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CHARLESTON, S.C. — Two well-known industry veterans have joined together to launch American Auto Auction Group. The company is headed up by Keith Lelux, as director and chief operating officer, and Steve Simon, as director and chief executive officer.

American AA Group is debuting with two auction properties, both of which are located in the Southeast: Charleston Auto Auction (Moncks Corner, S.C.) and Rea Brothers Mid-South Auto Auction (Pearl, Miss.).

This isn't the first time Lelux and Simon have worked together, Previously, they worked together on the Canadian Auction Group and Auction Finance Group, which were ultimately sold to ADESA and Auto Use, respectively, in June 2000.

The goal for the new company is to build up a nationwide auto auction platform that will provide a strong alternative for sellers looking for multi-regional sales coverage.

More specifically, American AA Group will focus on buying independent auctions and providing current owners of these auctions a viable exit strategy that is designed to respect and preserve the founding family's values.

Lelux is well-known as the president of ServNet Auction Group, which is a role he served in for the past two years. He is also the current chairman of the National Auto Auction Association Southern Zone. Moreover, he co-founded Charleston AA in 2001 with Henry Stanley, and remains a managing partner. 

Earlier in his career, Lelux managed Carolina Auto Auction and served as an executive for Auction Software. With the Auction Finance Group, he eventually held the role of a vice president. As for Canadian Auction Group, he ultimately held the role of president.

Simon, meanwhile, was the founder, chairman and CEO of Auction Finance Group. Auction Finance Group provided floor-plan financing to auctions throughout North America. At Canadian Auction Group, Simon held the positions of chairman and CEO.

After those companies were sold, Simon founded and built up Merchants Commercial Bank and became its vice chairman. He has extensive experience in the financial services field.

Talking about the new business initiative, Simon said, "I am thrilled to be back in the auction business, partnering again with Keith Lelux in an industry that we both love. There is tremendous potential in the independent segment of the auction industry, one in which Keith has excelled at as an independent auction owner, operator and industry leader. We both look forward to another successful and rewarding relationship."

Lelux chimed in, adding, "I knew that a guy like Steve Simon, with his passion for the auction business would not stay retired from it for very long. Anyone who knows Steve recognizes his energy, his work ethic and his business acumen.

"I am very happy to be working with him again," he continued. "We have a proven history together and an exciting vision for the future that we believe will have a far-reaching impact on the automotive remarketing industry."

For more information on the new auction group, call (843) 579-AUTO.