Auctions & dealers scramble as Harvey soaks Texas


As torrential rain from Hurricane Harvey keeps falling, the National Automobile Dealers Association and Cox Automotive are taking actions in an effort to support member dealerships as well as Manheim facilities and personnel in the region.

While dealers like Wyatt Wainwright had to flee rising waters, officials from Manheim are modifying activities near Houston, emphasizing that safety of employees is paramount.

“In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the entire Manheim Texas team is focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of our team members,” said Nick Boris, regional vice president for Manheim Central, in details obtained by Auto Remarketing on Monday afternoon.

“We have thankfully confirmed that the more than half of our Texas employees are accounted for, and we are continuing to diligently reach out to additional staff,” Boris continued. “Manheim’s corporate human resources team based in Atlanta is leading the effort to share relief resources and information with those affected by the storm, record-breaking flooding and loss of utilities.

“In addition, they are coordinating access for Manheim team members to the Cox Employee Relief Fund (available through Manheim’s parent company Cox Enterprises) which provides immediate financial assistance for unexpected needs resulting from a disaster,” Boris went on to say.

Below is an update from Manheim’s business operations at some of its sites in Texas:

• Converted Tuesday morning physical sale at Manheim Houston to a digital sale

• Converted Thursday physical sale at Manheim Texas Hobby to a digital sale

• Proceeding with Wednesday sale at Manheim San Antonio

• Still assessing operations at Manheim South Houston

• Manheim Dallas, Manheim Dallas-Fort Worth, Manheim El Paso and Manheim West Texas are not impacted at this time.

“We are proactively communicating with clients about the status of our operations and inventory, as well as their assets,” Boris said. “Currently, affected sites are offering digital sales to support our clients’ used-vehicle buying and selling needs, and we will keep them informed about future in-lane sales.” 

Undoubtedly dealers like Wainwright would like to get back to inventory acquisition. He is experiencing just how devastating the impacts this hurricane is leaving.

Wainwright is a resident of Sugar Land, Texas, about 20 miles southwest of Houston, as well as president of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association, which represents 175 dealerships. He learned in the middle of the night about orders to evacuate his home.

“We are struggling with the evacuation right now,” Wainwright said in a press release shared by NADA on Monday.

“There are large scale mandatory and voluntary evacuations going on right now. We don’t know where we can go to escape. I don’t know how I could drive three miles right now without getting blocked,” he added.

The NADA Foundation has mobilized its Emergency Relief Fund to assist dealership employees who have been impacted by personal property damage caused by the hurricane and flooding.

“There’s still 20 to 30 inches of rain that still has to pass through. We are not even near to the peak flooding yet,” Wainwright added. “A big issue we haven’t faced yet are rivers and streams that have yet to overflow. There is so much more of this to go which is the problem.” 

Dealership employees affected by the flooding can apply for financial assistance. (Lost wages or commissions are not eligible for reimbursement from the fund.)

The NADA Foundation is also calling on dealers and dealer association groups to donate online to its Emergency Relief Fund. Checks can be made payable to Emergency Relief Fund and sent to:

NADA Foundation
8400 Westpark Drive
MS 7
Tysons, Va. 22102.

For more information, call (703) 821-7102.

Cox Automotive is also committed to helping the American Red Cross with disaster relief efforts. 

In addition to the company’s corporate partnership, charitable banner ad campaigns are running on Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim.com.  Red Cross ads click directly to the Cox Automotive partnership donation site at https://www.redcross.org/coxauto-emp.

State and federal officials continue to deploy all resources available to help Texas residents impacted by this storm.

On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he has activated the entire Texas National Guard in response to Hurricane Harvey, bringing the total number of deployed guardsman to roughly 12,000. These National Guardsman will assist in the ongoing search and rescue effort for any Texans in immediate danger, and will be heavily involved in the extensive recovery effort in the aftermath of the storm.

“It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of people across the state of Texas as we continue to face the aftermath of this storm,” Abbott said. “The Texas National Guard is working closely with FEMA and federal troops to respond urgently to the growing needs of Texans who have fallen victim to Hurricane Harvey, and the activation of the entire guard will assist in the efforts already underway. I would like to thank FEMA Administrator Brock Long, as well as all our brave first responders for their hard work in helping those impacted by this terrible storm.”

