AAAG Rebrands as XLerate Group


American Auto Auction Group has officially rebranded, chief executive officer Cam Hitchcock announced at the National Remarketing Conference today.

“We are excited to officially launch the XLerate brand today. Our team believes that the new brand, which incorporates the attributes of speed and size, will directly benefit our customers throughout the United States,” Hitchcock said in a statement provided to AuSM. “The auction market is evolving quickly and XLerate, as a leading independent, will be at the forefront of this dynamic industry.”

What was formerly known as AAAG was established in 2010 and will now be known as the XLerate Group. The group includes the following independent auto auctions: 

AIM Auctions in Motion in California

Badger State Auto Auction in Wisconsin

Charleston Auto Auction in South Carolina

Mid-South Auction in Mississippi

Texas Lone Star Auto Auction in Texas

Your Auction in Florida

“Our collective management team is stronger and more committed than ever,” said Darris McClure, president and chief operating officer of the newly renamed corporation.   “This rebranding is not just about a change in name, it is about establishing the operating philosophy of our company.  This new energy we are generating comes from our most important resource: our employees.”

McClure continued:  “A lot of thought went into the changes we are making.  Within our new name is the heart and strength of our new corporate brand and strategy:  accelerating our own excellence.  In becoming the XLerate Group, we will remain true to our core values and set our sights on the future.”

Hitchcock went on to explain how XLerate’s strategic mission is twofold:  “To continue to grow our business with existing and new customers; and, to add quality independent sales to our auction family.” 

He added: “The auction industry is changing rapidly.  XLerate believes that scale and depth of resources is increasingly important in our industry.”


ADESA's Management Changes in PHX & ATL

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA released this week the changes to its auction management teams at locations in Phoenix and Atlanta. Ryan Edwards, formerly ADESA Atlanta’s general manager, takes on the position of GM of ADESA Phoenix; Mark Brunn will fill Edwards’ previous position in Atlanta.

“Ryan has been dedicated to making ADESA Atlanta an award-winning auction during the last seven years,” Stéphane St-Hilaire, ADESA’s president and chief executive officer, said. “His experience will be a valuable asset in leading the team at our high-performing location in Phoenix.”

Edwards joined ADESA in 2007 as GM in Atlanta after 10 years with Manheim auctions throughout the country. Brunn, filling in as the ADESA Atlanta GM, brings 26 years of experience in the auto remarking industry to the position after his most recent position as vice president of operations for Manheim Total Resource Auctions.

“Mark brings a wide range of industry experience with him,” Mike Caggiano, ADESA’s executive vice president, eastern region, said. “We’re excited to have him on the ADESA team to continue the success and further the growth we’ve had in the Atlanta marketplace.”

In other KAR Auction Services news, Becca Polak, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at KAR, was named as one of the 2014 Indianapolis Business Journal’s Women of Influence.

Polak, one of 20 Indianapolis-area women recognized, was chosen for demonstrating professional excellence and leadership in her career and community service. The 20 women were honored at the publication’s Women of Influence Recognition Breakfast on Oct. 31 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom.

“During the nearly 10 years Becca has been with KAR Auction Services, she has built an incredible reputation as a trusted, charismatic leader both within KAR, and in the greater Indianapolis community,” Jim Hallett, KAR’s chief executive officer, said. “On behalf of the entire KAR group of companies, I would like to congratulate Becca on this well-deserved accomplishment.”

Polak currently oversees strategic, legal and business planning as well as the handling of litigation, mergers, acquisitions and general corporate matters. She joined KAR in 2005 as associate general counsel and took her current position in 2007. Prior to KAR, Polak worked with mergers and acquisitions as a senior associate with Indianapolis-based Krieg DeVault and Dallas-based Haynes and Boone. 

KAR’s Q3 Net Income Soars 108% Higher

CARMEL, Ind. - 

KAR Auction Services generated significant year-over-year increases in revenue, adjusted EBITDA and net income, according to the company’s financial statement released late on Tuesday.

