Manheim, TFS Partner to Emphasize EVI Benefits


One of the fundamental issues dealers have with buying vehicles online is the inability to lay hands on the vehicle and get a true feeling for its condition.

Manheim’s product aims at curbing such issues. Made in partnership with fellow Cox Automotive company HomeNet, Manheim provides several packages of vehicle image portfolios to help provide peace of mind for dealers bidding at auctions online.

After an expedient six-month turnaround from concept to testing, Manheim partnered with Toyota Financial Services between February and April of last year to see what kind of effects the packages of 1,600-by-1,200-pixel resolution images could have for their online sales at Manheim Ohio and Manheim Phoenix.

What they experienced was a 17-percent increase in conversion rate, up to 62 percent, in the sample size of 2,700 vehicles being sold by TFS.

Bids increased by 26 percent and retention values increased by 1.1 percent, or $132 per vehicle. Arbitration cases dropped by 17 percent.

This was convincing enough for TFS to begin using Manheim’s EVI at the 20 locations with the product by May of 2014. This year, TFS will use the EVI product on all of its consigned vehicles at the 21 Manheim locations fitted to produce the images, including 20 in the United States and the newest location in Canada at Manheim Toronto.

Mike Reid, the national remarketing manager at Toyota Financial Services, helped Manheim create the product after seeing a need in his own business, which currently sells 82 percent of its inventory in the virtual space. The transition to digital imaging, according to Reid, was not at all a painful process.

“It certainly went smooth,” Reid said. “When we (Toyota) started this process of selling cars online, we had a vision that we needed to make the sales process more efficient for dealers, who may have lost their opportunity to make it to the physical auction on a regular basis.

We certainly wanted to make sure that the images were quality, the pictures told the story of what was going on with the vehicle, and it really made that decision easier for the dealer to make sure they can transact and be confident with that purchase.”

Manheim currently offers its EVI product in three different flavors: “good,” which includes seven high-resolution images taken outdoors; “better,” which consists of 15 high-resolution images taken outdoors; and “showroom quality,” which are 15 high-resolution images taken in the studio booth which is fitted at 21 of Manheim’s locations.

According to Bonnie Hensler, Manheim’s vice president of product development, almost everyone (about 98 percent) opts for their photos to be taken in the showrooms.

“What we’ve found is that the majority of our customers really want that showroom quality,” Hensler said. “They’re great for presenting images online, digitally. And we have found that with those images we have increased sales conversions for our customers. We’ve increased our sale price or MMR retention. And we’ve also decreased arbitration rates.”

Reid says his dealer customers have given him a lot of positive back about the imaging system, a key metric being the consistency of the photos from auction to auction. He also says that many are becoming more and more okay with the idea of buying cars online without getting to see them first in person.

“It’s been a progression for us,” Reid said. “We’ve been selling cars in the virtual space since 2009. And that really came out of necessity when dealers weren’t really making it to the auction and they had to multitask at their dealerships. Yes, the comfort level, it’s certainly been a work in progress.

The comfort level has been something they have acquired over time. But this has just been the icing on the cake, getting these pictures to a certain level where the dealers really have confidence in what they’re buying.”

Instead of doling the task out to current auction staff, Manheim went out and hired professional photographers to be a part of the full-time staff at the Manheim locations that offer the product.

“This is a pretty well-oiled machine now,” Hensler said. “We have made the investment in professional photographers. So we’re not just taking some people off the street and saying, ‘Hey, take some pictures.’ These are professional photographers that are full-time employees.”

The whole process takes five minutes or less, featuring a streamlined process leveraging photography equipment from Samsung and integrated cloud technology to get the images online as quickly as possible. Each of the locations has a showroom with standard operating procedures and specific service-level agreements which Manheim stands behind 100 percent.

Manheim currently plans to expand the program to include other OEMs and also plans to develop a version of the product for dealer use at its auctions.

