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ATLANTA — Manheim recently rolled out a new wholesale vehicle program that lets dealers and commercial consignors sell units on the Web without having to transport them to Manheim's physical locations.

The company developed Manheim Direct after considering input from consignors who were trying to improve their efficiency and leverage Manheim's selling power.

The benefits for sellers on Manheim Direct include the following:

—They can list inventory for sale from remote locations. This can include rental car locations, dealer lots and marshalling yards. Thus, they no longer have to transport units to a Manheim operating location for online sales.

—A Manheim-approved listing service is sent directly to the seller's location. It positions inventory for selling success by capturing all the condition information that online buyers demand

"Our customers told us they wanted all the benefits of Manheim delivered direct to their inventory's location," stated Sue Boehlke, senior vice president, Manheim Online Solutions and Technology.

"Manheim Direct does this by giving dealers and commercial consignors the ability to list inventory from anywhere, helping these sellers reduce days to sell and driving down remarketing costs," she continued. "These two benefits are good news for buyers, as well. Minimal wait times for consignors to create listings mean that buyers have access to the freshest inventory possible."

One of the many dealership groups to have already begun using Manheim Direct is Asbury Automotive Group.

Explaining Asbury's Manheim Direct remarketing solution in more detail, officials noted that it utilizes a variety of Manheim remarketing channels to sell units directly from dealer lots.

As is the same with other Manheim Direct customers, the process for Asbury starts online through closed and open sales, but in-lanes can be included when necessary.

"By streamlining our process through Manheim Direct, we expect to significantly reduce all expenses associated with shipping and selling cars at brick-and-mortar auctions," shared Michael Kearney, chief operating officer at Asbury.

Nick Peluso, senior vice president of customer management, added: "Manheim Direct is helping Asbury facilitate a variety of transaction types, including retail, open wholesale and closed dealer-to-dealer sales within its own dealer network. We expect Asbury to have greater control over its pre-owned vehicle inventory by participating in this program, and to gain efficiencies throughout its entire remarketing cycle."

The program can be accessed by commercial consignors and dealers throughout the country. 

Manheim is encouraging dealers to contact the online manager at their local Manheim operating location for more information. Contact information for locations can be found at www.manheim.com.

The company is asking commercial consignors to contact their account manager in Manheim Customer Management.

Manheim's Online Upgrades

In other news from the company, Manheim announced a series of online upgrades. Among these are:

—A short-cut for buyers who purchase for multiple dealerships. They can take advantage of a seameless process where they don't have to use several log-ins and passwords for all of Manheim's online tools and applications. Buyers can access their desired channel with one step.

—Search-function improvements on OVE.com.

—Vehicle history. Dealers can access Carfax Auction Quick Checks and Vehicle History Reports throughout the entire Manheim marketplace.

—Dealers can more easily share, view and print vehicle information for retail customers via OVE.com's Retail View tool. Manheim has slightly adjusted the print and e-mail function of this tool so that dealers can show retail customers only the information they desire to see.

—The Seller Ratings customer feedback system. It awards one to five stars to sellers for successful OVE.com transactions that meet buyers' expectations. These customer recommendations can help foster trust.

"Helping dealers and consignors achieve the best possible bottom line is always top of mind at Manheim," said Joe George, group vice president, Manheim Online Solutions. "That means providing them with better and faster tools and services throughout the vehicle remarketing cycle."

"We're never more excited than at the prospect of continually raising the bar on the Manheim customer experience," he added. "With an industry-first line-up of new products and services ready for roll-out in the coming months, we look forward to bringing an entirely new set of milestones in 2010."