national account customers, and we know the remarketing community needs effective, consistent communication.

“We are being very intentional about providing that as part of our value proposition, and it enables us to compete in the marketplace at the highest levels,” he continued.

“Each of our locations bring specific strengths that are becoming best practices across the board. Simply put, we are learning from each other and are putting what we learn into practice,” McConkey went on to say.

All three locations of McConkey Auction Group are ServNet auctions, powered by Auction Edge.

Manheim to add 6 new physical auctions


Manheim is opening six new physical auctions, which will be located in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas and Utah, some of which have already launched.

The auction company, making the announcement Thursday, said these locations are smaller, one- to four-lane facilities.

The six new auctions are:

— Manheim St Louis Gateway in Bellville, Ill.

— Manheim West Texas in Lubbock, Texas

— Manheim Montgomery in Montgomery, Ala.

— Manheim Lilburn in Lilburn, Ga.

— Manheim American Fork in American Fork, Utah

— Manheim Wilmington in Wilmington, N.C. 

A Manheim spokesperson said all of these locations will be open by the end of August, and a few have already done so.  

Manheim Lilburn started operating on June 12, with a grand opening set for Aug. 21. 

In addition to these new physical locations, Manheim is expanding its mobile and digital services to new areas of the U.S.

“Our local and mobile strategy meets the needs of independent and franchise dealers through multiple sales channels, giving clients choices to do business when and where it serves them best,” Manheim vice president of mobile and local Randy Beil said in a news release.

Though smaller, these facilities will provide multi-consignor auction sales, Simulcast, inspection and reconditioning services, NextGear Capital financing options and DealShield assurance packages, the company said.

Manheim attributes the growth to being “dealer-driven.” For instance, the new North Carolina facility follows 10- years of the company hosting mobile auctions at two locations in Wilmington. The current host is D&E Mitsubishi, which is partnering with Manheim to build the two-lane facility that’s located at the same address at the dealership.

Likewise, Rosenthal Automotive Group is working with Manheim to develop a 4.5-acre auction in Chantilly, Va. that will sell vehicles from the dealer group and other sellers in the region. A Manheim spokesperson said the Virginia auction is currently being developed; though the auction isn't ready for opening, the company plans to open it later this year. 

“Our expansion decisions have been dealer-driven,” Beil said. “In many cases, clients collaborate with us to open facilities because they want an open, transparent marketplace that delivers better pricing and vehicle retention than typically available at traditional dealer-to-dealer sales, such as bid lot sales or dealer self-hosted lot auctions.

“In addition, through Simulcast and OVE, we are able to extend the buyer base and increase the sales percentage,” he said. 


UPDATE: Story has been updated to clarify opening dates for Lilburn auction. 


Holiday week keeps wholesale prices stable


With Fourth of July influencing the measurements, the newest Black Book Market Insights report indicated both car and truck values remained relatively stable week-over-week.

Out of both segments, editors noticed six vehicle categories maintained their values as depreciation was unchanged, with one additional vehicle category, full-size vans, increasing its value by 0.01 percent.

“Wholesale prices remained stable last week as dealers reported good sales during the Fourth of July weekend,” Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics, said in an analysis .

“Bidding was active in the auction lanes for clean vehicles,” added Goyal, who will be one of the many industry experts on hand for , which begins on Nov. 13 in Palm Springs, Calif. Early bird registration for Used Car Week is already available.

Looking at volume-weighted data, editors determined overall car segment values decreased by just 0.17 percent last week, better than the average weekly decrease of 0.31 percent in values they spotted during the previous four weeks.

Midsize car, full-size car and prestige luxury car segments declined the most by 0.28 percent, 0.28 percent and 0.25 percent, respectively.

Again analyzing volume-weighted information, Black Book indicated overall truck segment values — including pickups, SUVs and vans — decreased by only 0.05 percent last week, better than the average weekly decrease of 0.16 percent in values registered during the previous four weeks.

Full-size luxury crossover/SUV and subcompact luxury crossover values decreased the most among truck segments by 0.14 percent and 0.11 percent, respectively.

As Goyal referenced, Black Book’s representatives in the lane spotted aggressive bidding activity in many places, including:

From Pennsylvania: “The market here is still relatively good with auctioneers rarely having to fish for bids. Dealers are anxious to buy vehicles.”