FEMA Administrator Brock Long added, “While this is still a dangerous situation with a long response effort ahead, the state and people of Texas are resilient. FEMA was here before the storm hit, and we will be here as long as needed, actively coordinating the full resources of the federal government, to support Gov. Abbott and the state.”

ADESA Kansas City raises over $50K for children’s hospital

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA announced Thursday that its Kansas City auction recently raised a total of $50,457 for a local children’s hospital.

The auction held a special sale and live charity auction event named  “Cars-n-Kids” for Children’s Mercy Kansas City.

In addition to donating $150 for every car sold during the sale, ADESA Kansas City sold event T-shirts, hosted a shrimp boil dinner, and auctioned items such as end zone pylons autographed by Kansas City Chiefs players.

“As a not-for-profit children’s hospital, Children’s Mercy is so appreciative of community partners like ADESA Kansas City, who do more to make a difference for our patients and families,” Megan Stock, assistant director of philanthropic community engagement and events, said in a news release. “We are grateful to everyone involved with the Cars-n-Kids charity car auction for making it such a successful fundraiser.”

ADESA said auction general manager Kevin Rhoads and his team chose to help Children’s Mercy this year because the hospital has helped several auction employees and their families.

“When we were choosing a charity to sponsor, Children’s Mercy immediately came to mind,” Rhoads said. “The event was a huge success, with dealers raving about the shrimp boil and the charity auction. But the best part is we raised over $50,000 for Children’s Mercy.”

Florida Fine Cars organizing efforts to help St. Jude


Florida Fine Cars — among the top 100 independent dealers highlighted earlier this summer in Auto Remarketing — announced on Monday that the dealership will support two upcoming walk/run fundraisers to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in an effort to help doctors find a cure for childhood cancers.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based children’s hospital has organized simultaneous fundraising events in Miami and West Palm Beach, Fla., on Sept. 23. Florida Fine Cars is sponsoring a hydration station in Miami and providing a meet-up tent in West Palm Beach.

“Everyone knows someone who’s been diagnosed with cancer. But when it’s a child, it’s even harder to accept,” Florida Fine Cars marketing director Jamie Suid said. “St. Jude is a frontrunner in cancer research and saving lives. Our dealership wants to be a part of that.”

 According to St. Jude marketing director Rebecca Torres, it costs $2.2 million a day to run the hospital, 75 percent of which comes from donors.

“Every donation, no matter how big or small, helps St. Jude tremendously,” said Torres, who met with Florida Fine Cars employees in early July to discuss the hospital’s mission, explain its funding needs and solicit support for its mission.

“It’s a great cause. Who wouldn’t want to help find a cure for kids with cancer? If Florida Fine Cars can contribute in some small way, count us in,” Suid said.

Money raised at the upcoming St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer in Dade and Palm Beach County will go back to the hospital to help further its mission: Finding cures and saving children.

“Donations allow us to ensure that no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. We really want to make sure that parents can focus on helping their child get healthy,” Torres said.

St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent in 1962 when it first opened to 80 percent today. Doctors at St. Jude treat everything from brain tumors, leukemia and lymphoma as well as infectious diseases to immunodeficiency diseases, blood disorders, sickle cell disease and solid tumors.

St. Jude makes it easy for families to pick up their lives and move to Memphis to receive the best treatment in the world. Consistent with the vision of founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.

To join Florida Fine Cars in an effort to support St. Jude through this fundraising event in south Florida, go to this website.

NAAA names chapter auctions of year in Midwest & South


The National Auto Auction Association recently announced that Clark County Auto Auction and Charleston Auto Auction have both been named Auto Auction of the Year within their respective chapters, following nominations from local school leaders.

The award was established last year to honor the charitable acts auctions perform each year and to encourage volunteer outreach. The two auctions will join other chapter finalists competing to win NAAA's 2017 Auto Auction of the Year Award for Excellence in Community Service.

