Wholesale: Auction News

Wholesale: Auction News (27)

Tony Long will resign his position as Executive Director of IARA effective May 5, 2023. “We thank Tony for his many contributions to the organization and his overall commitment to the auto industry,” said IARA President Jeff Bescher. “Since becoming the third Executive Director of IARA nearly ten years ago, Tony has helped drive IARA’s growth and membership, overseen the implementation of our CAR and ACT industry leading training initiatives, and has been a significant part of making our annual Summer Roundtable meetings an industry standard. “We are grateful for Tony’s dedication to the mission of IARA and his many contributions to our success, and we wish him well as he navigates his next opportunities in a long and successful remarketing career.”

Bescher noted that in addition to being the executive director of IARA for nearly 10 years, Long is a past president of the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA), former president and fellow of the NAAA Warren Young Scholastic Foundation, and he received the highest award given to non-dealers when he was inducted into the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) Ring of Honor in 2021. Currently, the IARA Executive Committee is beginning to work on a strategic plan to fill the void left by Long’s departure, in addition to the day-to-day operations of the IARA. 

IARA’s Nikki Jones-Wenger will continue to be a point of contact for members and others during the transition. 

Tanner Litowski has been named the national remarketing manager at Central Auto Auction in Connecticut.

Born and raised in Canada, Litowski moved to the U.S. in 2011. He brings over 12 years automotive experience with him, most recently running a domestic franchise dealership sales department, that also included performing all trade appraisals, selling wholesale units and chasing inventory across the country from auto auctions and internet-based platforms.

“Tanner’s strong sales and internet skills are just what we need at Central Auto Auction as we continue to improve our grow our sale” said Anthony “AJ” Jasiak, Central Auto Auction General Manager.

Litowski said he is excited to bring his experience to Central Auto Auction.

“I believe that my knowledge of working on the dealer side of the business will help me succeed with improving the auction’s volume of inventory from both the dealers and commercial consignors,” he said.

Central Auto Auction was founded in 2006 and operates on approximately 12 acres, offering 3 lanes, full reconditioning services, including mechanical, transportation, title services, Auto IMS and Velocicast.

Oklahoma Auto Exchange, located in Oklahoma City, has retained TPC Management Company for strategic consulting in business development.

The auction was founded in 2005 and is headed by the father/son team of Mike and Kyle Clopton, now auction co-owners.

“From the beginning, Kyle and I have worked to develop the premier independent auction in this market, marked by a customer-focused auction operation,” said Mike Clopton. “We’re proud of what we have accomplished over the past 18 years, and feel the timing is right to expand our business as we work with Pierre Pons, Jiles Wanna and the team at TPC. We envision great possibilities as we strategize our future development and build our connections with the decision makers among the national commercial accounts”.

The auction offers up 700 vehicles including Dealer Consignment and Commercial Accounts every Wednesday in four lanes. The facility is completely enclosed to protect vehicles and customers from Oklahoma’s unpredictable weather. The physical footprint includes 125,000 square feet of indoor storage and auction space, situated on 18 acres of land. The auction has a six-bay detail and reconditioning shop, offers light mechanical services and in-house transportation, and includes a 2,500 square foot dealers’ lounge where customers enjoy free meals and a relaxing environment to look over sale lists.  “The Cloptons have a passion for the auction business and are the ultimate competitors who put their customers first,” said Pierre Pons, president of TPC Management. “They have a large and loyal customer base among the new and used car dealers in the Midwest, and they have added a number of commercial accounts as well, several of which have recognized the auction for operational excellence and customer service over the years. As a matter of fact, the Cloptons were on the award podium again at the CAR Conference in March.”

Wanna, vice president of client services for TPC, celebrated the new partnership. “The motto at Oklahoma Auto Exchange is worthy of note‘If we don’t serve you, we don’t deserve you,’” said Wanna. “At the core of the auction is a commitment to the customer that is evident the moment a car arrives at check-in or a dealer sets foot in the door. It is exciting for us to work with an operation of this caliber to build its connections in the marketplace.”

NIADA’s comprehensive BHPH General Management training promises to help current and prospective general managers learn the critical operational drivers necessary for running a successful BHPH dealership.

Senior 20 Group Moderator Ben Goodman will spend two days training management for BHPH/LHPH dealers during a session in Irving, Texas. The 12-hour course over two days is April 26 and 27. The cost is $549 for NIADA and 20 Group members, with a discounted group rate of $495 per person. For non-members, the class is $695.

“The management training is for existing BHPH owners, general managers and services managers,” Goodman explained. “We’re going to go into specific BHPH internal processes and operating guidelines, how to recruit, train and develop people, and sales.”

Goodman has spent nearly 30 years training and leading high-achieving sales teams in the subprime and BHPH markets, including 11 years with the nation’s largest BHPH franchise.