From Colorado: “Good sale that was similar to last week as the dealers need inventory for the summer market push.”

From Georgia: “Attendance was average and the supply of inventory seemed slightly higher. There was not a lot of haggling between the final bidder and seller as most vehicles were being sold.”

The other two anecdotes from the lanes that Black Book shared stemmed from dealers being mindful of their floor-plan funds before the hammer dropped.

“I had dealers telling me that decent vehicles are very limited. Prices here are surprisingly high,” said Black Book’s representative in Illinois.

And Black Book’s observer stationed in Florida added, “Active sale here today but buyers were really concerned about overpaying. Sellers seemed to sense the normal post-holiday lull and were willing to negotiate in order to sell vehicles.” 

Auction Management Solutions adds Rea family to client roster


It’s turned into a month of celebrating Auction Management Solutions (AMS). First, the firm’s one-year anniversary and now confirmation that earlier this month AMS has partnered with Rea Brothers’ Mid-South Auction (RBMSA) for business development consulting.

AMS recapped that the Rea family has been in the auction business in Mississippi since 1972. In 2010, the Rea Brothers auction was purchased by the American Auto Auction Group, later becoming part of the XLerate Group in 2014.  

Last year, the Rea family decided to once again become participants in the wholesale independent auction industry and repurchased the auction, making it a family business. AMS insisted the dealers of Jackson, Miss., and the surrounding area are obviously thrilled to have Jimmy Rea and the family back home on their 48-acre, state-of-the-art facility located in Pearl, Miss. 

RBMSA is a full-service auction featuring full reconditioning, light mechanical services and in-house transportation.

“We are excited to be back home, doing what we love, and now being a part of the AMS auction group is going to help us accelerate the process of providing the services that our regional automotive community needs. We are confident that our new working relationship with AMS is going to provide real dividends for our auction,” Rea Brothers’ Mid-South Auction Managing Partner John Rea said. 

AMS was created with main focus of partnering with independent auctions to assist in growing their business, helping them to maximize their footprint in the market and to increase profitability. That goal is to provide strategic business development services, with an emphasis on business processes and profitability that aid in the growth and success of client/partner businesses.

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

Modest rise for Black Book’s used-car index


While Manheim noticed record-setting metrics again for its latest monthly report, Black Book on Tuesday released its Used Vehicle Retention Index for June and observed a more modest sequential uptick and even a decline compared to a year ago.

Black Book found that its index edged higher to 113.0 in June, up from 112.3 in May. On a 12-month basis, the index dropped 4.5 percent compared last June.

Editors recapped that 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 percent of original typically equipped MSRP.

Perhaps not record-setting, Black Book acknowledged the Index rose for the second time in the past three months. It increased slightly in April due to a stronger-than-expected spring selling season for used vehicles, and it saw gains in June largely because falling gas prices helped with the sale of used trucks, crossovers and SUVs.

Despite these gains, editors pointed out that falling gas prices also meant a continuation of accelerated depreciation for subcompact and compact cars.

“In addition to falling gas prices, which are playing a role in driving a little more interest for certain trucks today, there are generally some very good deals out there for used vehicles currently,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics for Black Book.

“These are the primary reasons why we are seeing some bounce off the lows in used car retention trends,” 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. 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, .  

Manheim Index rises 2.5% to set new high


Make it two consecutive months where the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index established a new record.

Analysts determined wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 1.1 percent month-over-month in June. This movement brought the index reading to 129.3, which was a record high for the second consecutive month and represented a 2.5 percent increase from a year ago.

“Like May, the June index result challenges concerns that increasing wholesale supplies from near-peak-off-lease volumes and rising rental volumes would lead to rapidly declining used car values,” Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke said in commentary associated with the latest index update.

“Instead, strong retail demand for recent model year used vehicles is encouraging dealers to buy more vehicles from auction heading into the summer. The increased demand is more than offsetting the higher supply,” Smoke continued.

“The volume of transactions is up more dramatically than supply thanks to real demand from dealers and, in turn, consumers,” Smoke went on to say. “Broadly speaking, the second quarter was supported by continued low unemployment and strong consumer confidence remaining near a 16-year high.”