In November, each finalist will be recognized at the NAAA Convention — which is being held in partnership with the National Remarketing Conference — with a crystal trophy and a $5,000 prize for a charity of the auction's choice.

The winner receives a large crystal loving cup, a feature story in both NAAA's On The Block magazine and annual Membership Directory, as well as a $20,000 donation to the charity of the auction's choice.

Midwest chapter auction donates $2M real estate

Greater Clark County Schools nominated Clark County Auto Auction, NAAA Midwest Chapter Auto Auction of the Year, following a recent contribution of its property worth more than $2 million.

The auction donated its former 5-acre site and 14,000-square-foot facility to the school system.

The school system named its Mark Fetter Center for Professional Learning after Clark County Auto Auctions late co-founder. Currently, the center has space for training 750 teachers.

"It's with pride that I announce Clark County Auto Auction as the Midwest Chapter's choice for Auto Auction of the Year during our celebration of National Auto Auction Week because they embody the long tradition of our membership's benevolent work and public service," NAAA Midwest chapter president Kristie Goben said in a news release.

Since 1982, the auction has raised more than $2.5 million in support of nonprofit projects, according to NAAA. 

"The compassionate employees who make up Clark County Auto Auction are deeply devoted and enthusiastic to volunteer and make a positive impact in their community each and every day," said Matt Fetter, Clark County Auto Auction president. "From the time we opened our doors, striving to make the world a better place has become our staple, our mission and a large portion of our company DNA."

Southern chapter auction supports homeless teens

Meanwhile, Charleston Auto Auction has been named the NAAA’s 2017 Southern Chapter Auto Auction of the Year following a nomination from the Charleston County School District.

NAAA said the school district nominated the auction for its efforts to help support 21 homeless students at R.B. Stall High School.

"As we celebrate National Auto Auction Week I'm proud to announce Charleston Auto Auction as our candidate for NAAA's Auto Auction of the Year," NAAA Southern chapter president Doug Rodriguez said. "All our entrants deserve recognition for their public service, but none touched us more than Charleston Auto Auction. Their dedication to helping homeless teens, who were couch surfing or sleeping on benches at the mall and had no idea where their next meal would come from, have a safe place to live so they could focus on school was heartwarming."

After seeing a news story on TV about Project H.O.M.E., a proposed project to house several homeless high schoolers with surrogate parents who would provide stability and consistency, Charleston Auto Auction assistant general manager Jason Moritz wanted to help, according to NAAA.

In support of Project H.O.M.E, the auction organized a special month-long sale where it partnered with its dealers to donate a percentage of any vehicle bought or sold to raise money for the construction of a house.

Following the sale, additional fundraising efforts on behalf of the auction garnered more than $26,000 for the project.

Project H.O.M.E now has a goal to begin housing students this fall, according to NAAA.

"They continue to be a driving force behind this project," Project H.O.M.E creator and Charleston County School District secondary education community executive director Kim Wilson. "They've taken an active role in making this home their mission with the auction's General Manager Laura Taylor and Jason joining our board of directors. They also speak to businesses and groups in the community to encourage involvement. It's people like the management and employees at Charleston Auto Auction who see a need and take action that make a difference in this world."

NAAA said other causes the auction supports includes a local food bank, an orphan group, animal shelter and camp program for ill children.

TrueCar kicks off pet adoption campaign with animal society


TrueCar and Best Friends Animal Society recently announced the start of "On The Road to #SaveThemAll," a joint campaign to raise awareness about the number of adoptable pets euthanized at shelters across the U.S each year.

According to Best Friends Animal Society, 5,500 homeless pets are killed in the U.S. each day and nearly 2 million adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters nationwide every year.

Through Aug. 31, TrueCar has pledged to donate $1 to Best Friends for every pet photo shared on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using both hashtags #SaveThemAll and #TrueCarEntry.

"At TrueCar, we believe that dogs and cats are so much more than just pets, they are members of the family," TrueCar chief brand officer Lucas Donat said in a news release.

Each eligible campaign participant will also be entered into a contest for an all-expenses paid trip for two to the Best Friends' Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah or a the Best Friends Regional Center in either New York or Los Angeles.

