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TROY, Mich. — The SmartAuction Midstream program has been picking up steam lately, company officials said Thursday. In total, 80 independent physical auctions across the country now use its services, and that number is expected to surpass 100 by year's end.

Basically, SmartAuction Midstream model offers an online platform to remarket units grounded at physical auctions, meaning these vehicles can be sold any time, day or night.

SmartAuction launched this program in 2007. In the last year, SmartAuction said the Midstream auction base and related sales have seen a significant boost, with many independent facilities aiming to tap into an expansive dealer base online and outside of the actual sale days at their facilities.

"We have worked with many leading independent auctions for years, and we are pleased that SmartAuction Midstream can provide an excellent online complement to these physical locations to meet consignor demands for selling vehicles every day of the week," explained Mark Newman, SmartAuction managing director.

"SmartAuction provides a great extension to the independent auction operations with its growing dealer base and reassuring turn-key arbitration and settlement procedures," he added.

Offering his thoughts, Jerry Barker, general manager of the Greensboro Auto Auction in Greensboro, N.C., noted: "With a simple Internet connection, SmartAuction turns my regional business into a national marketplace.

"For my customers, the goal is simply to get the inventory sold and avoid incremental inventory costs. SmartAuction is a second chance, or sometimes a third and fourth chance to get more eyes on their vehicles and maximize their revenue stream," he added.

SmartAuction said its technology has helped consignors reduce remarketing costs and improve residual values through its upstream approach. The company also noted that customers utilizing the SmartAuction Midstream program have seen improved residual values, as well, plus stronger inventory turn rates as they blend SmartAuction's services and sales at the local auction.