2018 Women in Remarketing honorees

CARY, N.C.  - 

“Recognizing Excellence.”

That’s more than just the moniker under our Women in Remarketing logo. It’s one of the reasons why AuSM publishes this issue of the magazine each year.

This special feature, which can be found , recognizes excellence among the leaders of the remarketing and used-car business.

Each of the leaders honored in our Women in Remarketing program takes on different responsibilities within the industry, and the companies they represent encompass a diverse cross-section of the used-car market. Each has a unique and inspiring story to tell, both within and beyond the business world.

We would like to thank everyone who sent in Women in Remarketing nominations this year.

While there are many more women worthy of recognition, we could not spotlight all the nominees, as we are only able to recognize a select few each year.

But stay tuned to AuSM e-newsletters, as we will conduct another call for nominations early next year.

Below are this year's honorees, in alphabetical order by first name:

Anne Holtzman, Allied Solutions

Becky Puckett, Hyundai Capital America

Candice Lester, GM Financial

Clair Wallace, Equifax

Jennifer Leocardi, McConkey Auction Group

Julee S. Dunn, First Tech Federal Credit Union

Kelly Miller, RMS Automotive

Leslie Chambers, Andy Mohr Ford

Megan Lindsey, Ally

Melissa Trautman, MetroGistics

Mollie Lutfy, ALG

Nicole Graham-Ponce, Manheim Dallas-Fort Worth

Penny Wanna, Auction Academy/ TPC Mamagement/ ServNet Auctions

Sandy Whicker, ADESA

Sandy Moon, NextGear Capital 

Stacey White, KAR Auction Services

Tammy Swofford, America's Auto Auction

Tina Viens, Insurance Auto Auctions

Tracy Noonan Fred, Xtime 

Tricia Green, TradeRev

Check out the  to learn more about these outstanding industry leaders.

The 2018 Women in Remarketing class will be honored at , which is scheduled for Nov. 12-16 at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Ally Financial names CFAA as Auction of the Year


Columbus Fair Auto Auction added another piece of hardware to its trophy case this week.

In a ceremony prior the start of Wednesday’s sale, CFAA was awarded Ally Financial’s Auction of the Year Leadership Award for 2017.

The award recognizes the auctions’ overall sales, performance and growth for the year.

This accolade marks the third year in a row that CFAA has earned the award.

“Ally Financial appreciates the hard work and effort the Columbus Fair team does on our behalf,” said Tom Moore, Ally’s director of remarketing for the Eastern region. “This continues to be a great partnership for Ally and its dealer customers and the results speak for themselves with Columbus Fair having won this award three years running.”

Columbus Fair Auto Auction owner Alexis Jacobs added, “We value our relationship with Ally both commercial lease and repo. We are proud of the recognition and we look forward to continued success in 2018 and beyond.”

Lexus, Chrysler take top honors at Texas Auto Roundup

DECATUR, Texas - 

After driving over 40 vehicles through a series of exercises on a 2.5-mile racetrack, members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) voted for Lexus and Chrysler to take home the top two awards at this year’s Texas Auto Roundup.

Over the course of two days, 49 TAWA members learned about a total of 46 different vehicles from several manufacturer representatives before taking them on slalom, acceleration and braking tests at Eagles Canyon Raceway in Decatur, Texas last week.

TAWA members cover the automotive industry for print, online and broadcast outlets throughout the country.

The 2018 Lexus LC 500 and the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica received the 2018 Texas Auto Roundup Car of Texas and Family Car of Texas awards, respectively.

“Our journalists had a clear decision after driving vehicles at a new venue this year,” TAWA president Michael Marrs said in a news release. “They thought the new Lexus LC stood out among the competitors for its eye-catching looks and refined but muscular performance on the track.”

In addition to this year’s sponsor, the Steel Market Development Institute, Polaris Slingshot and Wieck Media also supported the 2018 Texas Auto Roundup awards.