Attendees will develop a playbook for:
• Talent acquisition and retention
• Reducing reconditioning costs and shop inefficiencies
• Improving portfolio performance while reducing policy and warranty costs by effectively managing the post-sale customer service experience
• Coaching and motivating sales associates to develop leads; installing and managing a sales and underwriting process that will increase sales volume
• Recognizing red flags in your portfolio; turning your collectors into problem resolution managers; and compliance.

“It’ll cover the entire process from the general manger perspective. Anyone who is a general manager will profit from this class,” Goodman said. “I’m excited. It’s going to be a good class.”

Barrett-Jackson, the “World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction,” is offering nine spectacular vehicles from the Brian Kelly Collection, all with No Reserve. The 2023 Palm Beach Auction will be held April 13-15 at the South Florida Fairgrounds. Among the highlights is an iconic, one-year-only body-style 1963 Chevrolet Corvette 327/360 Split-Window Fuelie (Lot #733) that is one of only 2,610 equipped with a fuel-injected engine in 1963. 

“Astute collectors worldwide turn to Barrett-Jackson when looking to sell their prized vehicles, and the Brian Kelly Collection is one of several head-turning groupings being offered at our Palm Beach Auction later this month,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “From beautifully restored vintage Americana such as his 1954 Skylark convertible (Lot #684) to modern muscle like a 2022 GT500 Heritage Edition (Lot #762) with just 10 miles on the odometer, Brian’s collection of vehicles selling with No Reserve in Palm Beach will be immensely popular among our bidders.”  

Lot #684 – 1954 Buick Skylark convertible.

In addition to the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette 327/360 Split-Window Fuelie (Lot #733) with its matching-numbers engine, the Brian Kelly Collection also features professionally restored C1 and C3 convertibles: a stunning example from 1959 in Snowcrest White with silver coves (Lot #675) and a sleek 1970 model in Classic White with a black soft-top (Lot #371). The 1959 convertible is powered by its original matching-numbers 283ci engine (one of just 1,417 Corvettes so-equipped), which is topped with dual-quad carburetors and backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. The 1970 Corvette has only 34,301 actual miles and is powered by a 350ci V8 engine rated at 300 horsepower, with a 4-barrel carburetor and a 4-speed manual transmission. 

A 1954 Buick Skylark convertible (Lot #684) received a professional frame-off nut-and-bolt restoration that earned it Best in Class awards at multiple Concours d’Elegance events. One of just 836 examples built for the 1954 model year, this Buick is powered by its matching-numbers 322ci Fireball V8 engine mated to a Dynaflow automatic transmission. This Skylark is finished in Arctic White with red wheel wells and a black convertible top over a red leather interior. 

America’s Auto Auction Savannah held its “Get Lucky Sale” last month and collected $1,750 in dealer donations for a veterans organization.

Hundreds of vehicles from featured consignors packed the arena, drawing buyers from the surrounding regions. A free barbeque lunch and a $5,000 drawing brought over 400 dealers.

Team Savannah for Veterans focuses on helping vets in the Savannah/Low Country area. The group assists veterans through peer support and providing essential items that veterans may need to limit stress in their lives. Its goal is to create an environment for veterans to feel like they are a part of a family.

“We had a great group of dealers in attendance and the support to our local veterans was wonderful to witness,” said Katie Polk, auction manager.

Gold medalist and the first boxer to win championships in five weight classes, Sugar Ray Leonard will share his drive for success as the keynote speaker for the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association’s Accelerate 2023 Convention and Expo. Leonard will speak at 4:30 p.m. June 20 at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Registration for the largest expo and convention for the independent auto dealer is underway at niada.com/convention. Early bird registration ends May 15.

Leonard began boxing at 14, winning three Golden Gloves, two Amateur Athletic Union and the 1975 Pan-American crown, before capturing the gold medal at the 1976 Olympic games in Montreal.

To help his family defray mounting medical costs due to his father’s illness, he turned professional following the Olympics.

At 20, he won his first professional fight to start his stellar career, which included winning welterweight, junior middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight titles. He fought and won legendary bouts against Wilfred Benetiz, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvelous Marvin Hagler in his 20-year career.

Leonard started the The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation in 2009 with his wife, Bernadette. Since its inception, the foundation has funded countless research projects and offered life-changing patient care for children living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The foundation is also committed to helping children lead healthier lives through diet and exercise, equipping them with the tools to be successful in health later on.

Leonard’s keynote address is part of the June 19-22 NIADA Accelerate 2023 Convention & Expo.

KAR Auction Services, Inc., an operator of digital marketplaces for wholesale used vehicles, announces the retirement of executive chairman Jim Hallett. Hallett retains his seat on KAR’s board of directors while stepping down from his roles as executive chairman for KAR and chairman of the board of directors. Michael Kestner, who has served as lead independent director since 2019, has been named chairman of KAR’s board effective April 1, 2023, and Peter Kelly continues to serve as KAR’s chief executive officer.

