ABC grows to 8 auctions with acquisition in Virginia


Auction Broadcasting Co. announced the purchase of its eighth auction facility on Friday. Broadening its presence in the Southeast that already includes auctions in Louisiana, Alabama and Kentucky, ABC Auto Auctions bought Tidewater Auto Auction in Virginia Beach, Va.

In a message to AuSM, ABC president Jason Hockett indicated the name of this new addition will be changed to ABC Virginia. 

“Tidewater Auto Auction has been on our radar for a long time,” Hockett said. “My brother, Mike Hockett Jr., started Tidewater Auto Auction in October 1996.  In 2011, Mike built a brand new 72 acre location in Virginia Beach with eight auction lanes. 

“The auction is located in a great location to strategically facilitate vehicles for dealers as well as finance and leasing companies,” Jason Hockett continued.

ABC Virginia will host a dealer-only auction each Wednesday beginning at 10 a.m. as well as a public sale each Saturday starting at 10 a.m.

The company highlighted ABC Virginia will be managed by industry veteran Jason Brinkley.

“Jason Brinkley ran Tidewater Auto Auction from 1997 to 2001,” Jason Hockett said. “Brinkley also helped ABC with its greenfield start up locations in St. Louis and Lancaster, Pa.

“He and his family are excited with the opportunity of going home to Virginia,” Jason Hockett went on to say.

Mike Hockett Jr. expressed his reaction to the facility now becoming a part of the ABC Auction family.

“I brought the auction as far as I felt I could as an independent,” he said. “I knew that if the auction was to do better, it would need a name connected with a larger client base. ABC was a natural choice with an excellent management team. 

"My father and brothers have built a formidable national auction group that I feel will push ABC Virginia to the potential it was built for,” Mike Hockett Jr. continued. “Having Jason Brinkley as a known entity to the dealer base is a fantastic choice. The dealers love him and the employees respect him. I could not be happier.”

Along with the facilities in St. Louis and Lancaster, Pa., Auction Broadcasting Co. also has operations in Baton Rouge, La., Birmingham, Ala., Bowling Green, Ky., Cincinnati and Detroit/Toledo Ohio.

IAA launches buyer app for Apple Watch


Check the time and the status of salvage vehicles. That’s what Insurance Auto Auctions is offering as the company recently launched the IAA Buyer Watch App, an application customized for the Apple Watch.

Officials highlighted the app can enable buyers to view the status of their vehicles in the bidding process through notifications on their wrists.

Through what the company believes is the first app of its kind to be adapted for wearable technology, the IAA Buyer Watch App can give buyers a quick graphical view of the status of their vehicles during the watch and pre-bid portions of the bidding process without having to use their mobile phones.

"IAA is proud to be the first to market for smart wearable device technology in the salvage industry,” Insurance Auto Auctions chief executive officer and president John Kett said.

“We have built a culture that encourages the development of innovation at an accelerated pace to be responsive to our buyers’ needs,” Kett continued. “IAA’s speed of delivery continues to improve as a result of our teams embracing agility as a philosophy, allowing us to stay ahead of the digital transformation in the business.”

In addition to offering what the company contends is the best-in-class buyer experience for customers, Kett pointed out the IAA Buyer Watch App adds a critical element of time saving for buyers. The watch interface can shows buyers a summary of their watch/pre-bid vehicles and the total vehicles on their lists that are at auction on that particular day.

The IAA Buyer Watch App is free for download from the Apple Watch App Store.

A demonstration of the IAA Buyer Watch App can be seen in the above video.

KAR expands salvage market presence with UK acquisition

CARMEL, Ind. - 

In an effort to ramp up its business outside of North America, KAR Auction Services announced this week that its subsidiary ADESA (UK) Limited acquired HBC Vehicle Services.

Headquartered in Canvey Island, England, HBC specializes in salvage vehicle auctions and related services.

“This acquisition is the start of our expansion into new global markets, and we look forward to bringing our remarketing capabilities to the United Kingdom and beyond,” KAR chief executive officer and chairman Jim Hallett said.

“KAR is unique in that we are able to offer our customers an unmatched range of automotive remarketing services: from online and physical whole car and salvage auctions to floorplan financing and a wide range of used vehicle technology solutions such as Autoniq, TradeRev and DataScan,” Hallett continued.

HBC Vehicle Services provides efficient salvage collection and disposal services for some of the U.K.’s top insurance, fleet and accident management companies.

