NAAA Leaders Industry War Room

By Jeffrey Bellant March 25, 2020
“Everyone is taking that social distancing to the next level,” National Auto Auction Association CEO Frank Hackett said. “Everyone is taking that social distancing to the next level,” National Auto Auction Association CEO Frank Hackett said.

Dozens of auction industry leaders come together weekly as they hammer out ways to help each other survive through the era of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

National Auto Auction Association CEO Frank Hackett, who helps run the call, discussed the difficulty of battling a global pandemic.

“It’s just there are so many moving pieces,” Hackett said. “It’s such a challenge.”

After the March 23 discussion, Hackett said the NAAA suspended dues payments for member auctions.

The Independent Auction Group is also doing the same for its members, as are the various NAAA chapters.

The NAAA moved up its $3,000 dividend check for each of the 260 auctions to that week.

“We’re providing about $1.45 million of relief to the auctions this week alone,” Hackett said.

When auctions participate in AuctionNet, allowing NAAA to gather their data, they receive an annual dividend check.

“We moved that on purpose to give everybody that check early,” Hackett said.

He also singled out Lynn Weaver, IAG executive director, and his group for doing their part to support independent auctions in their time of need.

“They started collecting dues (for IAG) weeks ago and now they are sending back all the dues checks and they’re suspending dues until next year,” Hackett said.

In the early phase of this economic shutdown, the message from NAAA was all about unity, Hackett said.

“The association is with you and this is why we had a rainy-day fund,” he said. “We’re not going to sit on it. We’re going to put it toward the best use possible. We’re going to do all the things we can to help (NAAA members).

“We just wanted to demonstrate to them that we support them and will do anything we can to help.”

During the week of the March 23 call, ADESA had suspended all of its sales, including digital sales. At press time, Manheim was moving forward with remote sales, with no reps on site and no inventory walks allowed, Hackett said.

“They are really limiting anyone on the property,” he said.

John Brasher, executive director of ServNet, said on the call that eight auctions were running live sales, 13 were running digital and one has been suspended.

America’s Auto Auctions was trying to limit the number of employees working to a bare minimum.

“Everyone is taking that social distancing to the next level,” Hackett said.

Industry lobbyist Sante Esposito gave an update on Washington D.C., and it wasn’t pretty.

“Gridlock,” Hackett said, though legislation to help businesses and individuals was moving toward passage at press time.

Chuck Redden, CEO of AutoTec, spoke about concerns about liquidity and the financial security of dealers.

“As new auctions try to move upstream or try to sell simulcast, you have to be very cautious about new folks coming in,” Hackett said. “Redden said you need to be vigilant since it’s a prime opportunity for fraud.”

Thomas Lynch, NAAA general counsel, will provide answers to questions about employment law or other issues through Hackett and NAAA.

Hackett said the meetings have gone well, but everyone is thinking the same thing.

“Everyone is anxious to get back to work,” he said. “We still have a way to go.”

The auto industry still struggles with interpreting directives from the various states regarding essential services and how the auction industry and auto dealers fall into that.

Hackett advises businesses to look to their state governments for guidance on what is allowed or not.


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Last modified on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 15:43

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