Auctions

ADESA Auctions Aid Fight Against Juvenile Diabetes

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA announced this week that is has raised $157,856 via several of its auction locations to donate to JDRF.

Formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to eradicating juvenile diabetes while leading the funding for type 1 diabetes research.

Auctions in five different locations worked with Ford’s Global Action Team during the two-month campaign to bring awareness to JDRF.

Tom Caruso, the chief client officer of KAR Auction Services, was proud of the charitable donations raised from the ADESA events in Indianapolis, Boston, Phoenix, Buffalo and Los Angeles.

“Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our dealers and our employees, we were able to raise funds for this worthy cause,” Caruso said. “For the past three years, Ford and ADESA have partnered to support JDRF. We couldn’t be more proud that our team was able to exceed our goals and make such a significant contribution.”

Ford, who has partnered with many organizations such as ADESA, has invested more than $45 million in funding for JDRF’s research.

Manheim Enters Brazil with New Acquisition

SAO PAULO, Brazil - 

As part of its long-term growth strategy to invest in emerging markets, Manheim announced Tuesday that it has purchased a majority stake in CarBizz, an auction operation based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The company highlighted this investment in Brazil — what executives consider to have one of the fastest growing automotive markets — supports Manheim’s plan to expand its global footprint, while providing dealers with greater access to its broad range of remarketing services.

This deal marks Manheim’s first move into the Brazilian market.

Owned by SGC Investments, CarBizz specializes in the vehicle remarketing of used trucks and large fleets. CarBizz employs a staff of nearly 50 people and will be operated by Carlos Domingues, who will serve as general manager.

Domingues comes to CarBizz from Manheim Portugal’s Porto operating location, where he has served as auction manager since 2007. He has 15 years of auction experience, including the past seven with Manheim Portugal.

Domingues previously served as north sale manager for SLV, a Portuguese auction company acquired by Manheim International in 2007.

“We are excited for the opportunity to enter the Brazilian and South American markets,” said John Bailey, president of Manheim International within Cox Automotive.

“As a global vehicle remarketing leader, Manheim welcomes the opportunity to extend our brand and deliver results for our customer base,” Bailey added.

Manheim Statesville to Host Car Raffle In Support of Relay For Life

In the spirit of giving back to the local community, Manheim Statesville employees have formed a team to participate in the local American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

In addition to participation in the annual Relay For Life, the employees have organized a raffle that will also raise funds to benefit the charity.

“We are so pleased that the employees of Manheim Statesville have dedicated their time and resources to support Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society,” said Brooke Moose, senior manager for the Relay For Life in the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society.

“With so many worthy charities in greater Charlotte and North Carolina, we are honored to receive their commitment,” Moose continued. “This fundraiser will support services and programs for individuals with cancer and their caregivers along with cancer research.” 

An American Cancer Society fundraiser, Relay For Life events are organized, overnight community fundraising walks that teams of people participate in as team members take turns walking around the track.

Relay For Life events in the Statesville, N.C., area are held annually during the third weekend in May.

Since 1985, Relay For Life participants have raised more than $5 billion, according to officials, who added more than 1.7 million participants and 150,000 teams are projected to raise $305 million this year.

The American Cancer Society said this year’s funds are expected to help save more than 250,000 lives in 2014.

As part of the fundraiser for Relay for Life, a 2011 Chevrolet Aveo LT will be awarded at the conclusion of the raffle. Tickets are available at a cost of $20 for one, $100 for six and $200 for 13 tickets.

Contact Luann McLeod at Manheim Statesville at (704) 876-1111 or luann.mcleod@manheim.com to purchase tickets with cash, check or credit card. The drawing will be held at Manheim Statesville on Aug. 29 at noon ET.

“We are extremely proud to continue our partnership with the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life,” Manheim Statesville general manager Joey Hughes said. “I am proud of our employees for continuing this tradition in support of this worthy cause.”

Manheim Statesville employees first began supporting Relay For Life last year and participated in Relay For Life held at the Iredell County Fairgrounds in Troutman, N.C., in May that raised $13,644.  

6 Classic Sports Cars on List at Manheim PA’s Next Public Sale

As a part of the auction’s public sale of vehicles offered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Manheim Central Pennsylvania plans to run a half dozen classic sports cars down the lanes that might pique dealer interest.