The 21 locations that offer the product include: Manheim Atlanta, Manheim Baltimore-Washington, Manheim Denver, Manheim Fredericksburg, Manheim Kansas City, Manheim Milwaukee, Manheim Minneapolis, Manheim Nashville, Manheim Nevada, Manheim New Jersey, Manheim Ohio, Manheim Orlando, Manheim Pennsylvania, Manheim Phoenix, Manheim Riverside, Manheim San Diego, Manheim San Francisco Bay, Manheim Seattle, Manheim Statesville, Manheim Texas Hobby and Manheim Toronto.

To read the full case study of Manheim and TFS' trial of EVI, click .

Manheim Denver Begins ‘New Season’


In an event that began Tuesday and culminates at the “It’s a New Season at Manheim Denver” sale, Manheim Denver is in the midst of hosting two days of sales, featuring more than 4,000 vehicles.

The auction is celebrating and showcasing its renovated sales lanes, blocks and main office improvements during the event, marking not only its grand re-opening but also the return Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ vehicles at the auction. Mercedes-Benz has not offered vehicles for sale at Manheim Denver for more than 10 years. Two hundred vehicles with a special introductory rebate on Mercedes purchases will be offered.

The sale will also feature GM Financial’s NASCAR-themed Elite Sale of late model, low mileage vehicles along with a chance at various prizes for GM Financial buyers. Other featured sellers include General Motors, Ford and Ford Motor Credit, BMW Financial Services, Toyota Financial Services, Ally AuSM, Fiat Chrysler Automotive, Infiniti Remarketing Services, Nissan and TD Auto Finance, among others, including a multitude of independent and franchise dealer groups with an emphasis on highline vehicle offerings.

More News from the Lanes

In other auction news, Dealers Auto Auction of Oklahoma City is hosting what it expects will be one of the best vehicle consignments of the season in the form of its Carnival Sale on Thursday, which will feature consigners such as Santander USA, Chrysler Capital, Hertz, Thrifty Car Sales, Ally AuSM, GM Financial, Avis Budget Group, Midwest Car, and more.

“We’re planning for a great lineup of vehicles at our Carnival Sale and we’re expecting a great crowd of dealers who will come to the sale ready to buy — and ready to have some fun once the sale is over,” said Gary Smith, the auction’s owner. “We’ll have great games to play, including darts, a golf putting contest and the highly anticipated cash grab that could net up to $500 for a dealer with quick hands and the right technique!”

More information on DAA of OKC and its schedule of sales can be found on its . 

5 Auctions Earn Annual ADESA Sales & Service Honors

CARMEL, Ind. - 

Four ADESA locations have been recognized by the auction company as top annual performers for either dealer sales or online sales in their respective regions, and another location has taken home honors as Dealer Services Auction of the Year.

A post to the company’s  written by Keith Crerar notes that Dean Shelton and ADESA Phoenix have earned the ADESA Dealer Services Auction of the Year Award. The post also lists the following Dealer Sales MVP and Online Sales MVP awards as well:

ADESA Dealer Sales MVP West: ADESA Dallas, Alden Ireland

ADESA Dealer Sales MVP East: ADESA Jacksonville, Chris Epley

ADESA Online Sales MVP West: ADESA Little Rock, Sara Denny

ADESA Online Sales MVP East: ADESA Buffalo, Joanne Kwarciany

The complete blog entry on the .


DAA Northwest Reveals Rock & Roll Headliner

DENVER and SPOKANE, Wash. - 

DAA Northwest announced at its recent NASCAR Days event that its 20th Annual Rock & Roll Sale will be headlined by yet another group of classic rock legends: Ann and Nancy Wilson of the band Heart.

The Wilson sisters, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees who have led Heart, wrote the band’s songs and remained the most consistent band members since the early 1970s will set the pace for the sale, which will take place July 15 and July 16.

“We know Heart will put on a great show for our customers this July,” said Bob McConkey, the auction’s president. “They’re a terrific band with roots right here in the Pacific Northwest. Having them on the DAA Stage will definitely make our 20th Annual Rock & Roll Sale one to remember.”

The sale will feature 1,000 fleet/lease and motorsports units on July 15 starting at 10 a.m. Heart will headline the concert, along with a catered party, at the end of the day, including local favorite band The Cronkites. The next day will feature 3,500 cars and trucks and the event will end with $30,000 in post-sale prizes.