Below is a full list of all other category award winners this year:

Winner: 2018 Infiniti QX80
Runner-Up: 2018 Jeep Wrangler

Winner: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Runner-Up: 2018 Volkswagen Golf R

Winner: 2018 Toyota Camry
Runner-Up: 2018 Volkswagen Passat

Winner: 2019 Toyota Avalon
Runner-Up: 2018 Honda Accord

Winner: 2018 Lexus LS 500
Runner-Up: 2019 Infiniti QX50

Winner: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Runner-Up: 2018 Honda Clarity

Winner: 2018 Honda Civic Type R
Runner-Up: 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Winner: 2018 Lexus LC 500
Runner-Up: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody

Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Runner-Up: 2018 Kia Stinger

Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Runner-Up: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT

Winner: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GT R
Runner-Up: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Winner: World’s First Production-Ready Variable Compression Ratio Engine, 2019 Infiniti QX50

Winner: 2019 Toyota Avalon Touring

Honda dominates KBB Brand Image Awards

IRVINE, Calif. - 

Kelley Blue Book recently announced its 2018 Brand Image Award winners, and Honda, Lexus and Ford took the top spots after receiving the highest average scores among 12 brand watch factors.

In addition to being named 2018 Best Value Brand and Most Refined Brand, Honda took home the Best Overall Brand title for the first time since 2015.

This year, KBB selected brand winners using annual new-car buyer perception data from the Kelley Blue Book Strategic Insights' Brand Watch study.

“Building familiarity and loyalty among car shoppers has never been more important to automakers, especially as the market is flooded with all-new and redesigned models competing for market share,” KBB director of media strategic insights Hwei-Lin Oetken said in a news release.

“The combination of compelling product and marketing communications continues to influence purchase consideration. This year's winners have attracted car shoppers based on many attributes that are important to consumers, and motivate them toward their ultimate purchase decision.” Oetken continued.

KBB’s 2018 Brand Image Award winners include:

Non-Luxury Brands

  • Honda - Best Overall Brand
  • Subaru - Most Trusted Brand
  • Honda - Best Value Brand
  • Honda - Most Refined Brand
  • Mazda - Best Performance Brand
  • Mazda - Best Car Styling Brand

Luxury Brands

  • Lexus - Best Overall Luxury Brand
  • Lexus - Most Trusted Luxury Brand
  • Buick - Best Value Luxury Brand
  • Mercedes-Benz - Most Refined Luxury Brand
  • Porsche - Best Performance Luxury Brand
  • Jaguar - Best Car Styling Luxury Brand

Truck Brand

  • Ford - Best Overall Truck Brand

Award categories are calculated among luxury, non-luxury and truck shoppers.

For the fifth year in a row, the Ford brand has once again been named the Best Overall Truck Brand.

The American brand has earned the distinction every year, except in 2013, when Toyota took home the title.

Additionally, Lexus has been recognized as the Best Overall Luxury Brand for the third consecutive year, as well as Most Trusted Luxury Brand for 2018.

“Lexus' tradition of high-quality products and its recent emphasis on style and emotion, contributed to the brand's win,” said KBB.

The luxury brand’s ES, NX, RX and LS models also received high ratings among consumers for this year's study.

The Strategic Insights' Brand Watch study captures how shoppers view important factors that influence their purchase decisions.

KBB’s 12 brand watch factors include: affordability, driving comfort, driving performance, durability/reliability, exterior styling, fuel efficiency, interior layout, prestige/sophistication, reputation, ruggedness, safety and technology.

Click  for more information about the 2018 Brand Image Award winners.

CPS honors 2 Missouri auctions

IRVINE, Calif. - 

Two independent auctions collected accolades from a consignor that specializes in originating contracts within the subprime credit space.

Consumer Portfolio Services announced its 2017 auction award winners during a private ceremony at the CAR Conference earlier this month in Las Vegas.

This year’s CPS Top Gun Award as the finance company’s Auction of the Year was awarded to 166 Auto Auction from Springfield, Mo. To qualify for this award, the finance company indicated the auction must finish the year in the top 5 for large CPS volume sales in retention, then go through the voting process of the entire internal and external CPS remarketing teams.

CPS became partners with 166 AA in late 2014 and since then, 166 AA has gone on to receive the Operational Excellence Award in 2015 and the CPS Heavy Hammer Award in 2016 prior to earning the 2017 CPS Top Gun Award.