For the period ending Sept. 30, KAR’s quarterly revenue came in at $589.1 million, up from the $533.7 million that the company produced in the third quarter of last year. The rise represented an increase of 10 percent.

Officials calculated their Q3 adjusted EBITDA climbed 14 percent to $149.1 million, up from $130.6 million a year earlier.

KAR’s most notable increase was in net income, which spiked 108 percent year-over-year to $47.5 million, or $0.33 per diluted share. In the Q3 of last year, the company’s net income was $22.8 million, or $0.16 per diluted share.

Officials added adjusted net income per diluted share for the third quarter climbed 38 percent to $0.40 versus the year-ago mark of $0.29.

Looking at the nine-month span that wrapped up on Sept. 30, KAR reported revenue of $1.7585 billion, up from $1.6327 billion a year earlier for an increase of 8 percent.

The company’s adjusted EBITDA through three quarters climbed 11 percent to $450.3 million, up from $407.0 million a year ago.

Officials highlighted their net income after three-quarters of the year increased 40 percent to $119.0 million, or $0.84 per diluted share. At this point in 2013, their net income stood at $85.3 million, or $0.61 per diluted share.

Finally, KAR’s adjusted net income per diluted share for the first nine months of this year increased 30 percent to $1.22. A year earlier, it came in at $0.94.

And one other note: KAR also announced on Tuesday that its board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $300 million of shares of the company’s common stock as well as a cash dividend of $0.27 per share on the company’s common stock.

The dividend is payable on Jan. 7 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 29.

2 Former Manheim Execs Hope New Technology Changes Salvage Space


Two former Manheim executives who headed up the company’s Total Resource Auctions division recently announced the formation of Novum Auto Services.

Michael Lasini and William Coleman highlighted Novum’s patent pending technology CrashCalculator can provide cash market value (CMV) pricing to owners of damaged, disabled or otherwise compromised vehicles.

Lasini and Coleman stressed that Novum backs the valuation with an immediate offer to buy the vehicle with guaranteed funds — without requiring physical inspection of the vehicle.

“By providing consumers with accurate pricing information and the immediate opportunity to sell their vehicle, Novum empowers vehicle owners with choice — to repair or replace their car,” Lasini and Coleman said.

The founders explained Novum can offer cash market value pricing because of the objective nature of the data inputs and the certainty of the predictive results its technology provides. 

In addition to significant time savings, this option often puts hundreds or thousands of additional dollars in the hands of the consumer. Lasini and Coleman contend this new source of liquidity will drive more new- and used-vehicle transactions.

Novum currently has two consumer facing brands — and buys damaged and inoperable vehicles directly from consumers “as-is” without performing a physical inspection. buys any vehicle, anywhere in the United States, picking up the vehicle from the seller and paying guaranteed funds on the spot.

Novum will launch its third consumer-facing brand, CrashCalculator, in early 2015.

The company indicated CrashCalculator is currently Novum’s internal pricing system, used by customer service agents at and 

Upon launch to the public, CrashCalculator can calculate not only valuations based on immediate collision damage, but also repair-related and stigma-related diminution in value that results from the accident. CrashCalculator correlates damage-specific information for damaged cars with the most robust sales data industry wide

“CrashCalculator will provide consumers with cash market value for a damaged car and the related diminution in value,” Lasini and Coleman said.

“In addition to streamlining the process for consumers, Novum’s institutional version of CrashCalculator will help dealers, banks, title lenders and fleets make smarter decisions on repossession and remarketing,” they went on to say.

With more than 25 million accidents annually in the United States, the founders believe can serve a vast customer base seeking to sell their non-total-loss vehicles. went live in 2013 to serve consumers with vehicles they are unable or unwilling to trade or sell to a private buyer. 

“With more than a quarter billion vehicles on US roads, millions of consumers are seeking a faster, safer and easier way to sell their car,” Lasini and Coleman said. “Since inception, and have put tens of millions of dollars into the hands of consumers.

