How one auction adapts to wholesale changes
ADESA Toronto recently launched a new sale, dubbed, “2 O’Clock Tuesdays.”
This new weekly offering has replaced the auction's Monday night sales. Auction management shared the new Tuesday sale, together with the auction’s Wednesday morning sale, will offer over 2,500 vehicles within 24 hours every week.
The Tuesday afternoon sales will offer up to 450 vehicles, while up to 2,100 vehicles will be offered at Wednesday’s 9:30 a.m. sales.
The auction will also be offering free lunch every Tuesday for all in-lane attendees.
As for the reasoning behind the recent move, Richard Kennedy, who will be running the new ADESA Toronto Tuesday sales, took a look back at some macroeconomic factors.
Those in the wholesale industry are very aware of the impact of the 2008 financial downturn on the automotive business.
“Manufacturers and finance companies moved heavily into low interest rate long-term financing to offset the decline in their leasing portfolios,” said Kennedy. “This reduction in leasing and addition of long term financing, has resulted in consumers retaining their vehicles for longer periods of time. As a result, there is an increased supply of high quality, older-model-year vehicles and this has, in turn, created a viable market for aged, higher-mileage vehicles.”
As for how this plays into ADESA Toronto’s plans, Kennedy pointed out in a major metro market like Toronto, the volume of the aforementioned vehicles is “significant,” further noting that buyers and sellers can benefit from ADESA consolidating this inventory into a single auction event each week.
“We have found that there is a large contingent of dealers that cater to consumers in search of this type of product and with our relationships, services and incredible facility here, we are positioned very well to meet the needs of this market segment,” Kennedy said. “With ADESA’s continued focus on customer service and advancement of our technology, we are certain that this segment will see the same successes as our current offering. It will actually be a great compliment to our other sales.”
Growth and forward movement
Taking a broader look at ADESA Toronto’s recent growth, Kennedy explained over the past year, the auction has been working on providing “an exceptional sales venue for all of our sellers, regardless of the venue or channel.”
This manifests as increasing opportunities for physical auction events each week, as well as the auction’s multiple online offerings, including ADESA DealerBlock, where sellers’ inventory is available to buyers 24/7.
“The wholesale auction market is truly always open now and this is a huge win for our buyers as well, who can now source vast amounts of inventory when they need it,” said Kennedy.
On top of more sale opportunities, the auction is ramping up its facility, as well.
ADESA Canada chief operating officer, Trevor Henderson, shared with Auto Remarketing Canada that ADESA Toronto is approaching the completion of a major facility expansion.
Henderson said the expansion will drastically increase the auction’s capacity with additional storage and parking, as well as four new auction blocks.
“While we are most definitely very excited about this, our customers are equally excited. Stay tuned for our grand opening announcement soon!” Henderson said.
ADESA Toronto continues to grow, after launching back in 1996. The auction has evolved from its infancy of hosting auctions of 350-400 units each week to today offering weekly consignment sales of over 2,000 vehicles running across 16 auction blocks.
“The key to ADESA Toronto’s growth over the years has been our consistent focus on building customer relationships and our seamless integration of best-in-class technology,” said Kennedy.
He pointed out a critical piece of this growth has been ADESA LiveBlock.
“This product has had the effect of bringing many more buyers into the market for vehicles offered at the auction. The combination of very strong online and in-lane buyer bases has definitely been a benefit to our selling customers,” said Kennedy. “We see almost half of vehicle sales attributed to online buyers and this includes significant purchases by dealers right across the country and into the U.S.”
The ever-changing auction biz
With the introduction of simulcast and online sales, such as ADESA Liveblock, the auction industry has changed dramatically over the past 20 years.
Today, online and mobile tools and services are readily assessable and prevalent, and will play a continued role in the evolution of the auction industry.
“These technologies have given dealers incredible access to pertinent information about inventory and valuation. While this started with the traditional auction business, now, with a tool like TradeRev, our customers can even streamline their trade-in process to close more retail deals,” said Henderson. “We attribute the significant adoption of technology to the fact that it has allowed our selling and buying customers to make educated decisions and reduce the amount of guesswork in remarketing.”
In August 2014, it was announced by KAR Auction Services that its business unit ADESA acquired a 50-percent stake in Toronto-based Nth Gen Software and its online vehicle remarketing system, TradeRev.
Technology aside — which continues to shake up the auto business with new developments hitting the market right and left — Henderson also pointed out a few less obvious shifts in the auction market.
First, in the dealer space, Henderson explained the market is changing due to the growth of the large dealer groups.
“Consolidation and an increasing sophistication among these customers have an impact our products and services. We continue to evolve to meet their needs and core to this is our commitment to building and maintaining relationships with these customers at multiple levels,” he shared.
Secondly, the vehicle mix has evolved over the past decade, as well. For example, looking back before the 2008 economic downturn, the wholesale lanes were dominated with vehicles stemming from off-lease portfolios.
“Following the adjustment from the decline in leasing during the financial crisis, we worked to bring more dealer consignment inventory into the market. This has resulted in a significant shift in the mix of vehicles in most auctions,” Henderson said. “It is now comprised heavily of dealer consignment units, and we see an increasing volume of online transactions with these units as well.”
But with all these changes, Henderson said ADESA Canada still focuses on its core business.
“We exist to help our customers transact in the wholesale market in the most efficient manner possible. We are here to help sellers get their vehicles into the market quickly and help buyers find those vehicles easily,” said Henderson, adding that some of which occurs at the physical auction, while other transactions are done via an online channel.