After discussions and negotiations that spanned “several years,” Columbus Fair Auto Auction (CFAA) became part of the XLerate Group on Friday afternoon.
During a phone conversation with Auto Remarketing just a couple of hours after the acquisition closed, XLerate chief executive officer Cam Hitchcock conveyed a message to customers of CFAA, an auction that’s been operating near the Ohio capital for more than 60 years.
“Their service team isn’t changing,” Hitchcock said. “The same individuals who have taken care of them for many years at Columbus Fair will continue to take care of them going forward on the commercial consignor side and the dealer side. I would expect more of the same, superior customer service and a commitment to excellence.”
Columbus Fair joins XLerate’s established group of auctions, which have physical and satellite sale operations in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Hitchcock pointed out the acquisition diversifies the group’s portfolio more than just geographically.
“We’re always excited when we acquire very high-quality sales,” Hitchcock said. “Columbus Fair has some relationships with certain consignors that the other XLerate auctions don’t have, and conversely, XLerate has relationships with certain consignors that Columbus Fair doesn’t have. We are looking to grow Columbus Fair as well as the other existing sales. Columbus Fair is just a phenomenal addition in that regard.”
And that addition arrived on Friday afternoon following what Hitchcock said took “several years” of dialogue.
Hitchcock recapped in a news release that CFAA was started by Bill Jacobs, Alexis Jacobs' father, in 1958. She has run the sale since her father’s death in 1982.
“CFAA is an iconic independent sale with an impeccable reputation and consistently superior customer service,” Hitchcock said in that news release. “These attributes are a great fit with XLerate’s operating philosophy and track record of acquiring sales with strong brand equity.
“It is an honor that Alexis and Greg Levi have entrusted us to carry forward the Jacobs’ legacy at CFAA,” Hitchcock continued, “This acquisition bolsters XLerate’s presence in the critical Midwestern market and our capabilities to service large fleet/lease and financial institution customers.
“We are excited that Greg Levi and his team will join XLerate’s highly talented management group. XLerate’s team will benefit from Greg’s deep experience in consignor compliance and digitally-enabled sales platforms,” Hitchcock went on to say.
As mentioned, CFAA has been in continuous operation since 1958 and features financial institution, fleet/lease and dealer consignment sales each Wednesday at its Obetz, Ohio, location. The auction operates an 11-lane arena, reconditioning facility, body shop, and mechanical shop situated on approximately 154 acres.
“Joining the XLerate group is the right choice for CFAA’s customers and employees,” CFAA principal owner Alexis Jacobs said. “We identified a cultural match that felt comfortable for both our employees and our customers. The support and resources that the XLerate offers to its auction family were key factors in my decision to sell to XLerate.
“My auction family is excited to join a high-quality, high-integrity group of operators who share our commitment to providing superior customer experience and a powerful commitment to the communities where they operate,” Jacobs went on to say.