Best Friends Animal Society mission is to save all shelter animals by 2025.

"There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a previously homeless pet become part of a loving family," Best Friends Animal Society director of public relations and content marketing Eric Rayvid said.

"We've put a stake in the ground make sure there are no more homeless pets by 2025 and corporate partners like TrueCar provide much-needed funds to make that happen," he said.

Additionally, TrueCar first partnered with Best Friends in 2015 to help get animals adopted.

"We're excited to continue our partnership with Best Friends and support their mission of bringing about a time when there are no more homeless pets, giving each of them a chance to claim a seat in the family car."

For a complete set of the "On The Road to #SaveThemAll"  program contest rules, visit TrueCar.com/SaveThemAll.

Carfax participating in bike event to benefit autism research


More than 75 Carfax employees will join hundreds of bike riders from the Washington, D.C., area on Friday to bike 104 miles, raising money and awareness of autism.

Last year, Carfax said its employees raised more than $40,000 toward autism research for the event and have an ambitious goal of raising $50,000 this year.

About one in 68 children is identified with autism spectrum disorder, according to estimates from federal officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Like families across the United States, autism affects the family and friends of numerous Carfax employees, too,” the company said. “Annual participation in the Bike to the Beach ride is a cornerstone of the many community initiatives involving Team Carfax.

“It’s also one aspect of the company's culture that helped earn Carfax recognition as a Washington Post Top Workplace for the fourth straight time in 2017,” Carfax went on to say.

For more information about Bike to the Beach, visit www.biketothebeach.org.

Sheehy raises $285K for American Heart Association


Sheehy Auto Stores recently announced that it raised a record donation of $285,000 to give the American Heart Association this summer.

The company made the donation as part of its annual Sheehy 8000 campaign, a community-wide effort from May 12 to July 5, where Sheehy dealerships sold a combined total of over 8,000 new and used vehicles in efforts to raise the annual donation.

In addition to raising funds and awareness for the American Heart Association, the 54-day campaign also included community events such as heart-healthy cooking, food and CPR demonstrations.

"This year was a milestone for us and we are grateful for the support from our customers, communities and team members that have made this campaign such a success," Sheehy Auto Store president Vince Sheehy said in a news release.  "We are proud to support such a great organization that does so much to educate and help prevent the risk of heart disease and stroke."

For several years, Sheehy has also been a sponsor and active partner at the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day event held on the first Wednesday in April at Springfield Town Center. 

Additionally, this year, each of Sheehy's dealerships hosted individual step challenges between employees on the day of the event, according to the company.

"We are so grateful to the Sheehy Auto Stores family, their partners and customers for another record-breaking year,"  Michelle Nostheide, vice president of the American Heart Association, said in the release.

"The funds and awareness raised during the Sheehy 8000 will go a long way in furthering our life-saving mission in our communities," she said.

Last year's annual campaign, the Sheehy 7000, raised $225,000 for the charity. According to Sheehy, it has collected a total of over $40 million on behalf of both community and non-profit organizations since its inception.

Jim Ellis Automotive Group gathers $65K for local first responders


To kick off summer, the Jim Ellis Automotive Group wrapped up a successful charitable campaign where a portion of each sale during the month of May went to support local first responders. 

Thanks to the support of old and new customers alike, a total of $65,000 was raised and is being divided evenly between 10 Atlanta-area police and fire departments.

To distribute the funds raised through this campaign, the Jim Ellis Automotive Group decided to split funds between any police and fire department that is the responding agency for each of the Jim Ellis dealerships. This means that 10 first responding agencies will receive a check for $6,500, along with a catered lunch at their department when the funds are presented.

The agencies receiving funds include:

• Chamblee Police Department

• Cobb County Fire Department

• Cobb County Police Department

• DeKalb County Fire Department

• DeKalb County Police Department

• Doraville Police Department

• Gwinnett County Fire Department

• Gwinnett County Police Department

• Marietta Fire Department

• Marietta Police Department

Going above and beyond raising funds for local first responders, Jim Ellis Automotive dealerships are hosting first responder appreciation events in each of their dealership areas. The first appreciation breakfast was held on June 22 at Jim Ellis Mazda Marietta and events are scheduled to follow over the coming months at Jim Ellis Chamblee (July 20), Kennesaw (Sept. 14) and Buford (Oct. 19).

