Reached by phone around 8:30 am (PT) on Wednesday, Nick Peluso had already bicycled a few handfuls of miles.
That may paint a picture of how active the Manheim Digital president will still be in his retirement from the company.
Manheim announced Thursday that Peluso, who has been in the auto auction industry for more than 30 years, will retire from the company at the end of the year.
Of course, “retirement” isn’t necessarily a word Peluso, who turned 60 earlier this year, likes to use. As he prepared to make this decision to retire from the company, Peluso did some reading and reflection on the meaning of the word.
“The word 'retirement' actually really applies to maybe the 40s and 50s when people worked a long career, got a pension, Social Security” and weren’t necessarily active, he said.
“Today, it's more about finding out what's next, whether it's giving back to your community, whether it's working with kids, whether it's finding another career, there's something next,” Peluso said.
He would later add in the interview, “I'm being told that even if you retire, it seems like you keep a very busy schedule.”
So, what’s next on the schedule for Peluso? Of course, he and his wife, Jessie, will continue to enjoy being grandparents. There’s also golf. And traveling with family.
In fact, Peluso’s son, daughter-in-law and their daughter live in Cologne, Germany, so going to visit them is “always a thrill.”
For the last several years, Peluso’s son has picked a spot in Europe where the family will meet up. They’ve visited spots like Spain and Italy, and have plans to go to Greece next year.
And to be sure, his career isn’t done.
“I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to work with such terrific people throughout my career — they’ve truly made my journey inspiring and memorable,” Peluso said in a news release. “And, while I’m retiring from Cox Automotive, I’m not thinking of this as the end of my career, but rather the beginning of my next journey.”
The best is yet to come for Manheim and its parent company Cox Automotive, Peluso said.
“Manheim and Cox Automotive is peaking. We've built a great team to come behind me. So, I'm excited for them and excited for myself. And whatever I run into or intersect with will be what I do next,” Peluso said in the phone interview. “I don't have any specific plans. I've been working either for my family or in this industry since I was 13 or 14 years old.”
So, Peluso will enjoy some well-deserved down time and family time, “and then we’ll figure out what’s next,” he said.
30-plus years in remarketing
Peluso started his auto auction industry career in 1988 as a Western regional sales representative for ADT Automotive, later becoming its vice president of sales and marketing. After Manheim purchased the company in 2000, Peluso became president of Remarketing Solutions, later taking on the role of senior vice president of customer management for Manheim, where he headed up sales, marketing and pricing.
He eventually became president of RMS Automotive and was named president of Manheim Digital in 2017.
Interestingly enough, even before he joined ADT, Peluso worked about seven years for a company called Cenval Leasing in northern California, where one of his tasks was selling off-lease and repossessed cars for the bank that owned Cenval.
They had their own lot to sell cars, but eventually there were so many vehicles that they needed to bring them to the auctions.
Peluso was hooked.
“I was just kind of blown away by the auto auction industry,” he said.
After Cenval was sold, ADT offered him the sales rep position.
Peluso said he, “jumped at the opportunity.”
As accomplished as Peluso’s career has been, some of his more recent accomplishments include leading the charge for Manheim’s first omni-channel experience that brought together Manheim.com, Simulcast and OVE into one destination and helping to develop Manheim Express.
Additionally, he was named the Bobit Industry Icon Award winner this year by the National Auto Auction Association and the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance. Peluso has been a frequent speaker at Cherokee Media Group’s National Remarketing Conference, as well as a host of other industry conferences like the Conference of Automotive Remarketing and events from NAAA and IARA.
“While Nick has been a mainstay of the traditional auction industry for decades, his ability to visualize the future while navigating through unchartered waters is something that will inspire us for years to come,” Cox Automotive president Sandy Schwartz said in a news release. “Cox Automotive has been so very fortunate to have Nick as a member of our family, and I look forward to following him as he transitions to his next chapter.”
Added Manheim president Grace Huang, “Nick has been a true visionary who used his wisdom and experience to move Manheim and the industry forward over the past 30 years.
“Throughout his career, he was not only instrumental in creating impactful brands such as RMS Automotive and Manheim Express, he also helped to mentor and develop the next generation of bold leaders — this will be his lasting legacy," Huang went on to say.