AAAG & Auctions in Motion Bring New Approach to Wholesale Selling
When the American Auto Auction Group got started in Charleston, S.C., around three years ago, its goal from the outset was to create a coast-to-coast nationwide network of independent auctions.
Having dug its roots on the East Coast, the group wanted to find a foothold towards the Pacific end of the country. That’s when George Pero and his “hybrid”-style Auctions in Motion came into the picture.
“When we found George (in early 2012), we saw a young entrepreneur who listens to his customer and has a vision for where the auction industry is going, and is quick enough and nimble enough to follow it,” AAAG chief executive officer Bill McIver said when Auto Remarketing interviewed him and Pero at the Used Car Week conference series in November.
“And when we saw what he had created and begun, we just knew it would complement some of the same things we were doing out on the East Coast,” McIver said.
It would take some time before a deal was finally sealed for AAAG to purchase Auction in Motion, but it was well worth the wait, McIver said, as the auction group was able to add a new style of wholesale business to its repertoire.
The model for Auctions in Motions, as its founder Pero describes it, is to “bring the auction to the customer.”
Or, put a different way, a “boutique approach” of bringing the auction to a dealer’s neighborhood.
As Pero explained to Auto Remarketing earlier in 2012, Auctions in Motion provides both “mobile” sales — where within a 72-hour period, the company sets up shop on dealer property, conducts the sale and has everything packed up and out of there — as well as sales that are at set, free-standing locations.
The latter are known as “hybrid” sales. Though different than the traditional brick-and-mortar auction, they are designed to offer the benefits of “mobile” sales and the traditional permanent auction sites.
When asked what the appetite has been to this wholesale selling approach, Pero said: “They embrace the different style of doing business, because it’s about efficiency. It’s about saving the customers’ time, both the sellers and the buyers.
“By bringing the auction to the customer, they maximize their time, a commodity that sometimes has an unbelievable value; they get to buy vehicles that are specific to a geographical area, they know where their cars are being sourced out of … but what’s most important is that customers have asked for this,” he said.
“Listening to the customers’ needs is what helps you build a successful business,” Pero added. “You don’t follow the ‘we’ll build it, and they will come’ (model); what we do is we come to you, and we’ll build it for you.”
In sharing his input on the feedback and reaction to this sale type, McIver harkened back to when online auction sales were first gaining steam.
What attracted people to the Web was that they could buy units upstream, or in other words, “closer to the source of the vehicle where it’s grounded,” McIver said.
“This is the same concept, but with a little bit different of a spin. You get the energy, the action, the enthusiasm, the competitiveness of a live auction, but it’s upstream,” he noted.