Small business optimism held onto recent gains in the second quarter, according to the latest findings from the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, conducted April 3-7.
In the quarterly survey, which measures the optimism of small business owners, the overall index score was 95 in April, down from 100 in February when business owners reported being the most optimistic since the start of the Great Recession. The drop is not statistically significant, and small business optimism is still up significantly from a year ago when the index score was 64.
Business owners continue to report improvement across most survey measures.
Auction Management Solutions has hired Jamye Carpenter as vice president of business development.
Carpenter has over 18 years of experience in the auto auction industry with positions ranging from customer service to senior vice president. She started her career in 1999 with AutoCheck as a customer service representative and eventually became the director of business development.
Carpenter also managed the Red Mountain Technologies Client Services team, serving many of the largest property and casualty insurers in the country, while continuing to sell and develop new products for the auction and insurance clients she served.
CRB Auto, a division of Mechanics Bank, announced that auto finance veteran Bill Katafias has joined the organization as its chief executive officer.
Katafias most recently was the executive vice president, national production manager and leading retail credit executive for Wells Fargo Dealer Services. He succeeds CRB Auto Chief Executive Scott Raymer who previously announced his resignation to pursue other opportunities.
Katafias began his career in auto finance with Ford Motor Credit in 1988. He joins CRB Auto after 23 years with the Wells Fargo auto finance group, where he managed all aspects of its business including retail production, oversight of national and regional dealer partners, centralized direct lending operations, and the decentralized regional business center model of Indirect Auto (including sales, credit, loan origination, high risk collections and operational risk management).
Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) improved 0.5 percent month-over-month in April.
This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value reading to 124.7, which represented a 1.6 percent increase from a year ago.
On a year-over-year basis in April, the mid-sized car category saw the largest decline, while only pickups saw gains greater than the overall market.
The average price for rental risk units sold at auction in April was down 2 percent year-over-year. Prices were up 0.3 percent compared to March.
SUV/CUVs accounted for 33 percent of rental risk sales in April versus only 23 percent a year ago. Compact cars’ share fell to 26 percent from 33 percent. Average mileage for rental risk units in April (at 39,500 miles) was 11 percent below a year ago.