In the past, Manheim has hosted mobile auctions in some pretty unique locations — dealership lots, convention centers, NASCAR race tracks, even a minor league baseball park — but the company insisted the latest location tops them all.
Recently, Manheim UK held what is believed to be the first vehicle auction at sea. The unique mobile sale for Citroën was held on No Man’s Fort, a 150-year-old facility off the coast of the Isle of Wight near Portsmouth, England.
Manheim shared that the logistical challenges of moving all of the special offsite auction equipment, along with Citroën’s guests and the Manheim team, from the mainland to a 150-year-old fort in the middle of the Solent was “incredibly” successful, with 100 percent of the 225 vehicles offered selling for 100 percent of their reserve prices.
The company highlighted that No Man’s Fort dates from the 1860s, when building work started on a number of military forts in the Solent to protect the United Kingdom from a potential French invasion. Having been decommissioned after World War II, No Man’s Fort was bought by its current owners in 2012 and converted into a luxury hotel and function venue.
Paul Drake, remarketing manager for Citroën UK, said: “There are some things in life you never forget and this truly has to be one of them. Not only was the auction itself a huge success, but it was one of, if not the best, event to which I have ever invited our dealers. It was an incredible experience and I’m not sure how we will ever top it.”
Tim Hudson, managing director of inventory solutions at Cox Automotive, added: “We have truly led the market with our pioneering offsite sales, supported by our unique mobile auction proposition. Having partnered with Citroën UK for the first ever offsite outdoor sale in the U.K. in 2015, we are delighted to have broken new boundaries with them again with what we believe to be the first ever sale held ‘at sea.’
“I’m incredibly proud of the result, but most importantly the incredible support provided by our team members to facilitate such a special sale,” Hudson went on to say.