Fueling the year-over-year rise were prices for pickups and vans, which rose by 7.5 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively. Manheim’s index report also pointed out price rises for SUVs and CUVs (up 2.0 percent) as well as luxury cars (up 1.4 percent).

Falling year-over-year were both compact cars (down 0.4 percent) and midsize cars (down 2.1 percent).

Sliding over the rental market, Manheim noted that rental risk pricing eases, thanks in part to higher volume.

Analysts found that the average price for rental risk units sold at auction in June softened by 4 percent year-over-year, but rental risk prices ticked up 0.2 percent compared to May.

Manheim also mentioned SUVs and CUVs accounted for 32 percent of rental risk sales in June of this year versus 30 percent last June.  The share of compact cars fell from 25 percent to 23 percent.

Analysts added that average mileage for rental risk units in June came in at 40,600 miles, an amount 2 percent below a year ago. 

Editor’s note: More commentary and analysis from Smoke’s first quarterly conference call will appear in future reports from AuSM.

Short-lived similarity as car depreciation accelerates again


Well, the convergence of cars and trucks depreciating at the same rate lasted all of a week.

The newest Black Book Market Insights report showed truck segments deprecating only by 0.9 percent last week, much less that in comparison with the car segments, which depreciated by 0.31 percent overall.

In fact, editors noticed three specific truck segments increased their value, including the full-size van, small pickup and full-size pickup.

Black Book also mentioned the recent truck performance produced a better than the average decrease since the firm spotted depreciation of 0.17 percent per week during the previous four weeks.

While those three truck segments saw an uptick, sub-compact luxury crossover/SUV and compact luxury crossover/SUV values dropped the most by 0.37 percent and 0.27 percent, respectively.

Over on the car side, looking at volume-weighted data, editors reiterated that overall car segment values declined by 0.31 percent last week. In comparison, the market values had decreased on average by 0.35 percent per week in the previous four weeks.

Within car segments, Black Book noted sub-compact car and compact car segments performed the worst, decreasing by 0.52 percent and 0.85 percent, respectively.

“Higher depreciation continued in sub-compact car and compact car segments driven by recent drop in gasoline prices. The average U.S. gas price per gallon has dropped by over 10 cents in the last three weeks,” said Anil Goyal, Black Book’s senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics.

When Black Book’s representatives in the lanes reported back to headquarters, the dealer chatter continued to focus on trucks. And it came from both ends of the country.

First in North Carolina, “Had a lot of comments about high prices from dealers trying to buy nice, low mileage trucks.”

Then in Washington, “Pickup trucks are still king here. Mid-size and compact sedans struggled more than the past few weeks.”

The other anecdotes gave an indication of where dealers stand as the Fourth of July passed.

From Texas: “Dealers say they are building inventory around the July 4th holiday.”

In Colorado: “The dealers say they need inventory and are searching all of the resources to find their type of vehicles.”

And finally in Pennsylvania: “Most of the sales resulted from online buyers, as there weren’t many people in the lanes.” 

Manheim takes mobile auction out to sea


In the past, Manheim has hosted mobile auctions in some pretty unique locations — dealership lots, convention centers, NASCAR race tracks, even a minor league baseball park — but the company insisted the latest location tops them all.

Recently, Manheim UK held what is believed to be the first vehicle auction at sea. The unique mobile sale for Citroën was held on No Man’s Fort, a 150-year-old facility off the coast of the Isle of Wight near Portsmouth, England.

Manheim shared that the logistical challenges of moving all of the special offsite auction equipment, along with Citroën’s guests and the Manheim team, from the mainland to a 150-year-old fort in the middle of the Solent was “incredibly” successful, with 100 percent of the 225 vehicles offered selling for 100 percent of their reserve prices.

The company highlighted that No Man’s Fort dates from the 1860s, when building work started on a number of military forts in the Solent to protect the United Kingdom from a potential French invasion. Having been decommissioned after World War II, No Man’s Fort was bought by its current owners in 2012 and converted into a luxury hotel and function venue.

Paul Drake, remarketing manager for Citroën UK, said: “There are some things in life you never forget and this truly has to be one of them. Not only was the auction itself a huge success, but it was one of, if not the best, event to which I have ever invited our dealers. It was an incredible experience and I’m not sure how we will ever top it.”