Among the classic vehicle included in the lineup of 400 units are:

— 1966 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible

— 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS Clone

— 1987 Buick GNX

— 1988 Ford Mustang Convertible

— 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK500

— 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The public sale also includes of variety of compacts, midsize cars, trucks and SUVs from Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and Chrysler.

The event is set to begin at 10 a.m. on Aug. 19 with preview days running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 15 through Aug. 18.

For more details, contact Manheim Central Pennsylvania at (717) 469-7900.

Auction News Roundup: Charities & Giveaways Abound

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. & NAMPA, Idaho - 

The Charleston Auto Auction presented the Berkeley County Habitat for Humanity with a $5,000 check on Aug. 1 along with a commitment to assist in building a house. The check was given in the company of 500 dealers present prior to the start of the business’ weekly Friday auction.

Laura Taylor, the general manager of Charleston Auto Auction, was excited to mark this occasion of giving back to the organization’s community.

“The whole team at Charleston Auto Auction is excited to get started building our first house,” Taylor said. “We also have generous dealers that have offered to help. We are proud and happy to be able to contribute to the great organization that is Habitat for Humanity.”

For more information about Charleston Auto Auction, visit its site here.

Idaho Auction “Gone Country”

The Dealers Auto Auction of Idaho hosted its 3rd Annual Gone Country Charity Concert auction on June 25 and June 26.

Country music artist Collin Raye showcased the event, which raised $25,460 via a charity auction for Personal Ponies Idaho, which helps provide and care for ponies for children with special needs. A new Mazda 2 was also given away during the auction’s weekly Wednesday sale, which is held every week at 9:30 a.m. MST.

For more information about DAA of Idaho, call (208) 463-8250 or visit their site here.

Hallett Hints More KAR Acquisitions Could Be Ahead

CARMEL, Ind. - 

KAR Auction Services already shelled out $30 million to acquire a 50-percent stake in online vehicle remarketing system, TradeRev. And investment analysts wondered if KAR is ready to bring out the company checkbook or credit card again to buy the remainder of Toronto-based wholesale solution firm or another company outside of its current portfolio of ADESA, Insurance Auto Auctions and Automotive Finance Corp.

While also reminiscing about his franchised dealer days when discussing TradeRev, chief executive officer Jim Hallett mainly kept company strategy close to the vest when KAR conducted its quarterly conference call this past Wednesday.

“We do have other deals in the pipeline in our other businesses as well, but nothing that we're in a position to discuss today,” Hallett said during his opening comments of the call that later consisted of plenty of discussion about how TradeRev and ADESA can boost both service for dealers and profits for the company.

Later, Hallett touched on the acquisition issue again when questioned by the investment community, which cheered the company’s overall second quarter performance that included increases in revenue, adjusted EBIDTA, net income and adjusted net income.

“In terms of other acquisitions, I think we're always looking at different businesses, how they fit both from a strategic standpoint, as well as how they might fit from a technology standpoint, and then perhaps the geographic standpoint. We're evaluating these businesses … one at a time,” Hallett said. “We prioritize them. They don't always go down as we think they’re going to go down.

“But at the end of the day, there are a number of businesses that we continue to focus on that would tuck-in very nicely,” he went on to say.

Besides the solution’s wholesale market capabilities, KAR chief financial officer and executive vice president Eric Loughmiller pointed out valuable parts of the TradeRev acquisition deal are the possibility that KAR can acquire the remaining ownership portion as well as keeping the previous management team in place — similar to the strategy when KAR bought OPENLANE.

“We have some rights at the right time to perhaps increase our ownership. And we'll see how that plays out,” Loughmiller said. “And at any point in time, you can always buy the rest of it if they’re willing to sell it at the right price, right? But being part of this it's really important to us in keeping the management team in place, the founders and their technology skills and their knowledge of the market.”

Hallett elaborated about the value of TradeRev’s management, which includes president and founder Mark Endras.

These guys first got started in 2009, so this is technology that they've been working on and developing and have learned a lot of lessons as they’ve developed it,” Hallett said. “And it was really critical for us to keep them in the deal. Keep the founder in the deal, and he kept his entire management team in place. I think that's what they bring to the table,

“From the ADESA side, when you think about our locations and our people and our resources, we can really pour the gasoline on this thing and get it to the market and hurry,” he added.