A leader in salvage auction technology, executives highlighted the company conducts business using a multitude of sales channels, including online auctions, and operates from 10 U.K. locations. With more than 50 years of experience, they pointed out HBC Vehicle Services has a significant buying audience throughout Europe.

“We are and will remain dedicated to our customers,” said Steve Hankins, managing director of HBC Vehicle Services.

“With KAR’s expertise and support, we are excited to accelerate our growth plans and continue to deliver competitive services to the salvage auction industry across the United Kingdom,” Hankins continued. “We look forward to finding new ways to deliver the best products and services to all of our customers.”

Hallett added, “We welcome the entire HBC team.

“HBC’s reputation for exceptional service makes them a natural fit with our organization, and we are very pleased to have them join the KAR group of companies,” Hallett went on to say.

ADESA (UK) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of KAR and is focused on bringing new products and services to the U.K. automotive marketplace with special emphasis on upstream remarketing services that emphasize efficiency and technology to support franchise and independent retailers.

ServNet members pack summer with host of sales

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - 

The ServNet Auction group recently highlighted the wave of summer-season sales its independent auctions plan to host in the coming months.

“The summer promotions at ServNet are trend-setting events, and for years have defined the season,” said Patty Stanley, the group’s president. “They bring customers together from all parts of the country for good times and great opportunities for buying and selling vehicles in the auction lane.”

Here’s a list of a few of the group member’s upcoming summer-themed auctions, according to ServNet:

  • Carolina Auto Auction’s 50 Days of Summer: Running June 3 to July 15, this sale will feature a chance to win $35,000 in cash and prizes throughout the event, also with a chance at CAA beach towels, beach balls, as well as free food and drinks at the event.
  • Brasher’s Idaho Auto Auction’s 15th Annual Smoker Sale: This two-day event, hosted from June 17 to June 18, will feature 2,000 cars and trucks. As part of tradition, the sale will also include a competition between local dealers and other members of the industry in a “no-holds-barred” 8-bout boxing match at Century Link Arena in downtown Boise in front of 4,500 fans. Following the matches, auction owner Doug Brasher will enter the ring for the “Last Man Standing” contest to raise money for local charities.
  • DAA of the Rockies’ 5th Annual Live Charity Event: Hosted June 18 in Denver following the auction’s regular sale, the charity auction will benefit the Freedom Service Dogs of America to highlight the importance of community involvement.
  • Missouri Auto Auction Brewmaster Sale: Slated for June 19, dealers will compete to win Anheuser Busch signs that auction owner and general manager Kevin Brown has collected over the last decade and a half. The sale will feature 700 vehicles from Mike Albert Fleet Solutions, Lease Plan, Santander and United Auto while spotlighting local brewery Burr Oaks.
  • Mid-Year Party Sale at Dealers Auto Auction of Oklahoma City: Scheduled for June 25, this annual sale will feature 2,000 vehicles and $10,000 in prizes.

To see more summer events and more information on the above sales, click .

2 Manheim Auctions Celebrate June Anniversaries


June is a special month for Manheim, as two of its individual auction locations will celebrate 50 years or more of business with anniversary sales in the coming weeks.

Manheim Omaha will host its 57th anniversary sale on Thursday, coined as the “Hit it Home” sale, while Manheim Milwaukee will celebrate its 50th anniversary on June 24.

Todd Pfeifer, the general manager of Manheim Omaha, looks forward to the celebratory event, which will feature more than 1,000 units during the sale as well as giveaway items, t-shirts and other prizes.

“I fully understand the importance of building and maintaining a strong customer base for our auction,” Pfeifer said. “It is a testament to our loyal customers that we have served the industry for 57 years. This special event allows us to recognize their trust and loyalty in us.”

Manheim Milwaukee plans to offer special prizes and snacks throughout their 50th anniversary sale.

“Our sale is a terrific opportunity for Manheim Milwaukee to acknowledge what our customers mean to us,” said John Olejniczak, Manheim Milwaukee’s general manager. “We would not have been able to sustain such a strong business operation without the trust of our loyal customers, who provide a valuable resource to retail customers looking for that perfect pre-owned vehicle throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest states.”

Other Manheim auctions celebrating over 50 years of operation this year include Manheim Darlington (72 years), Manheim Pennsylvania (70), Manheim Kansas City (70), Manheim New Jersey (60), Manheim St. Louis (55), Manheim Albany (50) and Manheim Philadelphia (50). Manheim Albany’s anniversary sale will be held on August 6.