“Novum’s technology and direct-to-consumer value proposition will continue to disrupt and transform the remarketing industry for damaged cars,” they added.

Auction Roundup: NAAA Arbitration Survey & Manheim Milestone

CARY, N.C.  - 

The National Auto Auction Association is asking members to weigh in on potential NAAA Arbitration Policy changes via an online survey.

The Auction Standards Committee is requesting all members review and comment on proposed changes.

The NAAA has posted and will also be sending the survey link by email to members over the course of this month.

The proposed policy updates covers topics such as seller and buyer responsibilities, seller disclosure/announcement requirements and structural damage policies.

The comment period ends Nov. 30.

Manheim Philadelphia Celebrates Milestone With Chrysler

In other auction news reported this week, Manheim Philadelphia recently celebrated a 50-year partnership with Chrysler.

The auction hosted a Chrysler 50th anniversary sale for franchised Chrysler dealers on Oct. 16.

Fifty years ago, the first Chrysler Factory sale was held at Hatfield Auto Auction (now known as Manheim Philadelphia) in 1964.

Today, Manheim Philadelphia, located at 2280 Bethlehem Pike in Hatfield, Pa., hosts bi-weekly closed sales for Chrysler.

“Chrysler is proud of its 50-year tradition of selling cars to our dealers at Manheim Philadelphia, and we look forward to growing our partnership in the market with greater volumes over the coming year,” said Mark Nagel, head of company car and remarketing for Chrysler.

Janet Barnard, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Manheim North America, also commented on the partnership: “The sale not only recognizes our long and proud history — the first sale was held in 1964 — but also represents a partnership we greatly value and appreciate.

“While the automotive industry has undergone significant changes over the years – and our companies have been around to see a lot of them – there are some things that have remained the same. These include taking care of our customers, delivering an auction sale experience that continues to attract buyers and sellers and working together toward mutual success,” she continued.

The partnership is especially fruitful for Chrysler dealers.

Ken Rouse, buyer for John Johnson Dodge LLC (Boonton, N.J.), said, “We’ve been doing business with Manheim for 15-16 years. Since the Chrysler sale is here I am here!”


Music City AA on Track for Completion


Management from a new wholesale location taking shape in Tennessee highlighted the progress being made to get Music City Auto Auction up and running.

Music City AA general manager Tim Sherk indicated that the construction of a facility consisting of 30,000 square feet at 3639 Royal Park Blvd, in Spring Hill, Tenn., is on track to be completed next month.

While the first live auction date is yet to be announced, Sherk said, “we will be open for business before the end of January,” at the six-lane, 60-acre facility located about 30 minutes south of Nashville.

Music City AA is part of the Auction Holdings Group, an expanding organization based in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., with two auction locations in Florida and another in North Carolina.

Sherk brings 25 years in both retail and wholesale experience to his role at Music City AA. Originally from the Tampa Bay area, Sherk was the general manager at ADESA Tampa before joining Manheim Orlando.

Prior to his auto auction career, Sherk worked in the F&I and sales departments at franchised dealerships in the Tampa, Fla., area.  

Hiring for both regular and temporary staff at Music City AA is in full swing with positions to fill such as auctioneers, office manager, field sales representatives, sale day drivers, title clerks and many more.  Applications are available on the website at or . 

NAAA to Replace 'Kink or Bend' Site with 'Is It Frame'


With help from Auto Auction Services Corp. (AutoIMS), the National Auto Auction Association said Friday it was replacing its recently acquired  on Saturday with "Is It Frame".

In an announcement, NAAA said that it will continue providing the data for free in order to help its 333 member auctions maintain compliance with the structural damage disclosure policy.

As reported by AuSM in August, NAAA bought Kink or Bend, an IT company specializing in online resources for auto structure types, to help its members determine if they are required to perform a disclosure — a potentially costly move — of a quarter panel replacement.

NAAA said the transfer of the database (compiled from OEM information) and website operations to AutoIMS was planned as part of the acquisition.

