Wholesale: Market News

Wholesale: Market News (13)

SecureClose LLC, which provides an automated avatar loan closing system for a legally compliant, consistently transparent closing every time, along with e-sign and electronic vault, has been selected by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association as its newest bronze National Corporate Partner.

Amos “Ace” Christian, the founder and CEO of SecureClose, has been a BHPH dealer for 27 years. Based on real-life experiences, Christian developed the SecureClose Avatar to provide a consistent, transparent customer experience, by combining a recorded avatar presentation of legally compliant disclosures, with electronic document presentations, E-Signature, and secure UCC Article 9 compliant cloud vault document storage.

SecureClose LLC is based in Mesa, Ariz., and is managed by Christian and President Stan Heintz ‑ both with extensive experience in BHPH operations.

“SecureClose was created to eliminate the ‘he said, she said’ that dealers face with consumers, who then go to regulators and attorneys with complaints,” Christian said. “Just this year, Jan 1 to Mar 31, consumers filed 1,681 complaints with the CFPB related to vehicle loans.  That’s an 18.3 percent increase quarter over quarter and a 43.7 percent increase year over year. I want dealers to have proof, when these regulators come knocking, that they were transparent and compliant during their interaction with the consumer.”

Sales documents, finance contracts and other state-related documents are imported from the dealer’s DMS or CRM software. A recording (video and audio) of the closing is created as an avatar explains each document as if an attorney was in the room with the customer. Once the consumer confirms that they fully understand and agree to the content of each page, they digitally sign each document. Upon completion, the dealer’s “Authoritative Original” Retail Installment Contract and other documents automatically transfer into the SecureClose Vault along with the video recording. The customer also receives copies of the e-signed documents by email and can review the video closing for 10 days.

IAA Holdings, LLC (IAA), a Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated company and global marketplace for insights, services and transaction solutions for commercial assets and vehicles, announces that it has made strategic real estate investments in New York, Indiana, Connecticut and Delaware.

The IAA Staten Island (N.Y.) and IAA Fort Wayne (Ind.) branches have opened to accommodate growing demand in these busy markets. IAA also has bought out the leases at two existing branches in Connecticut and Delaware to secure its presence at prime locations in those states.

“As demand for capacity steadily increases, our flexible real estate strategy continues to allow us to provide space for inventory management where it is needed most,” said Scott Guenther, senior vice president of North America operations at IAA. “Our physical presence and cutting-edge technology allow us to drive operational excellence and continue to lead the industry in customer service.”

Hagerty Inc., an automotive lifestyle brand and a specialty insurance provider, announced the first private collection sale of the Hagerty Marketplace online auction. The recently launched platform allows members and enthusiasts to buy and sell automobiles through a trusted, easy-to-use system. The Retro Motors Collection comprises over 30 cars largely from the 1950s through today, with a focus on American muscle and high-powered European sports cars.  

The Retro Motors Collection will launch on Hagerty Marketplace online auctions beginning Monday, May 15 in a rolling format, with a handful of cars opening for bidding daily and closing five days following each launch. Each car from The Retro Motors Collection has been inspected and cataloged by a Hagerty Marketplace specialist. 

Dealers Auto Auction Group has expanded into the Cincinnati, Ohio market with the acquisition of OKI Cincinnati Auto Auction.

 OKI founder, Lee Schoenling, has over fifty years’ experience in the auto industry and opened the auction in 2000. The auction began selling in one lane, offering roughly 75 units weekly. After a year in business, the Schoenlings moved to a larger facility in Reading, Ohio. As the auction continued to grow, it moved to its current address at 120 City Center Drive, Cincinnati and currently runs hundreds of units each week. 

Tony Schoenling started in the auto industry in 2001, working at the auction while also attending college. After graduating in 2005, Schoenling assumed greater responsibilities within the auction and earned his way into an ownership position. Schoenling will continue as an invested member of DAA Cincinnati and will serve as general manager. 

“David Andrews is a person I trust to help grow this market,” Schoenling said. “David and the Dealers Auto Auction Group team are a great fit for my team, me, and the car industry. The timing of this acquisition is great for dealers and commercial clients looking for an auction offering high-level, personalized service in the Ohio River Valley and beyond markets.” 

Andrews said the company is thrilled to enter the Cincinnati market.

“Tony is a smart operator, and the Schoenlings have a great history of serving their customers,” he said. “As the fourth largest auction group in the country, DAAG listens to our customers.”