KAR Honored During 2015 HP Discover Awards

CARMEL, Ind. - 

KAR Auction Services announced the company’s IT Shared Services (KAR ITSS) team earned an honorable mention in the 2015 HP Discover Awards for customer excellence in the performance testing category.

KAR’s chief information officer of IT Shared Services Gary Watkins, who made the award announcement on Monday, explained that KAR ITSS was one of the few companies selected out of more than 70 nominations to be recognized for the innovative, results-driven IT solution they developed and implemented with HP’s software.

Utilizing HP Unified Test Professional 12.0, Performance Center and SiteScope, Watkins highlighted that KAR ITSS developed a suite of automated smoke test scripts to support six lines of business, developed an automated functional regression suite for the company’s eBusiness and AutoVIN teams, and implemented concurrent performance testing capabilities.

Together, these creative solutions increased the team’s capacity and throughput and saved thousands of hours annually.

“Our mission at KAR Auction Services is to invest in and leverage best-in-class technology solutions to provide continuously streamlined, elevated service to our customers,” Watkins said.

“Achieving an honorable mention in the HP Discover Awards is a testament to our commitment, and an inspiration for us to continue dedicating ourselves to moving the technology needle forward.”

KAR ITSS was recognized for its honorable mention at the HP Discover Awards event on June 2 at the HP Discover Zone in Las Vegas.

AuctionGenius, Auction Edge Partner to Enhance Independent Wholesale Business


Auction Edge and vAuto finalized a partnership on Monday to enable integration of EDGE Pipeline and EDGE Simulcast with vAuto Genius Labs’ AuctionGenius.

The companies highlighted the partnership enables wholesale buyers to use AuctionGenius as they prepare for and participate in live physical and online sales at independent auctions across the country.

EDGE Pipeline can provide wholesale buyers access to more than 100 independent auctions across the country, allowing them to search inventory across multiple auctions and enter live simulcast sales.

With this integration, AuctionGenius dealers can now use EDGE Pipeline to help them be more effective and efficient researching and preparing for online and physical auctions. The integration also can allow buyers to see all of the critical information they need to make an informed decision while participating in a live sale.

Additionally, the AuctionGenius mobile application for iOS and Android will now display run lists and inventory details for inventory at Auction Edge partner auctions.

“Our partnership with Auction Edge continues our mission to give dealers all the information they need to more easily evaluate and purchase vehicles from the widest array of wholesale auctions,” said Randy Kobat, vAuto vice president and general manager.

“The fact is, today’s highly competitive market requires dealers to go further to find the right wholesale vehicles,” Kobat continued. “Combining the power of AuctionGenius with the breadth of independent inventory available through EDGE Pipeline is a huge win for wholesale buyers.”

Auction Edge president Scott Finkle added, “It makes perfect sense to work together with AuctionGenius. In the end, we are both looking to empower dealers with all the tools and information they need to make informed buying decisions at auctions.”

Dealers can use AuctionGenius’ “heads-up” display, which can combine vehicle condition and valuation information from top industry sources, to evaluate and purchase wholesale vehicles instantly via live and online auctions.

In addition to EDGE Pipeline's network of independent auctions, AuctionGenius integrates with the nation’s largest wholesale auction marketplaces, including Manheim, ADESA, SmartAuction and other independent auctions.

ADESA Renames 2 Pittsburgh-Area Auctions

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA announced on Wednesday its plans to rename two of its auctions in the Pittsburgh area.

With its recent acquisition of Pittsburgh Auto Auction, ADESA now has three auctions in the area, also including ADESA Pittsburgh in Mercer, Pa., and ADESA PA in York, Pa.

Because the newly acquired Pittsburgh AA is located closer to the city limits of Pittsburgh, it will take on the ADESA Pittsburgh name in July, while the location in Mercer will be renamed ADESA Mercer this month.

The newly acquired Pittsburgh AA features a 200-acre facility on the southeast side of the city and has been in operation for 35 years.

It currently has seven fully automated auction lanes and full-service reconditioning facilities with a body shop and mechanical shop.

“We’re excited about fully integrating Pittsburgh Auto Auction into our ADESA operations,” said Stéphane St-Hilaire, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “We hope that renaming these auction locations will make it simpler for our customers and others doing business with us.”

AuctionGenius, Whann Tech Broaden Collaboration


Officials from vAuto announced on Tuesday that vAuto Genius Labs and the Whann Technology Group (WTG) completed an integration to help dealers acquire the wholesale used vehicles they need to fill inventory gaps.

The companies highlighted the integration can allow dealers to research and purchase vehicles more efficiently from independent auctions on the WTG Simulcast platform.