So, in essence, NAAA will continue providing this free service on structural damage disclosures, just under a new a new name and administrator. The Is It Frame website is

“AutoIMS is the No. 1 supplier of inventory management systems to commercial accounts and auctions in North America, so it was a natural fit for them to serve as the new website’s administrator,” said NAAA chief executive officer Frank Hackett. “We’ve been working closely with AutoIMS to make the transition seamless and are confident in its performance.”

Is It Frame is designed to provide a simple, secure search engine for structural damage requirements, says NAAA president Ellie Johnson.

“We wanted to provide our members with an efficient tool for making the decision on structural damage disclosures because that can have a direct impact on the value of a vehicle for its entire life,” Johnson noted. “Is It Frame streamlines the disclosure determination process, making it faster and easier to comply.”

The aim of NAAA’s Structural Damage Policy is to define and clarify terminology surrounding structural damage, while also providing clear guidance on the seller’s disclosure requirements for cars offered at NAAA member auctions.

Additionally, the policy aims to give the buyer adequate disclosure info so they can make well-informed purchase decisions. And it is designed to help cut down on arbitrations for the dealer, NAAA said.

Under a recent revision of the policy regarding quarter panels, an announcement is necessary only if the OEM deems the damage as structural. Otherwise, it is not required.

“So learning that you don’t have to make that announcement can result in significant savings,” Johnson added.

DAA/OKC’s Factory Manager & 65 Years at Brasher’s Portland


The Dealers Auto Auction of Oklahoma City recently announced the hire of a new factory manager. The auction’s owner and president, Gary Smith, revealed that Ricky Wicher will now be assuming the role of factory manager for DAA/OKC, moving from his previous role in the auction’s consignment sales department.

“With his background in franchise dealer sales and management, and his experience at the auction, Ricky will prove valuable in his new role as factory manager,” Smith said.

“We know that our customers will reap the benefits of Ricky’s expertise as he reaches out to those who regularly attend our auction as well as to those who are yet to experience the benefits of doing business at DAA/OKC,” Smith added.

Toward the west, Brasher’s Portland Auto Auction celebrated their 65th anniversary at the end of September with anniversary party sale. The auction featured a featured consignment of over 1,000 vehicles and thousands of dollars in prizes, along with festivities, food and entertainment galore for the auction’s patrons.

“We are proud to be part of the Brasher’s tradition for service, family values and innovation,” Jerry Hinton, the auction’s general manager, said.

“Continually pressing the envelope, Brasher’s auctions are innovators in every sense,” Hinton continued. “From implementing double blocks in the auction arena to carrying out successful online booksheet sales, they never rest and will innovate for years to come.”

In Illinois, the Greater Rockford Auto Auction has announced the launch of its Consumer Portfolio Services Jackpot promotion with a Las Vegas theme. The campaign, for all CPS vehicles purchased from October through to December, will entitle buyers to spin a Vegas wheel in the lane for a chance to win credit toward their CPS purchase. Top buyers will also be tracked on a leaderboard with the top-buying dealership winning a four-day, three-night Las Vegas getaway after the promotion ends.

“We are excited to hose the Consumer Portfolio Services Jackpot event and promotion,” said Chad Anderson, general manager of the auction. “We love the enthusiasm and excitement that promotions bring to the lanes and look forward to a great event. The response from our customers regarding the CPS Jackpot has been overwhelming. This event gives us another opportunity to give back to our great customers.”

The event will also feature other promotional rewards, such as incentives for first-time CPS buyers and online CPS buyers, as well.

CarMax Auctions to Open New Location This Month


In addition to providing details on its new location opening this month, CarMax Auctions unveiled a new logo and announced plans to thank its wholesale customers during its Customer Appreciation Month.

CarMax Auctions will be hosting catered meals and giveaways to dealers throughout the month of October. The company has over 60 auction locations, with its newest facility opening in the Portland area on Oct. 20.