Ace Tetlow, assistant general manager at 166 AA, said, “The team at 166 Auto Auction is honored to receive this award and grateful for the partnership we have with CPS, truly a great company to partner with at the auction level.”

The 2017 CPS Heavy Hammer Award for highest sales retention went to KCI-Kansas City Independent Auto Auction of Kansas City, Mo. The Heavy Hammer Award is awarded to one CPS partner auction in the nation who achieved the highest sales retention for the entire year.

This was KCI’s first CPS auction award after coming extremely close on many other occasions.

“It’s an honor for our KCI team to achieve this award from CPS,” said Jennifer Leocardi, who is vice president of national sales for McConkey Auction Group. “All year long, we’re discussing and implementing ways to continue to build the best market for CPS vehicles, and we have obviously set the bar high.”

CPS remarketing manager Mike Scott added, “We are extremely proud to honor our top performing auctions each year through the auction award/recognition program.

“For the 2017 awards, we saw some familiar faces at the ceremony along with many auctions earning their first CPS award,” Scott went on to say. “The competition the program creates for the auctions is terrific and to watch the auctions compete throughout the year, inquiring about how they stack up to their competition, is a testament to the commitment these auctions have to the success of CPS in the remarketing world.”

Manheim’s Johnson receives Barbara Cox Woman of the Year Award


Now 13 years into the award program, this Cox Automotive accolade went to one of its own.

Cox Automotive presented its annual Barbara Cox Woman of the Year Award to Ellie Johnson, general manager at Manheim Statesville, representing the first time in the history of the award that it has been given to a Cox Automotive team member.

This honor is awarded to women who demonstrate business leadership and community advocacy, as well as a commitment to advancing the automotive industry. The award was presented by Cox Automotive president Sandy Schwartz during the Northwood University Dealer Education Award annual breakfast on Saturday at NADA Show 2018.

The award is named after the late Barbara Cox, a Cox Automotive owner and the mother of chairman Jim Kennedy. Two of Barbara Cox’s grandsons, Henry Parry-Okeden and Andrew Parry-Okeden, were also there as Johnson received the award. Henry is a member of the Cox Enterprises board of directors and Andrew is a member of the Cox Automotive Australia advisory board.

“Ellie is a shining example of this award, our company, and all women that have built their careers in the auto industry,” Schwartz said. “In her 30- years at Manheim, she has grown from working her family’s auctions to becoming a general manager.

“Additionally, Ellie’s involvement with professional organizations, civic groups and charitable organizations is an incredible display of giving back and serving your local communities as a professional in our company. All of us at Cox Automotive are so proud of Ellie and her accomplishments,” Schwartz went on to say.

Johnson has a lifetime of experience in the auction profession, with her father being an auctioneer and founding his own auction facility. After earning an accounting degree and real estate broker’s license, Johnson joined her father’s business which is now known as Manheim North Carolina. She served as general manager of Manheim North Carolina until 2016 when she was named general manager of Manheim Statesville.

Johnson is a former president of the National Auto Auction Association and is a member of the Carolinas Independent Automobile Dealers Association (CIADA) and the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA).

Among her many charitable endeavors, Johnson has her auctions sponsor local FHA and 4-H programs and annual food and toy drives. In 2017, the auction gave back over $68,000 to various charity programs.

“This is an incredible honor for myself, my team and Cox Automotive,” Johnson said. “I am so blessed to work for Cox Automotive. It’s a family-owned business with the same values as the one my family started over 30 years ago.

“Growing up and living in the auto industry my entire life, I have had the opportunity to work and interact with incredible individuals and that is what has kept me moving forward throughout my career,” she added. “This award belongs to them as much as it does to me and I am thankful to everyone for it.”

Johnson is a five-time winner of the Santander Consumer USA and Chrysler Capital Asset Remarketing Awards for her work at Manheim North Carolina.

In addition to presenting the award to Johnson, Cox Automotive presented a $10,000 Barbara Cox scholarship to Mollie Arnold, a Northwood University junior studying Automotive Retail Management. Arnold is a Dean’s List student, volunteers in a number of organizations including Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude Up Till’ Dawn, and the Special Olympics, and is a Women’s Retail Network Scholarship recipient.