Tim Hudson, managing director of inventory solutions at Cox Automotive, added: “We have truly led the market with our pioneering offsite sales, supported by our unique mobile auction proposition. Having partnered with Citroën UK for the first ever offsite outdoor sale in the U.K. in 2015, we are delighted to have broken new boundaries with them again with what we believe to be the first ever sale held ‘at sea.’

“I’m incredibly proud of the result, but most importantly the incredible support provided by our team members to facilitate such a special sale,” Hudson went on to say.

Auction Management Solutions reaches 1st anniversary


With fireworks popping because of the Fourth of July, Auction Management Solutions is celebrating too, and not just for patriotic reasons, as the consulting firm started by industry veterans Tom Stewart and Richard Curtis has reached its one-year anniversary.

This past year, AMS highlighted that it has seen explosive growth in its core business of providing consulting services to the automotive industry, including but not limited to independent auto auctions, service providers and vendors. 

“Richard and I are humbled by the success we have achieved in such a short period of time,” Stewart said. “We started this firm to deepen relationships between consignors and our clients, and to illustrate that independent auctions can and will continue to provide all the services consignors have come to expect.”

AMS is committed to have a singular focus of working closely with our client partners, helping them in various ways to be successful within the remarketing industry.

“If our clients are successful due to our assistance, then obviously we have been doing our job correctly,” Stewart said. “We also want the industry to know that working with our firm or an AMS client partner insures you will receive dedicated and superior service.”

AMS currently represents 17 auctions across 14 states, with new locations being added steadily. The main focus of AMS is to provide strategic business development services, with an emphasis on processes, profitability and exposure that aid in the growth and success of the client/partners.  

“It is our intent to keep our clients on the forefront of the automotive remarketing industry by maintaining a comprehensive and competitive suite of services,” Curtis added.

To maintain quality service levels and keep pace with the continual growth of the client/partner businesses, AMS previously announced the addition of two strong additions to their staff.  

Jamye Carpenter was brought on board in April as vice president of business development. Carpenter brings with her a wealth of automotive experience and knowledge in the many facets of the business. 

In addition, AMS has recently added Shelly Frank to its team. Based on the West Coast, Frank joins AMS with more than 25 years of experience in the auto finance and wholesale auto auction industry. Frank previously served as loss mitigation operation manager of Fireside Bank, and as vice president of business development with North Bay Auto Auction.

While presently continuing to work with NBAA on projects as a consultant, Frank has also been active in the Western Chapter of the National Auto Auction Association.

“Both of these women bring years of experience, a wealth of industry knowledge, and contribute diverse areas of expertise to the team, allowing AMS to provide all manners of service to our partners,” Stewart said.

“AMS looks forward to many successful years of working with our clients and providing services to, and for, the entire industry,” Stewart went on to say.

NAAA encouraging 100% safety certification


Since launching its Auction Safety Certification and Lane Safety Training series 14 months ago, the National Auto Auction Association said that more than 7,000 people within the industry have been certified under the safety program.

The courses, NAAA said in a news release on Thursday, include educational videos that aim to promote safety and prevent accidents. The program includes a multiple tiers to cater to full- and part-time auction employees.

“Because busy auto auctions have the potential to be hazardous, especially for those unaccustomed to the work environment, our program addresses improving safe practices with the industry's many part-time employees and contractors as well as regular staff,”  NAAA chief executive officer Frank Hackett said in a news release. “While we're pleased that more than 7,000 people have been trained, our ultimate goal is one hundred percent employee certification at every auction.”

The association also has a “100 Percent Safety Certified Award” to spotlight auctions who have had all of their employees finish the program.

The Auction Safety Certification course includes 12 videos and a quiz after each video. NAAA estimates the course takes an hour.

The Lane Safety Training is a 20-minute course and test given to temporary agency drivers.

Annual renewals are required of the certification.

“The training and education of each employee becomes paramount to their understanding the safest, most productive way to do the job, and a proactive safety program is one of the best ways to reduce risks and control costs from incidents involving employee injuries and property damage,” Hackett said. “That’s why we’re urging all NAAA member auctions to make one hundred percent safety certification of their staff a top priority.”

In addition to these programs, NAAA also includes an Auction Arena Safety Training for auctioneers.


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