ADESA already entered into a joint marketing agreement with TradeRev to assist in expanding its footprint in the dealer-to-dealer online space in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

The company highlighted ADESA will be the exclusive provider of certain products and services to TradeRev’s customers. Officials added that ADESA will also leverage its 65 auction locations across North America and the company’s strong online auction presence and dealer network to support TradeRev’s diverse dealer offerings.

“TradeRev is a company that we identified that was operating in Canada. We thought it was a unique business model, and saw that it was focused on what I would call an addressable market that we currently didn't feel that we were getting a slice of. It was just opportunistic that we got involved in conversations, and we ended up acquiring 50 percent of the business. It was really the strategic rationale of bringing this component of the business into the KAR family,” Hallett said.

“I believe that the combination of TradeRev and ADESA will create opportunities to expand our buyer base throughout the entire organization,” Hallett went on to say. “TradeRev creates private, customized network of buyers and sellers to move fresh trades. TradeRev is a solution that addresses the 20 million units to 22 million dealer-to-dealer transactions that don’t currently come to a physical auction. We estimate that as many as half of these vehicles are sold on a dealer-to-dealer basis, and what TradeRev will do is TradeRev will stand in the middle of these transactions much like we do in our online and physical auctions.”

Since Hallett is a former dealer, he also described how TradeRev is a solution geared to make things easier for busy managers. Dealers can get started by scanning the VIN and taking a few pictures with their mobile device. Then, the auction process is in motion.

“Dealers are going to have the ability to close more sales because they're going to have stronger appraisals on these cars. And they're also going to reduce the risk of loss at the time when comes to selling those trade-ins,” Hallett said.

“And I can tell you that, as a former franchise dealer, I would absolutely love to have a tool like this,” he continued. “When I think about my time and the efficiency that I spent calling wholesalers and trying to get bids and trying to get appraisals on cars, and then when I think about the lost opportunities, the number of deals that I wasn't able to close because I wasn't able to get what I would call an accurate appraisal on the car, certainly it prevented me from getting some deals done.

So, with TradeRev, I think this is a good example of the type of strategic growth that we are pursuing,” Hallett went on to say.

DealersLink Members Gain Direct Access to Fox's Off-Lease Stream

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - 

DealersLink recently partnered with Fox Rent A Car to offer direct access to off-lease inventory, meaning members of DealersLink can now tap straight into to Fox’s pre-auction inventory streams. 

Executives also highlighted DealersLink members can receive preferred pricing from Fox Rent A Car. Members also can obtain the most current nationwide inventory list — which is updated hourly — and can submit buy bids directly to Fox through the DealersLink marketplace. 

Fox Rent A Car vice president of fleet Jerame Jackson said that the company’s inventory often requires less than $500 on average for reconditioning cost, increasing speed to the front line and decreasing acquisition cost.

Jackson believes the partnership between Fox and DealersLink caters to progressive, online-oriented automotive dealers.

“I am very excited about our relationship with DealersLink and our ability to sell direct to DealersLink members,” Jackson said. “I’ve had nothing but positive experiences dealing with the top notch dealer base on DealersLink.”

DealersLink vice president of sales Travis Wise explained what the latest company move means for dealers.

“We’re constantly finding ways to add inventory to the DealersLink marketplace that is available nowhere else, and help our dealer members increase their retail profits and reduce their wholesale losses,” Wise said.

“We’re excited that this partnership will give another strategic advantage to Fox, DealersLink and most importantly all of our dealer members,” he went on to say.

KAR Acquires 50% Stake in Toronto-Based TradeRev

CARMEL, Ind. - 

Continuing a flurry of significant industry moves, KAR Auction Services announced Tuesday that its business unit ADESA has acquired a 50-percent stake in Toronto-based Nth Gen Software and its online vehicle remarketing system, TradeRev.

KAR officials indicated the total purchase price for the transaction is approximately $30 million in cash.

ADESA also announced that it has entered into a joint marketing agreement with TradeRev to assist in expanding its footprint in the dealer-to-dealer online space in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

The company highlighted ADESA will be the exclusive provider of certain products and services to TradeRev’s customers. Officials added that ADESA will also leverage its 65 auction locations across North America and the company’s strong online auction presence and dealer network to support TradeRev’s diverse dealer offerings.

ADESA president and chief executive officer Stéphane St-Hilaire explained TradeRev is an online automotive remarketing system where dealers can launch and participate in real-time vehicle auctions at any time from their mobile devices or desktop.