“First responders do so much for our communities and they often do not receive the honor or appreciation that they deserve,” Jim Ellis Automotive Group president Jimmy Ellis said. “Our local first responders put their lives on the line daily for the safety and well-being of complete strangers and we wanted to do something above and beyond to show our appreciation for them.

“Many of our customers made it clear that they feel the same way as they rallied behind us to support this endeavor,” Ellis continued. “We look forward to continuing this campaign through the rest of the year as we host appreciation events at our dealerships and offer special discounts to first responders in both sales and service.”

In addition to the cash donations that will be made to the local first responders that serve their dealership areas, Jim Ellis Automotive dealerships are offering special discounts for the rest of the year to all eligible first responders.

As a token of appreciation, all qualifying first responders can take advantage of $500 off their next vehicle when purchased from Jim Ellis. That is $500 off the best negotiated price at any of the Jim Ellis dealerships.

On the parts and service side, eligible first responders will receive 15 percent off parts and service at any Jim Ellis dealership through the end of the year.

ServNet owners meet, select 7 scholarship program winners

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - 

ServNet auction owners and members of its executive team met for the group's semi-annual business meeting and a visit with national remarketers at a Meet the Owners event last month.

At the Owners' Meeting, members discussed the group's Leadership Succession, which will occur this fall.

Carolina Auto Auction’s Eric Autenrieth will assume duties as ServNet's president, and current president, Kevin Brown of Missouri Auto Auction, will be succeeded by Patty Stanley of Carolina/Indiana Auto Auction as chairman of the board.

"The dominant competitive advantage of ServNet Auctions is its dynamic Owners Group, many of whom are second- and third-generation auto auction operators. ServNet's semi-annual Owners' Business Meetings are prime opportunities for the auctions' owners, who have decades of experience and a personal investment in the industry, to discuss the challenges of the market, as well as to identify opportunities for growth and explore new methods," said ServNet chief executive officer Pierre Pons.

The group also discussed the role ServNet next generation auction owners will play in building and strengthening the independent auction group.

"While the board as it currently stands is led by first-generation owners Kevin Brown and Patty Stanley, the remaining five seats are filled by next generation owners Eric Autenrieth, Beth Barber (State Line Auto Auction), Steve DeLuca (Auto Auction of New England), Ashley Dietze (San Antonio Auto Auction) and Rob Thompson (Mid-State Auto Auction). These owners have all developed into strong, capable, visionary leaders in their own right, as they continue the pattern set by their parents in building the family businesses," said Pons. "Their participation helps ensure the vitality, longevity and strength of our organization."

Additionally, the group reviewed the impact their moves to smaller, mobile auction operations in secondary markets, as well as the impact of incentives or rebates to high volume customers on both the dealer and commercial sides of the auction business, according to ServNet.

Following the business meeting, ServNet's owners and executive staff met with Dallas-area based commercial accounts and industry partners at a Meet the Owners Luncheon.

During the luncheon, the group announced the seven winners of this year's ServNet Scholarship program for children of ServNet Auction employees attending both two- and four-year colleges.

"We were pleased to expand the scholarship program this year, adding an additional award for $2,500 for a student attending a four-year college," ServNet's Brown said in a news release. "We are very happy to announce the names of seven ServNet scholarship recipients."

Recipients of ServNet’s $1,500 scholarship for study at a two-year college include Darlene Delgado and Douglas Stack.

Delgado begins her freshman year at Glendale Community College of Arizona, where she will pursue an associate of arts degree in social and behavior science and Stack is going into his sophomore year at Corning Community College in New York, where he is a CAD major.

Recipients of the $2,500 scholarship for study at a four-year college or university include Madelyn Andrews, who attends SUNY College at New Paltz, N.Y.; Anne Dabroski of Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa.; Timothy Fujii, a junior at American University in Washington D.C.; Grant Richardson, a junior at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.; and Nina Emmick, a junior at the University of South Dakota, who has been awarded a second ServNet scholarship.

