Amid a backdrop of companies in the wholesale automotive space investing in mobility, Manheim opened a 20,000-square-foot Retail Reconditioning facility at its San Francisco Bay location on Wednesday that will serve new vehicle mobility providers, along with the auction company’s more traditional customer base of dealers and commercial consignors.
The $500,000 facility is part of a three-year, $1.5 million investment Manheim has made at the Hayward, Calif., auction.
“We are uniquely positioned to offer end-to-end solutions to independent and franchise dealers, fleet operators, ride sharing companies and manufacturers,” Manheim San Francisco Bay general manager Greg Beck said in a news release.
“Our proximity to Silicon Valley, home to many of tomorrow’s vehicle mobility providers, is just one more way we are poised to deliver tremendous value and meet client and industry needs,” Beck said.
This new Retail Reconditioning facility in earshot of Silicon Valley follows a mobility play that Manheim’s parent company made just two weeks ago.
Cox Automotive announced at the end of May it was the lead investor in a $28.61 million Series B funding round for Ridecell, a software platform used to run mobility services like carsharing, ridesharing and autonomous fleet management.
That continued a series of moves Cox Automotive has made in the space since 2014, including investments in LiDAR sensor developer Ouster, vehicle subscription provider Clutch and the Getaround car-sharing platform. In 2014, Cox Automotive began incubating the Flexdrive subscription platform that is now a joint venture with Holman Enterprises.
Similarly, rival KAR Auction Services, the parent company to ADESA auctions, made a major mobility investment with its purchase of STRATIM in February, a move that has implications for ancillary auction services like reconditioning.
$24 billion business
Manheim, which entered the retail recon space in 2015, offers these services to everyone from dealers and OEMs to consignors and mobility players. The opportunity is a prime one for auctions, as Manheim pinpointed retail recon as a $24 billion business.
With the addition of Manheim San Francisco Bay, the auction company has 19 Retail Reconditioning centers. Each is affiliated with a Manheim auction location, a company spokesperson confirmed.
The latest center has seven lifts and its sale-preparation services run the gamut from inspection, mechanical/body recon and paintwork to detailing, merchandising and imaging.
The San Francisco Bay location’s technicians can process work on approximately 100 vehicles each week, Manheim said.
“By outsourcing such services to a single point of contact at one location, clients can focus on customers, fulfill retail demand faster, and save time and money,” the company said in a news release. “Further, this alternative to in-house recon frees up a dealer’s own service bays for paying customers and gets retail-ready vehicles to their lot quickly — typically within four to 10 days, depending on client specifications and vehicle condition.”
Beck, the Manheim San Francisco Bay auction GM, added, “The conveniences and flexibility generated by Manheim’s Retail Reconditioning solution help dealers improve efficiency, speed, capacity and margins. It can even help reduce costs, by avoiding vehicle transport to/from multiple locations and enhance the unit’s value.”
All told, Manheim has put more than $17 million behind these Retail Reconditioning facilities over the years, and it prepped more than 30,000 vehicles at these locations in 2017.
Auto Remarketing was on hand for the grand opening of one of these facilities (Darlington, S.C.) in May 2016. At that time, the program now known as Retail Reconditioning was referred to as Retail Solutions.