Manheim says it is ramping up its investment in Simulcast and plans to add a host of new features to the digital auction platform later this year and early next.
The company declined to provide a specific breakdown of the investment but did note that it is part of the 2-year, $100 million overall digital investment that Manheim began in 2018.
As for a timeline, Manheim is currently testing the new features with a group of dealers and plans a more extensive rollout later in the year, the company said.
“The new Simulcast updates further evolve a technology that has transformed the remarketing industry by bringing the auction to the dealer,” Manheim president Grace Huang said in a news release.
“These new features give dealers real-time access to even more vehicle details and images, so they can make faster, smarter bidding decisions,” she said.
“They’re also part of a bigger commitment by Manheim to invest in ways to improve the auction experience for dealers, creating a safer way to buy while helping them more effectively run their businesses.”
The upgrades to Manheim Simulcast, a platform launched in 2002, are below, as listed in Manheim’s news release:
- One platform that makes it easier for dealers to view the bidding/buying experience
- Odometers and auction lights, indicating any special conditions of the sale, that are now visible for vehicles on the run list
- Photo tabs that provide more visuals, larger images and multiple views, allowing dealers to see the vehicles from different angles without being onsite
- A responsive bid window that dealers can enlarge or compress based on their monitor size to make it easier to see all relevant information
- The ability to scroll forward or backward through the run list to preview vehicles before they’re on the auction block and follow the vehicle status after it leaves the block to potentially submit a bid on any unsold vehicles
- Visible proxy bid amounts to remind dealers that they have already placed a bid
Through July, there have been approximately 1.3 million cars sold to Manheim digital buyers so far this year, according to the auction company.
More than a third (35%) of year-to-date physical auction volume at Manheim has been sold through Simulcast and more than 60% of live-sale attendance was on the platform.
Last year, there were 14.5 million bids placed through Simulcast.
Close to half of Manheim’s vehicle sales last year were done digitally and the company expects that share to go over 50% this year, it said.
This spring, the company launched its first all-digital auction location.
Manheim Tucson became Manheim’s first auction to incorporate a 100% digital format, utilizing a four-lane setup where cars are parked in designated spots and sold to buyers both physically present at the facility and online. An auctioneer has them up for sale digitally through oversized monitors that include enhanced images, barcode price scanning and condition report info.
Buyers and sellers can participate in person at the auction or online through Manheim Simulcast.
“Initial dealer reaction has been very positive from our first all-digital auction launched at Manheim Tucson in May,” Huang said in an emailed Q&A for Auto Remarketing’s Power 300 issue.
“Dealers have told us that they like the benefits of a digital experience, from being able to bid in four lanes from one location to preventing the chance of accidents that can happen in the physical lanes,” Huang said.
“We chose Manheim Tucson for our first all-digital auction because it handles mainly dealer vehicles under $5,000, which can be challenging to sell through digital channels like Manheim Simulcast,” she said. “The early success of this location is proof that our innovative, all-digital experience can appeal to all types of buyers and work for all vehicle price points by creating an experience as close as possible to a live physical sale.”
While Manheim Tucson is 100% digital, the company has over 100 digital-only lanes throughout its other physical auction facilities and plans to add more, Huang said.