While Manheim Pennsylvania’s 75th Anniversary activities were postponed due to COVID-19, record vehicle demand from dealers in June is a reason to celebrate. Manheim’s flagship auction location sold more than 8,200 of the approximately 10,000 vehicles offered for sale digitally during the week ending June 19. This digital sales week beat last year’s combined physical and digital sales week by almost 900 vehicles. Using Simulcast, OVE.com and Manheim Express, nearly 9,000 dealer buyers participated virtually, showing dealers’ ability to keep their businesses moving forward by leveraging the digital wholesale marketplace.

“While we weren’t able to host our in-lane anniversary sale in March due to COVID-19, we could not be happier about meeting the demand from dealers for vehicles during this most recent week in June,” said Joey Hughes, vice president and general manager at Manheim Pennsylvania.”

The company allowed sellers to represent vehicles on the block and piloted in-lane bidding at five of its sites beginning the week of June 22. Both decisions were made after establishing strict safety protocols based on COVID-19 guidance.

While in-lane physical sales with cars running down the lanes have halted, Simulcast participation nearly tripled since early April, hitting approximately 20,000 attendees each day starting in mid-June and experiencing an 81 percent increase in OVE.com sales in one week. In addition, the company experienced approximately 1 million digital transactions from January through May, weeks ahead of the same time last year.

The International Automotive Remarketers Alliance will hold its 2020 Virtual Summer Roundtable on Aug. 20, replacing the original event that had been scheduled in San Antonio.

The one-day online conference will also be available on a mobile app. It is the 19th annual summer roundtable.

A virtual expo hall will be part of the experience ad opportunities for interactions between attendees, various topics and bonus features and materials available for registrants even after the conference is over, according to the IARA.

Keynote speakers will include Melinda Zabritski, senior director for Experian Automotive’s financial solutions team. She has overseen the product strategy for Experian Automotive’s lending channel and creation of the automotive credit vertical.

Another keynoter will be Blake Statton, business consultant for Michael Hyatt & Co., who teaches business owners how to apply productivity tools on a corporate level. He has also served as a small business marketing consultant.

Individual sessions include a panel of remarketers discussing “Where Do We Go from Here?” moderated by Scott Kolb, an IARA founding member.

Other sessions include: a dealer panel moderated by Steve Jordan, CEO of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association; webinars on titling, logistics and repossessions; and a panel on the new business dynamic of physical auctions.

Information on the conference and registration is available at www.iara.biz.

Cox Automotive has named three experienced leaders to new positions supporting its digital inventory efforts: Derek Hansen will now lead vAuto’s Stockwave and iRecon teams while Connie Suozzo and Blake Kennedy will take on new leadership roles in the Manheim Digital organization.

“With these new connections between Manheim and vAuto, clients will be able to acquire cars in a way that is linked to their retail strategies and unlock new opportunities for success,” said Paul Whitworth, senior vice president of inventory management solutions for Cox Automotive.”

Derek Hansen has been named vice president, wholesale for vAuto’s inventory management solutions, where he will focus on bringing inventory intelligence to bear in finding and facilitating connections between wholesale and retail. To accomplish this, Hansen will bridge the vehicle sourcing and reconditioning intelligence of Stockwave and iRecon with the Manheim infrastructure. Previously, Hansen led Manheim’s digital offsite platforms, including the launch of the Manheim Express app. Hansen joined the Cox Automotive team in January 2015 as senior director of strategic planning. Prior to that, he served in roles with Bain & Company, Deloitte Consulting and Intel Corp.

With Hansen’s move, Manheim Digital Vice President, Zach Hallowell, has named two new executives to his leadership team.

Connie Suozzo has been named associate vice president, open digital and offsite, where she will be responsible for the overall strategy and growth of Manheim’s dealer offsite efforts, with a strong focus on Manheim Express, Manheim.com and OVE. Suozzo joined Manheim in 2013 and has held various leadership positions. Most recently, she led Manheim Digital’s upstream client programs.

As associate vice president, private digital stores and optimizations, Blake Kennedy will lead and manage the platforms and programs across Manheim’s private store portfolio, as well as the M LOGIC suite of decisioning solutions, which include pricing, location and other optimization products. Previously, Kennedy spent five years on Manheim’s sales team, working with clients on their digital inventory management. Prior to joining Manheim, he spent 15 years with Openlane.

McConkey Auction Group announced the launch of MAGauctions.com, a website that includes all of its wholesale auction businesses. Prior to its development and June 12 launch, the company had separate websites for DAA Northwest, DAA Seattle, and its motorsports division.

One of the tools magauctions.com provides is a comprehensive sale calendar. Dealers can now view all scheduled McConkey Auction Group (MAG) events in a single online location. “The calendar development was a priority when we began the project,” said Mitzi VanVoorhis, McConkey’s vice president of marketing. “We started working on the new website before COVID-19 hit – the rapid pace of change since then has made the calendar a go-to tool.”

MAG is selling digital-only Weds at 1pm via Eblock
MAG is digital-only auctions Weds at 1pm via Eblock and Edge Pipeline

In addition to the calendar and information about DAA Northwest, DAA Seattle, MAG Now, MAG Motorsports and MAG RVs, magauctions.com provides dealers with entry to both EBlock and Edge Pipeline.

The McConkey Auction Group served as a beta location for EBlock earlier in the year; its MAG Now auctions are powered by EBlock and take place every Wednesday at 1 p.m. (PT). MAG’s weekly DAA Northwest and DAA Seattle auctions are offered via Edge Simulcast.

Future magauctions.com plans include the integration of new dealer tools.

“We are in a time of digital transformation,” said Bob McConkey, president and CEO of MAG. “Our new website is one avenue we have employed to supplement our hands-on, relationship-based service.”

First Business announced the launch of its new Floorplan Financing suite of solutions for independent car dealers nationwide.

Floorplan Financing allows car dealers the flexibility to finance their acquisition of used cars, preserving cash flow and allowing dealers to buy preferred inventory. Floorplan Financing is the latest expansion of First Business’s specialty finance solutions, offering floorplanning programs from $500,000 to $10 million for larger, well-established independent car dealers. This limited focus, a hallmark of First Business’s business model, facilitates a smaller clientele than large competitors, empowering personalized concierge service.

Industry veterans Jeff Widholm, managing director, John Goodyear, vice president, and Amanda Schreeg, servicing manager, join First Business to operate Floorplan Financing.

“We’re thrilled with the experts we’ve brought on to build and deliver our Floorplan Financing solutions,” said Dave Seiler, COO of First Business Financial Services, Inc. “They have so much experience and share the First Business vision of focus and client service.”

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