“TradeRev allows dealers to obtain instant bids while the retail customer is sitting in the showroom by providing a private, customized network for buyers and sellers that quickly and efficiently moves fresh trades,” St-Hilaire said.

“We acknowledge that dealers are using technology more and more to buy and sell cars,” he continued. “In that regard, TradeRev is a natural evolution in the dealer-to-dealer space which includes approximately 20-22 million transactions a year.”

Mark Endras, the president, founder and creator of TradeRev, and the company’s management team own the other 50 percent interest in TradeRev.

“We have long admired ADESA’s ability to deliver simple, consistent solutions in the used-vehicle market and the company’s capability to provide a broad network of users across Canada and the United States,” Endras said.

“TradeRev has always believed in providing dealers and wholesalers cutting-edge technology to enable them to create new efficiencies within their operations,” he continued. “Partnering with ADESA will allow us to share our innovative TradeRev technology with even more customers across North America.”

Registered dealers list vehicles in a TradeRev auction, and participating buyers get an instant notification of new vehicles as they are posted.

“This system also has a variety of sales tools, as well as immediate analytics for accurate vehicle appraisals,” officials said.

Founded in 2009, TradeRev currently operates throughout Canada and in some U.S. states.

The news involving ADESA and TradeRev comes on the heels of AutoTrader.com naming Jared Rowe as its new president and Gannett Co. signing an agreement to become the sole owner of Cars.com. Those reports from Auto Remarketing can be found below:

Rowe Named President of AutoTrader.com

Cars.com Sold for $1.8 Billion

KAR’s Q2 Results

In other company news, KAR also reported its second-quarter performance on Tuesday, highlighting jumps in revenue, adjusted EBIDTA, net income and adjusted net income.

KAR’s Q2 revenue climbed to $585.6 million, up from $541.4 million for the second quarter of 2013, marking an increase of 8 percent. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter that ended June 30 increased 10 percent to $154.1 million, compared to $140.2 million for the second quarter of last year.

The company’s Q2 net income spiked 52 percent to $50.8 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, as compared with net income of $33.4 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the second quarter of last year.

KAR also mentioned that its adjusted net income per diluted share for the quarter increased 24 percent to $0.42 versus adjusted net income per diluted share of $0.34 in the second quarter of last year.

Recalls’ Trickle-Down Effect on Rentals and Remarketing

CARY, N.C. - 

Ricky Beggs and Jared Kalfus travel throughout the U.S. as part of their job duties at Black Book, meeting with executives from auctions, automakers and finance companies. During recent business trips, both Beggs and Kalfus noticed unusual circumstances when it came time to secure a rental car.

The Black Book executives said the long lines at the airport rental counter weren’t necessarily triggered by a flood of visitors to those particular cities; rather, the challenges those companies are experiencing because of the millions of vehicles OEMs have recalled so far this year.

“The line was out the door, not necessarily because they were busy. It was because they had no cars,” said Kalfus, who is vice president of data licensing at Black Book Lender Solutions. “Even though we had a reservation and we’re club members where we don’t wait in line, we were waiting in line along with what seemed like half of the city because their vehicles were being serviced because of recalls.

“While they’re still taking reservations, they didn’t have any cars to speak of so they were scrambling,” he continued. “That’s really going to take an effect on the back end when it comes to remarketing time.

“You could see the trickle-down effect where it’s effecting other parts of the space,” Kalfus added.

Meanwhile at another airport in a different part of the country, Beggs didn’t have a problem securing his vehicle when he arrived at his destination. But his experience still produced some unusual conditions.

“The car size I normally rent, that’s what’s been hit with a lot of these recalls, so I automatically got an upgrade,” said Beggs, Black Book's senior vice president and editorial director. “I didn’t have to wait in line to get the car. But when I brought the car back to turn it in, I’ve never seen a line that long to pick up the cars. It’s happening all over the country.”

The recall-triggered bottlenecks at the rental counter Beggs and Kalfus spotted come at a time when CNW Research indicated the use of rental fleets still aren’t back to levels seen before the recession.

The firm’s latest Retail Automotive Summary showed the percentage of rental fleets in use at least 12 hours per day stood at 70.6 percent back in 2006. This year, CNW president Art Spinella pegged the level at 48.1 percent.

“The daily rental business is a large source of sales for automakers as well as a fairly profitable operation for many new-car dealers as well as the historic national and regional rental companies. But the auto industry relies on rapid turnover of those fleets to bolster their sales numbers, and rapid turnover is based on how much the fleet is used,” Spinella said.