Last year, Emmick, daughter of Angela Emmick of KCI Kansas City, won one of ServNet's first scholarships as a sophomore, and she is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.

"Encouraging education is vital to the health of our industry, and we're pleased that ServNet's Scholarship program will offer assistance for both two- and four-year college programs," Stanley added.

"The auction industry is as much about 'family' as it is about anything else, and we believe that ServNet's Scholarship Program is both an important way to support that family as well as an investment in our future."

ServNet said the scholarship program was established last year as an ongoing initiative to help employees and their families pursue higher education.

In January, additional information and application forms for the 2018-2019 academic year scholarship awards will be available at www.servnetauctions.com.

NIADA honors NC dealership for community service


Along with announcing its college scholarship winners, the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association named Matthews Motors as the recipient of the 2017 NIADA and Cox Automotive Community Service Award in recognition of charitable efforts which have made a notable impact in Clayton, N.C.

The award honors independent dealerships for outstanding contributions to its community and the innovative ways it helps community partners fulfill their missions

During the National Leadership Awards Banquet at the 71st annual NIADA Convention and Expo this week, the family-owned and operated dealership’s owners Steve and Dale Matthews accepted their award from Cox Automotive president of inventory solutions Janet Barnard.

"Helping shape a better world through responsible company and individual actions has long been a part of the Cox culture," Barnard said in a news release. "We commend Steve and the Matthews Motors team for embodying those principles and demonstrating how every person, every organization, every day can make a difference when it comes to serving your community."

"We're honored to receive this award and be recognized by NIADA and Cox Automotive for creating positive change in our community," Steve Matthews said. "The real reward, however, comes from the impact we've made serving the Clayton area all these years."

In addition to the award, Cox Automotive also made a $10,000 donation to Clayton Area Ministries, the dealership's charity of choice. The organization provides food, medicine and utility bill assistance with to area residents.

Matthews Motors has supported more than 15 local charities and youth programs in the past year, according to NIADA.

The North Carolina dealership has raised more than $70,000 for Clayton Area Ministries and partnered with other local businesses to raise more than $10,000 for the Southeastern Medical Oncology Center's free mammogram screenings program.

NIADA scholarship winners

Also during this week's festivities, NIADA revealed the five recipients of its 2017 Scholarship Awards during the 71st Annual NIADA Convention and Expo at The Mirage in Las Vegas this week.

Each year, the NIADA Foundation partners with Manheim to sponsor a student from each of the association's four regions who has displayed exemplary abilities in education with a $3,500 scholarship to the college or university of their choice, and a $10,000 national scholarship for a student to attend Northwood University in an automotive-related field.

Recipient of the NIADA Foundation/Manheim Scholarship to Northwood University is Ali Nasrallah, a sophomore from Midland, Mich.

He has served as Northwood's student government vice president, vice president of the investments and personal finance club and vice chairman of the university's student-run International Auto Show.

Nasrallah is a dual major in automotive marketing and management and finance, and a minor in accounting.

This year’s regional scholarship winners include Logan Brinks of Marne, Mich. from Region I, Braden Martin of Nashville, Tenn. from Region II, Riley Raynor of Enid, Okla. from Region III and Juan Carrillo of Oxnard, Calif. from Region IV.

Brinks was elected class president at Coopersville High School where he played on the football team and became a National Honor Society member.

NIADA said Brinks is considering attending the University of Michigan, where has wanted to pursue a career in the auto industry.

Raynor, valedictorian of her graduating class at Chisolm High School is interested in attending Central Oklahoma University or the University of Alabama to study pre-law, psychology and philosophy. Her list of academic honors includes the Superintendent's Honor Roll, the National Honor Society, and Oklahoma Girls State.

Carillo, who also earned valedictorian honors, participated in football, baseball and taekwondo at Channel Islands High School in Oxnard, Calif. He has served as vice president of Future Leaders of America and mentors elementary school students.

NIADA said Carillo plans to major in mechanical engineering and pursue a master’s degree in automotive technology.