DAA of the Rockies

Further east, Dealers Auto Auction of the Rockies is also preparing for the upcoming season with customer promotions, including its 2nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament on May 18 and the auction’s Month-of-Summer Giveaway Sales where customers will be entered each week to win a prize.

The auction’s festivities will continue into June with its 5th Annual Live Charity Auction on June 18.

The Charity Golf Tournament, which will be hosted at the Inverness Hotel & Conference Center Golf Course, will have a portion of its proceeds donated to Horses & Hearts, a non-profit therapeutic riding facility in Northern Colorado, which works with handicapped individuals as well as offering assisted learning programs for at-risk youth.

The 5th Annual Live Charity Auction, which chooses a different charity to benefit every year, will this year benefit .

“Every year it is a difficult decision to pick one local charity to support with so many great organizations in our community,” said Alex Zyla, the auction’s marketing manager. “This year we have found an organization, Freedom Service Dogs of America, which helps two populations in need: shelter animals and people with disabilities.”

The auction plans to end the summer festivities with its Annual Corn Roast & Stevinson Automotive Group’s Car Giveaway sale on August 13. DAAR customers will start qualifying for the giveaway in July by purchasing vehicles from Stevinson Automotive Group during their run in the auction’s Thursday Sale.

More information about the auction can be found on its .

IAA Debuts New Chicago-Area Location


Insurance Auto Auctions opened its Chicago-North branch location in East Dundee, Ill. on Wednesday.

The event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with IAA chief executive officer and president John Kett, East Dundee Village president Lael Miller and Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce president Melissa Hernandez. The auction also hosted a lunch with guests invited from the community, including more than 10 local businesses.

“The Chicago-North facility helps to expand our North American footprint and enable us to better address the needs of the local market,” Kett said. “We are committed to our neighbors, community partners and local charities, and we look forward to being an active member of this vibrant community.”

The Chicago-North branch is located at 605 Healy Road in East Dundee, Ill. More information on the auction can be found on the IAA .

“East Dundee warmly welcomes businesses that will add to our community,” Miller said. “We are pleased to officially welcome IAA and thank them for recognizing community partners and local businesses in yesterday’s celebration and going forward.”

Marketing to Multicultural Auction Markets


Auction demographics have changed substantially over the years, with cultural differences in a variety of geographic markets driving the need for new ways to promote auctions to that wide-ranging cultural shift.

As we focus more and more on Internet shopping and selling, as well as cross-platform issues, we also need to look at people-centric issues surrounding the wants and needs, of not only different languages and cultures, but gender within those distinctions, as well.

In our particular market area, the creation of the Mexico Ready vehicle designation program and, both proprietary ideas we developed, along with a 40-percent bilingual staff was our answer in starting to address our buying and selling dealer needs in both local and export markets.

But more needs to be done as we go forward to insure more dealer-centric tools that help drive the needs of the diverse market, beyond different linguistic mobile tools, and that includes a seamless integration of brick-and-mortar upgrades in conjunction with those mobile tools, to make the entire in lane dynamic more robust as we move forward.

Along with this, multicultural and gender issues need to be addressed in auction senior management leadership positions to assist in converting that group to more accurately reflect the demographic base in general.

I find it way easier to market and serve a diverse group of customers with a diverse staff that knows the needs of and who want to address those needs, of a multicultural and every changing market base.

With that said, time for industry events to speak to the “people issues” in our industry rather than strictly focus on the “impersonal” technology side, because the archer is way more important than the arrow, if symbiotic success is your business goal.

Jim DesRochers is vice president at Dealers Auto Auction of the Southwest.

CarLotz Broadens Virginia Footprint


CarLotz, a Virginia-based used-vehicle consignment business serving the sale-by-owner and corporate vehicle and motorcycle markets, recently announced the grand opening of its newest consignment and retail store.

Coming on as the fifth location for the company is a facility at 5055 Virginia Beach Blvd. in Virginia Beach.