The WTG Simulcast platform encompasses 120 independent auctions across the country, providing wholesale buyers with remote access, remote bidding, streaming audio and video for each auction lane.

The integration can give wholesale buyers on the WTG Simulcast platform instant access to AuctionGenius’ “heads-up” display, which can seamlessly provide vehicle history reports, vehicle condition information and the latest valuation information to help buyers make informed purchase decisions.

“Strengthening our relationship with Whann Technology Group will empower our shared dealer clients to expand their reach into independent auctions and source the vehicles they need for their inventories more effectively,” said Randy Kobat, vice president and general manager at vAuto.

Through this partnership, dealers can efficiently research and bid on vehicles from some of the nation’s leading independent auction groups, including Alliance Auto Auction, Brasher’s Auto Auction and Dealer’s Auto Auction and locations such as Columbus Fair Auto Auction and Greensboro Auto Auction.

“We’re delighted to expand our integration with AuctionGenius to include all auctions that are part of our Simulcast network,” Whann Technology Group president Keith Whann said. “We both share the same goal of helping our dealer partners become more effective and profitable used vehicle retailers.”

In addition to WTG Simulcast’s auction network, AuctionGenius integrates with the nation’s largest wholesale auction marketplaces, including Manheim, ADESA, SmartAuction and other independent auctions.

Handling Recalls: The Wholesale View

CARY, N.C. - 

Whether we like it or not, those in the automotive industry now live in the age of recalls. It’s a lingering thought in the minds of individuals on every end of the sales spectrum. And while recalls of any nature are anything but simple to manage on the front end, the waters tend to get muddier as time goes on and vehicle histories become more robust.

Perhaps one of the most complicated views you can take of recalls occurs while standing in the shoes of the wide variety of folks in the wholesale business, who deal with used cars whose characteristics can vary wildly. 

So, in light of what is now the largest recall in our nation’s history, via the recall recently expanded by Takata for issues with its air bags, AuSM reached out to professionals in the field to see what they’re doing and what they think about the situation. Whose responsibility is it to fix these recalls? What happens when they’re detected during the auction process?

There is no blanket strategy to prevent recall penetration — the logistics, on every level, remain challenging. Despite the huge volumes of vehicles going through auction lanes on a daily basis, it seems perhaps the only way to handle these recalls, on the auction level, is on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunate for everyone involved, at this stage in the game, it’s unclear just how much the expanded Takata recall will affect the auction industry. According to NADA Regulatory Affairs, with the current figure now being an estimated 33.8 million potentially affected vehicles across 11 vehicle manufacturers dating all the way back to the turn of the century, even Takata is still working toward figuring out which exact models and specific vehicles should be targeted.

Perhaps the biggest question for the auction business is who is responsible for fixing a recall? Does that responsibility typically fall on the shoulders of the consignors or the auction?

For Jim DesRochers, the vice president of Dealers Auto Auction of the Southwest and former NAAA president, that answer is everyone.

“I think it falls on everybody’s shoulders,” DesRochers said. “I think we have a tendency overall to do too much finger pointing. If you’re going to take those consignments and you understand that some of them are going to be recalls, you and your consigning partners actually have to work together, with the local dealerships, to try to get those done or accomplished, or work with your buyers to help them on the backside, if it’s still under warranty, to tell them what in fact you’re providing them.”

When it comes to deciding how to get a recall fixed, many in the industry do take on what DesRochers calls a “multipronged effort” to leverage relationships with local franchises to have repairs handled.

“We are lucky enough to be about three miles away from most major new-car store dealerships, so it wouldn’t be difficult to get the vehicles there fixed if we needed to,” said Britney Smith-Egbert, the fleet/lease manager at Dealers Auto Auction of Idaho.

Matt Arias, the co-chair of the NAAA Auction Standards Committee, shared with AuSM what the typical recall process looks like at the auction level.

“The typical flow would be that the auctions catch something and they flag it as something that would either require disclosure before the sale because it meets the disclosure requirement per NAAA Arbitration Policy or it’s caught after the sale by way of an auction’s post-sale inspection product or by the buyer themselves through their own detection methods,” Arias said. “And then that’s where the arbitration has to be verified. If the vehicle qualifies for arbitration then the auction will proceed with the arbitration with the buyer and the seller and hopefully work something out. If not, then the seller will get the car back.”

For some of the more severe recalls, one example being the one dealing with General Motors ignition switch issues, a manufacturer will issue a stop sale order for affected vehicles. And for the auction or consignor trying to sell them, those vehicles have to sit until they’re repaired.

