Jeff Baker came away from the auction at the recent National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo in Las Vegas as the owner of a beautiful truck.
And what did he plan to do with it?
“I haven't got a clue what I'm going to do with it,” he said. “I have no idea.”
That's because Baker, president of Car City Supercenter in Grand Rapids, Mich., and chairman of the NIADA BHPH Commission, was more focused on the cause that benefited from the auction, which was held June 15 in the Expo Hall at the Convention's venue, The Mirage.
Baker’s bid of $28,000 on the 2016 Nissan Frontier SV pickup donated by ADESA, AFC and Insurance Auto Auctions — members of the KAR Auction Services group of companies — will go directly to the NIADA Foundation, which spearheads the association’s commitment to charitable giving as well as awarding scholarships to deserving college-bound students across the United States.
“It’s a great donation to the foundation,” Baker said. “And, hey, look! A little icing on the cake — I got a free truck!”
The vehicle will be delivered to Baker free by ADESA/AFC/IAA. The truck also comes with a free 84-month full coverage warranty compliments of Preferred Warranties, another KAR Auction Services company.
Over the past five years, KAR company-sponsored auctions at the NIADA Convention and Expo have raised a total of $125,200 for the NIADA Foundation. During last year’s convention, Virginia dealer Andrew Gurowitz bid $27,500 for a 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited.
The foundation also received a boost from another auction item. Before the truck went on the block, the foundation auctioned off pairs of tickets for seats in the Dunkin Donuts corporate suite for two July games between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox at Boston's Fenway Park. The package includes airfare from anywhere in the U.S., donated by Catholic Charities.
Wholesale Inc. dealer sales/acquisition manager Heather Jones won a spirited bidding war with NIADA senior vice president Henry Mullinax at $2,900 for the first pair of tickets. Mullinax agreed to match that bid for the second pair, bringing the total raised for the foundation to $5,800 for the tickets and $33,800 for the day.