For more information on the Barbara Cox Woman of the Year Award, .

Another NC dealer receives TIME and Ally Financial Honor


For the second time in the past five years, a dealer from the Tar Heel State has claimed one of the highest honors for a franchised operator.

Jack Salzman, owner of Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Cornelius, N.C., was named the 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year over the weekend during the 101st annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show 2018 in Las Vegas. Salzman was selected for the prestigious award from a field of 47 dealer nominees from across the country in recognition of his many business accomplishments and community contributions, which focus on helping women, children and animals.

“Jack Salzman has made giving back a central part of his personal and business philosophy,” said Tim Russi, president of auto finance for Ally, which has been the exclusive sponsor of the program for seven years. “It is an honor to recognize him as the 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year for all he has done to invest in his community and his dealership team.

“We’re proud of the hard work and generosity shown by each of the nominees and finalists, they inspire us with their dedication to this business and to giving back to their communities,” Russi continued.

The other regional finalists for this year’s award were:

— Brent Brown, president of Brent Brown Toyota in Orem, Utah
— William Fenton, president of Toyota of Keene in East Swanzey, N.H.
— Wally Sommer, president of Sommer’s Subaru in Mequon, Wisc.

Ally will provide $10,000 dollars to the nonprofit organization of Salzman’s choice. In addition, $5,000 will be donated to the charitable organization selected by each of the three finalists and the state Automotive Trade Association Executive (ATAE) who nominated Salzman. In recognition of all the dealers nominated for the award, Ally gave $1,000 to the charity of choice for each of the 47 nominees. For more information about the nominated auto dealers, including their philanthropic contributions and achievements, visit

TIME Dealer of the Year, which is presented by TIME magazine’s owner, Meredith Corp, is a coveted award in the auto industry, with recipients among the most successful auto dealers in the country who have also shown enduring dedication to community service. Salzman, 55, was chosen to represent the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association in the 49th annual TIME Dealer of the Year competition. Only a fraction of the 16,500 franchise dealers nationwide are nominated for the award each year.

Back in 2013, Michael Alford, who is president of Marine Chevrolet Cadillac in Jacksonville, N.C., received the honor. Now a dealer near Charlotte is this year’s winner.

“The most rewarding part of my retail automotive career has been hiring great people and investing in their future,” Salzman said. “We pride ourselves on searching out quality employees and providing them with the tools and support they need to grow from entry-level jobs up to top management positions within the company.”

Salzman graduated from Riverview High School in Riverview, Fla., and went on to earn a degree in business administration from Auburn University and a J.D. from the Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova University, now Nova Southeastern University, in 1989.

Rather than working at a law firm after graduation, Salzman decided he wanted to own his own business and started a cellular phone agency. After partnering with a local car dealership on a promotion for the agency, the dealer hired Salzman as a sales manager, and he has been in the auto industry ever since. Today, he owns two Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealerships in North Carolina located in Cornelius and Gastonia.

Salzman’s hiring practices earned Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram the 2012 Champions of Diversity award from the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce.

“We have always sought out great employees regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.,” he said. “As a result of this philosophy, we have been rewarded with extremely low turnover and incredibly caring employees, whom we are able to continually promote to new positions that further their careers.”

In his community, Salzman is committed to giving back. He is a contributor to the Humane Society of Charlotte, as well as a founding board member of Lake Norman Humane. He also supports Lake Norman Lucky Cats, which provides trap-neuter-return services, as well as Holly’z Hope, an organization that helps unchain dogs by building fences for homeowners in need.

 “When I purchased the dealership in 2003, my wife and I decided that we wanted to focus our philanthropic time and attention on three areas: animals in need, children in need and women in need,” he said.

Salzman is a longtime supporter of The Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center in Statesville, N.C., and Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center in Charlotte; as well as Amy’s House in Lincolnton, N.C., and The Shelter of Gaston County in Gastonia, which both serve battered women and children. Salzman also supports Make-A-Wish; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Habitat for Humanity; Susan G. Komen; American Cancer Society; and many other local groups.