“We opened our first Hampton Roads store on Military Highway in Chesapeake near Greenbrier in 2012, and the reception to our concept in this area has been terrific,” CarLotz chief executive officer Michael Bor said.

“Our plan was always to expand the concept in this region with several stores so that we can conveniently serve sellers that want more money for their cars and buyers that want more car for their money,” Bor continued. “We’ve had the pleasure of serving our military, civilian and corporate customers at our Chesapeake store for the past two years, and we are excited to expand our consignment model to Virginia Beach.

“CarLotz sellers make thousands more than trade-in value per vehicle, and buyers save 10 to 20 percent versus traditional retailers, so the auto consignment concept creates a win-win for the Hampton Roads community,” he went on to say.

The shop at 5055 Virginia Beach Boulevard creates space for up to 50 vehicles outdoors as well as space for approximately 30 motorcycles indoors.

Motorcycles will be housed at The Bike Shop by CarLotz, a motorcycle consignment boutique also located on-site.

CarLotz’ Hampton Roads area manager John Foley said, “I joined the CarLotz team earlier this year, and it’s been a wild ride. The concept has taken off in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area with our Chesapeake store doubling in volume and the launch of our Virginia Beach Boulevard location.

“The positive customer back I hear every day reinforces the value that this consignment model brings to this area. I look forward to having more and more guests from this area experience the CarLotz model,” Foley added.

A formal grand opening is scheduled for May 8 with the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce set to be on hand along with food, drinks and giveaways.

The company website indicated that CarLotz will expand out of Virginia and establish a location in Charlotte, N.C.

For more details, go to .

Auctioneering Championship, Outreach & More


Manheim Nevada will host the 2015 World Automobile Auctioneers Championship (WAAC) on Friday, showcasing more than 100 contestants competing in the categories of best auctioneer, best ring person and best two-person team, in addition to $25,000 in prize money.

“The level of talent on display during this competition is unparalleled,” said Janet Barnard, president of Manheim North America. “It’s our privilege to host this year’s event as we recognize the top professionals in automobile auctioneering and celebrate the hard work and dedication they put into their craft.”

More information about the WAAC can be found .

In other Manheim news, Manheim Keystone Pennsylvania will host Pennsylvania’s second state vehicle auction of the year on April 21 at 10 a.m. and will feature nearly 400 vehicles, including luxury cars, motorcycles, and SUVs, which will be up for public bid.

All vehicles can be previewed at the auction’s between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. beginning April 17 through April 20.

“I encourage any member of the public who is in the market for a new vehicle come out and experience what a state auction is all about,” said Curt Topper, acting secretary of the state’s Department of General Services. “Our auctions always boast a variety of quality used vehicles for a fair price.”

More information about the auction’s offerings can be found here.

Elsehwere, the  recently made a $20,000 grant to the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation () to celebrate Earth Month and to fund the acquisition of the 13-acre Blueberry Hill tract, which borders Beaman Park and is a “critical inholding for the park.”

“This generous grant from the James M. Cox Foundation has enabled TennGreen to purchase this ecologically significant property and maintain its wide array of wildlife habitat and native flora and fauna,” said Kathleen Williams, president of TennGreen.

The grant was made possible by Manheim Nashville.

"As a Cox company, Manheim Nashville strongly believes in being a good corporate citizen in our community," said Sam Chaple, the auction's general manager. "Beaman Park contains unique natural beauty that is enjoyed by our employees and customers. The park provides a connection with nature, where visitors can view and learn about plants and wildlife, as well as realize the importance of preserving the natural world for future generations."

ADESA Location Funds Diabetes Research

Next up, ADESA Indianapolis announced that it raised $77,000 during its recent charity auction of a 2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, the proceeds of which will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The Cayenne was the first vehicle on the run list at the ADESA location’s March sale.

“We’re humbled and honored to have this opportunity to again support JDRF’s mission,” said Dave Emerson, the auction’s general manager. “When the dealer who owned this magnificent car approached me about this event, he knew of our long-standing support of JDRF and wanted to contribute in a personal way. We’re thrilled that the auction was able to bring in such a generous amount.”