Warren Byrd of Keyscore Consulting was instrumental in putting this deal together. Byrd, a veteran auction industry advocate, has spent decades negotiating acquisitions and building auctions.

“I am pleased to play a part in their expansion northward into a major market in the Midwest,” Byrd said. “This is Keyscore’s third acquisition with the Dealers Auto Auction Group in the past two years.”

Vehicle Acquisition Network (VAN), a private party acquisition solution for automotive dealerships, has announced the rebranding of its suite of solutions to better reflect their capabilities and provide room for growth. The VAN suite of solutions now includes Fuel, Converse, Engage, and Navigate.

VAN Fuel offers an advanced private seller inventory market scan software, constantly monitoring a dealership’s market area for predefined vehicles being offered for sale. Fuel updates from over 18 providers in the United States and Canada, providing a more comprehensive market view than any other provider. Fuel also removes salvage, dealer, and other undesirable vehicles before they ever make it to a dealership’s results.

VAN Converse is a party acquisition solution that provides in-application communication with private sellers. Converse offers text messaging and click-to-call telephone connection capabilities, all within the vehicle details page, so users can reference all the vehicle information while conversing with private sellers.

VAN Engage is a full-featured Seller Relationship Management system within the application. It allows dealerships to move past leads and begin developing relationships with consumers in their market. Engage has follow-up and appointment setting features that can be planned into custom tasks, and it keeps track and provides reporting on contacts, offers, appraisals, and acquisitions, every step in the funnel.

VAN Engage offers a Google Chrome Extension that enables dealers to work with the VAN solutions without leaving the listing provider page.

VAN Navigate allows users to update notes, add seller information, and open a new tab to transfer to vAuto for appraisals, all without toggling back and forth between tabs.  Navigate also allows users to source vehicles in the locations they choose while retaining the efficiency and scalability of the Fuel platform.

Wholesale used-vehicle prices (on a mix, mileage, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 1.5% in March from February. The Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index (MUVVI) rose to 238.1, down 2.4% from a year ago. March’s increase was moderated by the seasonal adjustment. The non-adjusted price change in March increased by 3.5% compared to February, moving the unadjusted average price down 2.9% year over year.

In March, Manheim Market Report (MMR) values saw increases that were stronger than normal to start the month but below normal to end the month. Over the last four weeks, the Three-Year-Old Index increased an aggregate 1.6%. Over the month of March, daily MMR Retention, which is the average difference in price relative to the current MMR, averaged 99.8%, meaning market prices were slightly below MMR values. The average daily sales conversion rate increased to 65.4%, which was a normal average for the time of year. For context, the daily sales conversion rate averaged 65.3% in March 2019. However, the conversion rate declined as the month progressed, which indicates the month started with conditions favoring sellers, but by month end, conditions were starting to shift.

Seven of eight major market segments continued to see seasonally adjusted prices that were lower year over year in March. Pickups showed a 0.6% increase. Compared to last March, midsize and compact cars lost less than the industry, at 1.4% and 2.2%, respectively, while luxury cars lost 8.0%, and the remaining three segments declined between 2.7% and 3.8%. Six of eight categories showed gains compared to February of between 0.5% and 2.1%. Vans were flat, and sports cars lost 1.6% versus last month.

Manheim Pennsylvania won the 2022 Most Valuable Auction of the Year and five regional Auction of the Year winners were also announced. These awards are part of GM Financial’s annual Auction of Excellence program recognizing the nation’s highest-performing auction locations.

Bob Winn, senior vice president of Remarketing Solutions at GM Financial, said, “The auctions we work with have spent the past few years navigating many obstacles and going to great lengths to help GM and our purchasing dealers achieve success.”

“With several macroeconomic concerns and a few unique to our industry, these top performers stepped up, prioritizing strong vehicle sales and bettering dealer relationships,” Winn said. “Congratulations to these outstanding auctions and thanks for your hard work.”

Selection criteria for these honorees included performance in retention, operational metrics, presale activities and overall auction operations.

2022 Regional Auction of the Year Winners:

  • America’s Auto Auction Columbus Fair — Obetz, Ohio
  • Southern Auto Auction — East Windsor, Conn.
  • America’s Auto Auction Lone Star Lubbock — Lubbock, Texas
  • Manheim Statesville — Statesville, N.C.
  • Manheim Denver — Aurora, Colo.


“Being named GM Financial’s Most Valuable Auction for a fourth consecutive year speaks volumes about our team’s ongoing commitment to serve clients and deliver the results they need and expect,” said Joey Hughes, Manheim Pennsylvania vice president and general manager. “I could not be prouder of our team at Manheim Pennsylvania and their focus on delivering all-around top performance to help our clients achieve their business goals.”