“Unfortunately, fleet use has not returned to pre-recession levels by a long shot,” he added.

Despite that trend, Tom Webb pointed out that prices eased as volumes improved for rental risk units when he discussed June’s Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index.

The Manheim chief economist said auction prices for rental risk units (adjusted for mileage and mix shifts) eased in each of the last three months and are now up only 1 percent from their year-ago level.

“The volume sold, after being down significantly in the first five months of the year, improved in June relative to a year ago. The average mileage on rental risk units sold at auction moved back above 40,000 miles in June,” Webb said.

But what if OEMs continue to recall vehicles at a pace seen so far this year, a span that’s already established a new record?

“Right now, recalls are having no adverse effect on the used market. But who knows what that next recall might be that could,” Beggs said.

“This recall issue has disrupted the normal remarketing patterns of some of the rental agencies. They’re having to pull some of these vehicles that are being recalled out of service. Some of the vehicles that they normally would be remarketing at a certain age and certain miles, they’re having to keep those in service just because they need cars to rent,” he continued.

“Even though we’re not seeing an adverse effect in terms of used values from the recalls, potentially that could mean when some of these rental cars come back into the marketplace, they’re going to come back a little bit older than they would have been and they’re going to have a little higher mileage,” Beggs went on to say. “Then we could see some effect in the market because of condition and mileage, not necessarily because the market is changing.”

Auction News Roundup: Improvements at 6 ServNet Locations

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - 

The roar of engines and the chants of auctioneers are mixed with the sounds of hammer blows and the rumble of paving equipment as ServNet auctions around the country work to finish expansion projects.

Six ServNet members — including Missouri Auto Auction, Carolina Auto Auction, Dealers Auto Auction of the Southwest, Sparkling City Auto Auction of San Antonio, State Line Auto Auction’s and Brasher's Salt Lake Auto Auction — all took on major projects.

“Working to stay ahead of the market, with the best in auction facilities and cutting edge technology, ServNet auctions are both well-capitalized and well-managed by the most creative and innovative auction owners in the country,” ServNet president Patty Stanley said.

“Every year we see ServNet auctions taking advantage of the more dependable weather in the summer season to improve their facilities, anticipating the needs of a growing customer base and meeting the demands of evolving technology,” Stanley continued.

High- and Low-Tech Improvements at DAASW

Dealers Auto Auction of the Southwest (DAASW) is making both high- and low-tech enhancements to its facility this summer.

Effective Aug. 1, management highlighted, customers will see significant changes involving Simulcast, the auction’s website, mobile technology and the way invoices are handled on the block.

“DAASW is expanding its technology base and converting to Whann Tech auction software,” DAASW general manager Stephanie Gingras. “We will be powering our growing Internet buyer base with our newly upgraded Cox Fiber, which will increase our broadband capabilities exponentially and improve the quality of the online stream as we continue to simulcast 100 percent of our sale each week.

“This process called for an Android and IOS flexible operating system, and the outcome is our own proprietary mobile technology that allows us to integrate more dealer friendly aspects into our DAASW.com and sister Hispanic site DAASW.mx, allowing customers to access everything they need to do business with the auction on a Smartphone or iPad, including buying vehicles via Simulcast which is accessible directly through our website,” Gingras continued.

Gingras went on to mention that other website enhancements at DAASW include a password-protected link to individual account information, allowing customers to review vehicles bought and sold, payments due and titles received, from a desktop computer or mobile device. 

In addition, she noted more images and video of units consigned to the sale will be seamlessly uploaded to the auction’s online run lists and clearly visible to online buyers prior to sale day.

“The auction is also doing away with traditional paper invoices,” Gingras said.  “On the block, dealers will receive a small paper printout of their purchases, and can elect to have their full invoices sent in either text or email formats.”

On the flip side, DAASW had been working to solve the Arizona summer environmental problem for its in-lane buyers and has completed a downdraft system to offset the normally blistering 110 degree heat.      

“Auctions are about both high- and low-tech enhancements,” said Jim DesRochers, DAASW vice president and former president of the National Auto Auction Association. “It can be easy to focus on the 25 percent of our business on the Internet and not focus enough on the 75 percent that is going through our lanes.