DAASW Announces Mobile App

The Dealers Auto Auction of the Southwest recently announced its independent auction app, which features 100 percent simulcast capabilities and customer buys and sells, paperless gate releases, as well as automatic bidder badge assignment to a smartphone when entering the auction. The app also features a “state of the art” run list that includes its two proprietary programs, “Mexico Ready” and “Carfax – Transparent Transactions.”

More information about DAASW and its offerings can be found .

NAAA Industry Pioneer Award Winner Goins Passes Away


The National Auto Auction Association said wholesale industry leader Chester "Chet" Lee Goins died on April 4.

Goins began his auto industry career parking cars, repairing jukeboxes and then went into partnership to purchase his first lot business in 1949.

Goins along with his wife, Pat, of 52 years, founded the Auto Dealers Exchange (ADE) Indianapolis in 1979. Within six years, the auction increased from five lanes to 10 lanes, and still prospers today. In 2008, NAAA honored Goins with the Industry Pioneer Award for his contribution to the auto auction industry.

“The National Auction Association extends its deepest sympathy to the Goins family and friends,” NAAA officials said.

Along with an industry career, Goins served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Barry.

Born in Baltimore on July 5, 1926 to Gladys and Archie Goins. Goins was preceded in death by his wife; son in law Bill Myers; grandchildren Kylee Lynn Myers and Andy Goins.

Goins is survived by children Kathleen Linn Myers, Karen Leann (Walt) Ryan and Terry Lee (Marcia) Goins; grandchildren Kyler Lee, Kassidy Kristine and Kameron Joseph Myers; Amber Wade; Jake and Beau Ryan; Melissa Goins, Matt (Megan) and Becky Goins; and Sarah (Roger) Daupert, and great grandchildren Mercedes Love, Eathan Daupert and Drew, Will, Dirk, Jack and Zeke Goins.

Visitation and funeral services were set to take place at G.H. Herrmann Greenwood Funeral Home in Greenwood, Ind. The family welcomes donations made in Goins’ name to the Cornea Research Foundation of America at . 

ADESA to Open Chicago Location

CARMEL, Ind. - 

KAR Auction Services will be opening an ADESA facility in the nation’s third-largest metropolitan area. On Thursday morning, KAR announced the development of ADESA Chicago, which will be located in Hoffman Estates, Ill., near I-90.

The auction is expected to open in spring 2016, the company said. KAR plans to develop 65 acres for the auction and has the option to increase it to 150 acres.

“As we have discussed in our recent earnings calls, we have a responsibility to deploy capital in a manner that provides a return to our shareholders. Identifying opportunities for strategic growth has been a priority of KAR,” said Jim Hallett, KAR chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “The investment in an ADESA auction facility in Chicago is just one example of how we can deploy our capital to expand our market share, serve additional customers and enhance our financial performance.

“We will not only serve the Chicago market with a new physical auction facility, but I see an opportunity to expand the use of our online offerings in Chicago,” he continued.

Hallett added: “We are clearly focused on growing our market share in the wholesale used car auction market and expanding our service offerings. This greenfield development and the recent announcement of the acquisition of Pittsburgh Auto Auction demonstrate our commitment to brick-and-mortar locations.

“Our investment in TradeRev in the last half of 2014 expands our reach into the dealer-to-dealer activity that occurs outside the wholesale auction process. We continue look for other opportunities to invest in the growth for all of KAR’s businesses.”

This latest move continues a busy spring for ADESA and KAR.

In March, ADESA subsidiary AutoVIN announced it had signed a definitive agreement to purchase the vehicle inspection business of DataScan Field Services. That news came shortly after ADESA announced it was purchasing Pittsburgh Auto Auction.

The strategy described above by Hallett was echoed by ADESA president and CEO Stephane St-Hilaire when , two days after ADESA’s purchase of the Pittsburgh auction.

“We are that end-to-end remarketing service organization. With that, there are some areas in the country that we feel like we could service better or (that are a) significant market in the country where we believe that we would want a physical presence,” St-Hilaire said during that interview. “And we’re really working that physical along with that digital presence, because we believe that the two go hand-in-hand.”