ATLANTA — Manheim Automotive Financial Services, working in conjunction with Manheim's Orlando Orange County Auto Auction, announced the opening of its first satellite office in Jacksonville, Fla. Executives said this new office will provide dealers all the services that traditional auction locations offer, including on-site staffing, diverse financial options and access to online services.

"It's important to be near your customers," said Tony Markese, Manheim's Orlando Orange County AA general manager. "The new satellite location offers valuable services to customers while giving them added convenience and choices."

Manheim said it decided to develop the satellite office to better serve its customers and bring MAFS services to dealers in areas where the company doesn't have an auction.

After some research, executives said Jacksonville was chosen as an ideal location because Markese pointed out there are 387 Jacksonville-based dealers who currently could not take advantage of MAFS. The closest Manheim operating location is in Daytona Beach, more than 100 miles away, executives noted.

"Manheim is expanding its presence in order to better serve its customers," explained Ken Harvey, regional director of sales for MAFS. "The growth will help us position ourselves to be more competitive."

The satellite office will feature computer work stations and ongoing training sessions. Dealers will have the opportunity to access Manheim Simulcast, Online Vehicle Exchange and other company products. Executives also pointed out that the location will accept payments for vehicles purchased at other Manheim auctions.

Tamara Porter will serve as the new facility's office manager, and Jennifer Fiore will be on hand as a salesperson. The company said it is planning other satellite locations as well.

MAFS services include inventory financing for vehicles, big trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicles, in addition to rental-car financing and dealer receivables.

According to company executives, MAFS customers receive the benefit of savings thanks to the company's relationship with Manheim's group property insurance plan. More than 15,000 dealers use MAFS.