“Our goal is and always will be to have a symbiotic relationship with our overall customer base by integrating both ‘push’ and ‘pull’ mobile technology with in-lane enhancements to insure state of the art brick and mortar auctions are driven with a high-tech backbone,” DesRochers went on to say.

Missouri AA Continues on 5-Year Plan

Missouri AA owner and general manager Kevin Brown said the operation is nearing the conclusion of a $1 million expansion project that started in March.

On one side of the facility is a new 6,000-square-foot check-in arena with three bays, designed to replace the existing single outdoor check-in lane.

Brown explained that providing protection from the weather and heated floors will be a welcome enhancement for auction employees during the cold Missouri winters. He noted the new facility provides for the efficient movement of vehicles through the check-in process, where condition report writing, equipment verification, computer entry and photo taking can all be handled in a single location.

He went on to highlight an additional 6,000 square feet is being added to the auction facility to improve the auction-day experience for customers. The expanded office space includes a new bidder badge area, new payment counter, arbitration and “if” counters, and a new coat and luggage room with lockers for briefcases.

“As much as we will enjoy the added space, the investment we’re making in our facility is really for our customers,” Brown said,

Brown added that this year’s construction project concludes a Missouri AA’s five-year vision, which started in 2010 with the addition of a 10,000-square-foot recon center and grew to include the addition of two auction lanes in 2013.

“As our dealer base grows and our sale volume expands, it’s important to make the auction process as convenient and efficient as possible for our customers,” Brown said.

Upgrades in Texas, S.C., N.Y. and Utah

One of ServNet’s newer auction facilities, Sparkling City Auto Auction of San Antonio, has experienced a meteoric rise in the Texas market since opening in December 2010. To keep pace with increasing volume, the auction added both space and acreage on an almost continual basis since it opened its doors.

Auction owner Wade Walker mentioned several other highlights from the past year, including the opening of a fifth lane on auction day, and most recently, the unveiling of a new mechanic garage, detail shop and body shop.

“It is gratifying to see how many customers return to Sparkling City Auto Auction of San Antonio every week, and how many new faces we see at every sale, as word continues to spread about the quality of the consignment and the level of customer service that is found here,” Walker said.

“As we enlarge our facilities to meet the increasing demand, we still focus most on the qualities that have made our auction successful from the start — our attention to detail and consistent, personal service. Those things will continue to shape our business as we grow,” he went on to say.

Carolina Auto Auction has been hard at work with both physical enhancements as well as electronic upgrades at its facility this summer.

The South Carolina auction now welcomes customers with a newly designed lobby, complete with new bidder badge machines and a digital top 10 buyers and sellers board.

The operation also recently completed a new Internet cafe, upgraded the facility’s wireless systems and made improvements in the restaurant and kitchen to better serve its customers.

Finally, Brasher’s Salt Lake Auto Auction has been taking advantage of the summer weather by paving an additional 10 acres for vehicle storage and parking.

And the summer season is also a busy time for State Line Auto Auction’s maintenance crew, which has been hard at work patching and maintaining the auction’s 76-acre lot using its own eco-friendly pavement recycling equipment. State Line AA also installed a new, more modern car wash in May, and has plans for additional expansion and construction plans in the coming months.

Thompson Creates New Holding Company to Develop Dealer Technology

PLANO, Texas - 

American AutoXchange and RedBumper founder Bruce Thompson officially launched a newly formed holding company on Wednesday with the goal incubating, developing and distributing multiple software initiatives across different sectors of the industry during the rest of the year.

Thompson and the rest of his executive leadership team highlighted that Pearl Technology Holdings will aim to provide unique and innovative software solutions that streamline both dealer process and performance across a wide spectrum of profit centers and technologies.

“With the creation of Pearl Technology we have added significant capital and infrastructure to build and develop some incredibly powerful new tools,” Thompson said.

“It has always been our vision to leverage our creative ingenuity and our gifted technology team to fulfill our vision to influence the future of the automotive industry,” he continued.

Thompson highlighted Pearl has already formed partnerships with some of the largest companies in the United States. Two of Pearl’s new initiatives — NewCarIQ and CarOffer — are already in the market today and a third — VehicleXchange — will be released in the third quarter.

“As we build these tools, our partners will have input into their design and will also help to market and distribute them,” he said. “We couldn’t be more excited and it is a very busy time for us.”

The operation launched CarOffer earlier this year. CarOffer is a mobile platform designed to give dealers the ability to acquire used inventory directly from consumers.