Sneak-previews of vehicle inventory, including photos and free vehicle history reports, can be found on the along with more information about the company’s customer appreciation plans.

CarMax’s Auction division has been doing business since 1996 and has sold more than 3 million vehicles on the block. 

Pedal-Car Auction Brings in Over $500K for NAAA Scholarship Charity


Pedal cars may be primarily for kids, but you wouldn’t have known it at the National Auto Auction Association’s recent Convention and Expo in Boston.

The Black Book Pedal Car Auction garnered some very “adult-sized” donations, raising more than a half-million dollars to benefit the nonprofit NAAA Warren Young, Sr. Scholastic Foundation Inc.

Amazingly, the association’s original goal was $50,000.

There were 14 brightly colored pedal cars to choose from, such as a Jump Truck built by State Line Auto Auction that claimed the title “Best in Show” and touted a winning bid of $102,000.

Per the auction rules, each contestant were tasked with modifying new or pre-owned pedal-powered vehicles, or custom make their own.

Four other pedal-car contestants also came away with special show awards, which were sponsored by NextGear Capital and judged by the NAAA's four chapter presidents.

The four remaining awards went to the following auctions: McConkey Auction Group for the "Most Creative Pedal Car;" Greater Milwaukee Auto Auction for the "Best Custom Pedal Car;" Pittsburgh Auto Auction for the "Best Accessories;" and, Akron Auto Auction for "Most Unusual Paint Job."

The charity programs entry fees, vehicle sales award sponsorships and additional contributions collected a total of $576,300 for the association's annual merit scholarship program.

"I am truly astonished and extremely gratified by the remarkable response to this first-time fundraiser that far exceeded our expectations ten-fold," said outgoing NAAA president Jack Neshe. "I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to all of our auction participants for their generous support."

The pedal-car auction was Neshe’s brain child — he suggested the auction idea a year ago during a visit to NAAA headquarters where he saw a pedal car in the office of chief executive officer Frank Hackett.

"We just thought this offered our members a great way to demonstrate their creativity and craftsmanship in a friendly, fun competition while raising money for our scholastic foundation, which since it began in 2004 has helped 120 deserving students achieve their dreams of higher education," noted Neshe.

All entrants looking to be one of the finalists for the NAAA auction were on display at the CAR conference in March.

The pedal-powered vehicles to be included with Black Book's entry on the auction's run list were chosen by a random drawing held at the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Convention this past June in Las Vegas.

In run order the auction contestants and their final bids were: Black Book ($49,500); Capital City/Mountain State Auto Auctions ($10,000); ADESA Indianapolis ($8,500); Akron Auto Auction ($14,000): Sanford Auto Dealers Exchange ($25,000): McConkey Auction Group ($45,000): Manheim ($75,000); Dealers Auto Auction of the Southwest ($10,000); State Line Auto Auction ($102,000); Lynnway Auto Auction Inc. ($45,000); Greater Milwaukee Auto Auction ($25,000); Farmington Auto Auction ($15,000); Pittsburgh Auto Auction ($31,000) and Charleston Auto Auction ($26,000).

"The benevolent spirit of all those who took part was just inspiring," remarked Hackett. "It was one of the most entertaining and exciting 45 minutes I've ever experienced as we approached a half-million dollas and people kept making offers to get us over the mark. For example, Black Book and Lynnway both bought their own cars and then donated them back for resale. It was an amazing evening."

And if the auction wasn’t enough, the charity was endowed with many individual gifts, as well, which included $5,000 each from AFC, Auto Auction Solutions and Jay Cadigan; $10,000 a piece from Charleston Auto Auction, Lynnway Auto Auction, Janet Barnard and Auction Insurance Agency; and, a $25,000 contribution from NextGear Capital.

Tom Cross, president of Black Book and the main sponsor of the event, said, "We believe in NAAA's work on behalf of the industry and are big supporters of the Warren Young Scholastic Foundation. We're happy to give back to the remarketing community in this role and thrilled at the event's overwhelming success in raising money for a worthy cause."

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