National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) member auctions remained resilient during 2022 amid challenging economic conditions and reported more than $110 billion in actual and projected vehicle sales.

According to NAAA’s 2022 annual industry survey, nearly 11 million vehicles were offered for sale at NAAA member auctions with 6.6 million units sold for a sale rate of 60.3%. The average price per unit reached $16,747, up 4% from 2021, which represented an all-time high according to prior NAAA Industry Survey data. 

Dealer consignment vehicles represented the largest number of units sold at 61%, followed by finance and fleet (lease, fleet, repo) with 33%, manufacturer (factory) vehicles at 5%, and 0.5% from other sources. 

As inventory and supply chain issues continued during 2022, the number of units entering the lanes dropped 7% from the previous year, and the number of units entering the lanes that were sold dropped 4%. 

The 2022 survey data illustrated how NAAA member auctions are not only vital components of the automotive industry, but they are also key contributors to their local economies. In 2022, NAAA member auctions employed an average of 104 people per auction, and an additional average of 33 people were employed as temp or contract workers. In total, member auctions employed an estimated 44,000 full-time and part-time workers in 2022. Collectively, NAAA member auctions contributed an estimated $4.5 million to charitable causes for an average charitable contribution of more than $13,000.

The independent firm of Robert A. Casey Consulting of Burke, Virginia conducted the survey for NAAA. The survey provides the most accurate picture available of the wholesale auto auction industry. The response rate for the survey was 63%, representing 214 member auctions. The reported total vehicles entered and sold, and the related gross values are projected to estimate the totals for all 342 NAAA auctions.

“It’s clear from the 2022 Industry Survey results that our member auctions continue to represent the Gold Standard of the wholesale auto auction industry,” said NAAA Interim Executive Director Paul Lips. "The last several years have been challenging for the auto industry, but our members time and again prove that they are adaptable, innovative, and dedicated to advancing our great industry.” 

Average wholesale used vehicle prices rose for the second consecutive month in February and well into March, according to the Kontos Kommentary, prepared by Tom Kontos, chief economist of ADESA Auctions.

Certified pre-owned (CPO) sales also rose in February despite short supplies of late-model vehicles, as OEMs have expanded their programs to include older models and consumers look for ways to fight inflation, the report stated.

According to ADESA U.S. Analytical Services’ monthly survey of auction industry used vehicle prices by vehicle model class, wholesale prices in February averaged $15,311 — up 3.9% compared to January, down 5.7% relative to February 2022, and up 42.1% versus pre-pandemic/February 2019. All model class segments showed average price increases for the month with the exception of full-size vans, which were modestly down.

Late-model price growth in part reflects strong demand for CPO-eligible units. Average prices for this group of vehicles have also continued to increase in March and stood at $26,054 for the week ending March 19.

CPO sales have improved this year despite wholesale supply shortages of late-model used vehicles eligible for certification. This improvement in sales is partly the result of expansion by OEMs of their certification programs to include older units. In addition, many inflation-sensitive consumers are substituting new vehicle purchases with less-expensive CPO buys.

Manheim reported wholesale used-vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 1.8% from February in the first 15 days of March.

The mid-month Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index rose to 238.6, which was down 2.1% from the full month of March 2022. The seasonal adjustment minimized the gains. The non-adjusted price change in the first half of March was an increase of 3.8% compared to February, while the unadjusted price was down 2.6% year over year.

Over the last two weeks, Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices increased by an aggregate of 1.6%. Prices usually increase in the first two weeks of March, as the average price change for these weeks in the six years from 2014 through 2019 was an increase of 1.2%. Over the first 15 days of March, MMR Retention, the average difference in price relative to current MMR, averaged 100.5%, indicating that valuation models are below market prices. The average daily sales conversion rate of 68.3% in the first half of March increased relative to February’s daily average of 63.8% and was above the March 2019 daily average of 65.3%.

Seven of eight major market segments saw seasonally adjusted prices that were again lower year over year in the first half of March. Pickups had a 0.9% increase, while only midsize and compact cars lost less compared to the overall industry in seasonally adjusted year-over-year changes. The remaining segments lost between 2.4% and 7.7%, with luxury cars faring the worst. Seven of eight major segments saw price increases compared to February, with gains ranging from 0.1% to 2.4%. Sports cars were the lone exception, with a 2.4% decline from February.