But many open recalls don’t stop a vehicle from being sold at auction. According to Arias, some simply don’t have the ties to manufacturers, like franchises, that make it easier to be aware of recalls, whether it’s a wholesaler, independent consignor, bank repo or others. For many of these situations, the NAAA recommends the use of the website to get a better understanding, along with the other notification options provided by the NHTSA, including weekly reports and access to recall look-ups by make and model that list complaints, technical service bulletins, along with open and closed recalls.

“We’re stressing that because we want inspectors on the front end of the process to use that and also on the back end of the process, from an auction point-of-view, to use it as well, because we want to make sure that if a vehicle is in its inspection after the sale, the post-sale inspection, and they find a problem, that they categorize it properly,” Arias said. “Because it’s going to make a difference between the buyer and seller during the arbitration. If it’s something that can be covered by warranty then that’s awesome, nobody has to pay for it, except for the downtime.”

For many that find themselves in the situation where there’s an unexpected recall with a remedy that will take time to fix, this can kill the deal.

“What if he has a buyer for that vehicle right now and now he’s got to tell his retail customer, ‘I can’t sell it to you until the recall’s done.’ He may lose that customer,” Arias said. “That may influence his intent on keeping that vehicle.”

When asked if it was pretty typical of a recall situation to have a substantial wait time to receive parts and start repairs, DesRochers said that from his experience it’s been pretty challenging to get repairs done in a timely manner.

One specific example he shared hits close to home due to a repair delay with a vehicle he sold to a family member.

“And the reason I know this one, I’m personally involved,” DesRochers said. “I sold a car to my sister-in-law, so it’s very personal. And she has not been able to drive it for four months, and the parts aren’t due in for another two months. So there is a responsibility on our side to look at those recalls, and we’re starting to look at cars with recall issues on a one-on-one basis.”

According to DesRochers, many dealers know which vehicles are affected by recalls going into a sale and will avoid them so they don’t get caught up with a vehicle they can’t make a quick turnaround on.

“Buying dealers — they want to retail as quickly as possible,” DesRochers said. “They’re not going to buy into a market niche where they know that there’s air bag problems or starter switch problems or something with a backorder for the parts months away. They’re not going to tie up their capital. They may not be making it overtly known verbally but their buying habits, in fact, show that and reflect that.”

With many trends, though, there tend to be exceptions. According to Arias, he has seen dealers completely aware of a vehicle’s recall issues use the situation to their advantage.

“The auction buyers are very, very savvy,” Arias said. “In terms of relationships with the franchise dealers and the franchise dealers’ computers to see what’s going on. Absolutely that exists — there are some buyers that know that (there’s a recall) going into it. They may or may not admit it, depending on where the money is on that car. They might be able to get a better price knowing that and knowing that they’re at an advantage with the seller that just wants to get rid of it.”

Some auctions find it to be a safer practice to avoid the recalls altogether. Some smaller auctions, like the one DesRochers works at, will actually turn away a consignment if there’s too much there to fix. When asked if he were to be approached by a large consignment full of something like Takata-recalled vehicles, if he would consider working with the consignor to repair the vehicles for sale, he gave the following answer.

“No, I’d turn them away. The fact of the matter is I can do nothing about getting them fixed,” DesRochers said. “And believe me, if they could get them fixed quickly they would have already done it. And I’m not going to be part of the problem of putting out a defective product and hoisting it onto the next person down the line. It makes absolutely no sense for your professional credibility as an auction.”

There appear to be other options, though. According to Smith-Egbert, who operates in a state which she describes as having tough air bag laws, her business is considering taking a different approach.

“Right now we are trying to narrow down exactly what it is that is required of us by the state to make sure we cover all of our bases,” Smith-Egbert said. “One option that we are considering is adding a statement on our sale day bill of sale that says something to the effect that we aren’t obligated or responsible to disclose any open recalls.”

And all of these options seem reasonable and share their own merits. Whether or not you think it’s ethical to sell a used vehicle with an open recall, the consensus seems to be that it’s a good business practice to fix what you can and disclose what you can’t. And there’s certainly no shortage of resources to utilize to make sure your inventory is ready to go.

“We know most of the recall cars,” DesRochers said. “Most of the recall cars that you will see are rental cars or off-lease or whatever — the newer-type stuff. You get that in the pipeline pretty early. You don’t see that, historically, coming to the dealerships in trades. You pretty much have plenty of time to make decisions and plan.”