Salzman was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Robert Glaser, president of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Robin Smith-Salzman, have three children and six grandchildren.

The finalists from each of the four NADA regions and the national Dealer of the Year were chosen by a faculty member panel from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA.

FCA US recognizes 468 dealerships for top sales and service experience


FCA US announced Tuesday that it has awarded 468 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT dealerships with Customer First Award for Excellence designations this year.

The winning group of dealerships achieved the highest level of customer experience recognition in the program's five core areas: people, facility, processes, customer performance metrics and training certification.

“The fact that our Customer First Award for Excellence dealers demonstrated this level of excellence in such a highly competitive market demonstrates their drive to be the best of the best,” FCA head of U.S. sales Reid Bigland said in a news release. “Customers today have higher expectations of the shopping and ownership experience, and our Customer First Award for Excellence dealers are meeting – and exceeding – those expectations.”

The program was originally launched in 2015 with FCA dealer partners and J.D. Power to improve customer satisfaction with Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT dealerships in the U.S.

“The number of Customer First Award for Excellence dealers continues to increase year-over-year, demonstrating FCA and our dealers' consistent focus on providing a superior customer experience,” said FCA US head of network development Al Gardner. “These 2018 Customer First Award for Excellence dealers are leading the way for our network, and the award is clear evidence of their everyday dedication and commitment to their customers.”

Each year, all 2,600 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT dealerships across the country are eligible to earn the award.

Toyota tops Vincentric's Best Value in America Awards list


Vincentric awarded the Toyota brand top honors in its 14th annual Best Value in America Awards.

Toyota received a total of two and eight model-level awards, including the Toyota Tacoma which earned honors for the 14th year in a row.

For the second year in a row, the Toyota brand also earned awards in the passenger car and SUV/crossover/van categories.

Among other mainstream brands, Ford won the Best Value Truck brand award for the third year in a row, and the Honda Odyssey received recognition for Best Value Minivan for the ninth time.

Additionally, BMW earned top honors in the luxury car category, and the Lexus ES 300h took home the Best Value Luxury Hybrid award for the sixth year.

“By measuring all costs buyers incur when owning a car, we deliver a data-driven analysis that identifies which vehicles provide the best value over time,” Vincentric president David Wurster said in a news release. “The insight gained by these awards not only informs buyers, but it also helps dealers and OEMs understand which vehicles are delivering value and which vehicles might need to have their cost structure re-evaluated.”

Vincentric measures cost-of-ownership across eight different cost factors: depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost and repairs.

To identify Best Value in America winners, Vincentric measures cost-of-ownership using eight different cost factors: depreciation, fees & taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost and repairs.

According to the company, more than 3,000 vehicle configurations were evaluated in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. using a range of annual mileage intervals and insurance profiles.

United Auto Credit honors 5 auctions, including 2017 Auction of the Year


United Auto Credit recently honored its 2017 Auction of the Year, along with handing out four other regional winners.

Receiving the award as the consignor’s Auction of the Year was Dealers Auto Auction of the Southwest.

“We have been doing business with DAASW for several years, and they have consistently done a great job for us. We are so proud of them for taking the top honor," said Scott Mousaw, director of remarketing for United Auto Credit.

“Each year, we aim to honor the auctions with the best retention, highest conversion rate and operational efficiencies,” added Mousaw, who himself has recently collected honors as he was named the 2017 National Remarketer of the Year this past November during .

DAASW is located in Phoenix operating six auction lanes on more than 20 acres. The operation offers more than 600 vehicles weekly for commercial consignors, franchise and independent dealers.

“We have an amazing team here at DAASW, and we continue to strive to provide the best service to our customers,"  DAASW general manager Jim Mumford said. “We are very proud to have this honor and look forward to 2018.”

United Auto Credit utilizes approximately 32 auction locations throughout the U.S. United Auto Credit also recognized the following auctions as regional winners:

—Lone Star Auto Auction

—Carolina Auto Auction

—North Bay Auto Auction

—Missouri Auto Auction

“We work with the best auctions in the markets where our vehicles are located, and based on the list of winners, we are happy to be working with independent auctions,” Mousaw said.