Consumers wishing to sell their vehicle can download the free CarOffer mobile application in the Apple App Store or Google Play store, or visit the official website at http://www.caroffer.com to submit their vehicle for a cash offer from a CarOffer franchised dealer in their local market. Consumers typically receive their offer within two to three hours of submitting their vehicle information.

The company has been processing approximately 30,000 consumer requests per month in its first 10 weeks of operation. Thompson indicated volume is anticipated to double within the coming months with planned national marketing campaigns to both dealers and consumers alike.

In addition to CarOffer, Pearl Technology Holdings plans to launch several more new initiatives this year. It has just completed the pilot phase for NewCarIQ, which is geared to address one of the biggest challenges dealers face every day — the pricing and stocking of new-model inventory.

“A dramatic shift towards pricing transparency is underway in the automotive industry. Dealers slow to adapt to this new world of transparency will soon start to lose market share,” Thompson said.

“NewCarIQ solves the complex puzzle of new car pricing by automating stackable incentive integration; auto-compiling vehicle competitive sets to trim and color and key competitors,” he continued. “A dealer can now literally price and syndicate hundreds of new cars with calculated incentives in less than five minutes.

“NewCarIQ is the first of its kind to bring sophisticated and comprehensive inventory management analytics to the new-car space,” Thompson went on to say. “It will act as an enterprise-reporting dashboard for both individual dealers and any size groups.”

For more information about Pearl Technology and the upcoming initiatives, visit http://www.pearltechnologyholdings.com.

Auction News Roundup: New Owner and Summertime Corn

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - 

ServNet auctions in Minnesota and South Carolina have enjoyed an eventful summer so far, with one announcing a new era taking hold and another having another successful annual sale.

First up, Bob and Rob Thompson and the crew at Mid-State Auto Auction celebrated the auction’s 31st anniversary in July, taking the time to review the company's history and to announce the start of a new ownership regime.

Bob Thompson’s passion for the industry led him to make the decision to start a small auto auction in New York Mills, Minn., back in 1983. As soon as his son, Rob, graduated from college, he joined the staff at Mid-State as a sales representative for the auction.

For the past 15 years, Rob Thompson has been fulfilling a much bigger role as president for the auction.

As of July 1, the son’s new role will be that of sole owner of Mid-State AA. Bob Thompson celebrated his 80th birthday this past December. Although he is starting to enjoy retirement a bit more, he still consults and does payroll for the auction.

By both Bob and Rob’s accounts, this father/son duo has truly enjoyed working together for years building the business and, more importantly building the friendships they have with their customers and auction associates.

Even though the ownership (father to son) has changed at Mid-State Auto auction, they said their commitment to customer service and fairness to both buyer and seller will never change.

“The relationships we have built with our dealers, GSA government representatives, leasing companies, financial institutions, service cooperatives and independents are what we hold most dear. We feel those relationships are the true foundation of the success of our auction,” Bob Thompson said.

“Our entire staff is like family, several of whom have been with our auction since the very beginning,” he continued. “They all make it a priority to welcome each and every buyer and seller who comes through our door each Friday.

“We pride ourselves on being known as the friendly auction, and every member of our staff makes sure that we live up to that reputation,” Bob Thompson went on to say.

Mid-State AA is located approximately 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis, and welcomes dealers, fleet/lease accounts, banks and finance companies to its weekly Friday sales.

Carolina Auto Auction Celebrates Summer with Corn Roast

Carolina Auto Auction hosted its annual corn roast on June 25. Bidding on 1,000 vehicles in the sale, management highlighted 550 dealers attended and ate 600 ears of corn. The sale was held in conjunction with CAA’s larger Christmas in July event where dealers have a chance to win $30,000 in cash and prizes on July 10.

As part of the festivities, Exeter Financial Corp. and United Auto Credit Corp. concluded their quarter-long promotions during the sale.

Exeter gave away a Summer Grill Package that included a new propane grill, grill cover, and various other grilling necessities. United Auto Credit gave away a Labor Day NASCAR package that included four tickets to both Saturday and Sunday races with four pit passes.

The auction also introduced a new "Guaranteed Late Bird" drawing at the end of their sales going forward, where one lucky dealer is guaranteed to walk away with $500 cash each week at the sale’s conclusion.

Christmas in July concluded last Wednesday where dealers had the chance to win $30,000 in cash and prizes for vehicles purchased during the seven-week sales event.

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