“I am so proud of what we have accomplished at KAR, and it has been a true honor to serve our company, customers and industry over the last 47 years,” said Jim Hallett. “Each day I was humbled by the passion, energy and grit of our employees, and grateful for their dedication to our customers. Together, we transformed KAR’s brick-and-mortar business into a global digital marketplace for used vehicles. I have never been more confident in KAR’s strategy and leadership, especially with Peter at the helm—aside from being a great leader, he’s the best digital mind in our industry.” 

Hallett’s tenure with KAR Global spans more than 25 years.

Hallett’s tenure with the company spans more than 25 years. He was appointed executive chairman of KAR in 2021 after leading the company as CEO since 2009 and chairman of the board since 2014. Hallett joined the company in 1993 as president of ADESA Canada. He became CEO of ADESA in 1996 and led the company’s IPO in 2004. In 2007, Hallett architected the leveraged buyout of ADESA and merger with salvage auction provider Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. Hallett took the combined company public in 2009, and in 2019 led the successful spin-off of IAA which generated significant value for KAR stockholders. Under Hallett’s leadership, KAR completed the acquisition of more than 50 wholesale auctions and other businesses, expanding the company across North America and Europe.

“Jim’s bold vision and dedicated leadership positively shaped our company and our industry for more than four decades,” said Peter Kelly, CEO of KAR. “From safety to philanthropy to digital transformation, Jim challenged everyone around him to think differently and pursue bold, new ideas. At KAR, Jim catalyzed our entrepreneurial spirit and culture of innovation, and set the vision for the digital leader we have become. I am very fortunate to call Jim a friend and a mentor, and all of us at KAR wish him the very best in his well-earned retirement.”

Hallett is recognized for his active philanthropy and advocacy for the health, safety and wellbeing of auto auction employees and customers. He is the recipient of numerous industry, business and community awards including the 2014 National EY Entrepreneur of the Year, 2017 United Way of Central Indiana Exceptional Executive, 2018 NAAA/IARA Industry Icon Award, 2018 Indiana Chamber Dynamic Leader of the Year, and 2019 NAAA Hall of Fame Award. A lifelong hockey fan, Hallett shares his love of the sport with the central Indiana community as owner of the Indy Fuel. 

The International Automotive Remarketers Alliance presented Bob McConkey, president of McConkey Auction Group, with its Circle of Excellence Award.

“Not only is he a successful independent auction owner,” IARA President Jeff Bescher said, “but he’s been an intelligent, straightforward voice for all independent auctions, especially during his stint as NAAA President.”

IARA Chairman Paul Seger gave a brief snapshot of McConkey’s career, starting at South Seattle Auto Auction.

“From there he served as general manager of the Southern California Auto Auction, and actually doubled its size in less than three years, making it the world’s largest auto auction,” Seger said. “That was back in 1992.”

DAA Rock & Roll.

McConkey was also co-founder of DAA Northwest, and also owns DAA Seattle and DAA Las Vegas.

He co-founded Auction Pipeline, now known as Auction Edge and served as National Auto Auction President in 2009.

Seger also praised McConkey for his charity work, raising nearly $300,000 for various groups.

McConkey confessed that when IARA was first formed, he didn’t pay it much respect initially, but that changed.

“I can tell you that over the years, the IARA has been one of the most influential organizations that our industry has,” McConkey said.

He congratulated IARA’s 23-year run and the training and education it provides.

McConkey also talked about the great relationships and “deep, strong friendships” he’s made of the years in the industry.

“That’s by far the most important part of this whole ride that I’ve been on these past 40 years,” he said. “As a business, we’re well into the next generation and we’ve continued to innovate as I ride off into the sunset.

“Our organization is committed to the future and the next generation.”

He closed by thanking IARA for the award.

Manheim Pennsylvania hosted its annual Xtreme Spring Sale on March 23, bringing high energy and excitement to their lanes and raising money for the local Make-A-Wish organization. Dealers who participated in the physical and digital sale event had an opportunity to bid on nearly 700 unique vehicles, 310 of which sold, including a 2020 Huracan EVO that went for $295,000. In addition, a 2021 Jeep Gladiator with a rooftop tent and off-roading equipment was auctioned off for charity and purchased for $65,000 by Andrew and Angela DeLeo of Manheim Used Car Factory.

“We are grateful and incredibly humbled by the generosity of Manheim Pennsylvania and all of the Xtreme Spring attendees for their support of our mission to grant wishes for critically ill children in our community,” said Jennifer Davis, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley. “The amazing team at Manheim are true wish heroes with huge hearts who went above and beyond to make this a truly wonderful day.”

Manheim Pennsylvania has been hosting its Xtreme Spring Sale – their largest sale – for more than 14 years.

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