Manheim announced that “increased sales activity” and “early signs of economic recovery” have in part led it to recall 300 workers just weeks after furloughing 9,000 U.S. employees.

In a May 27 release, Manheim President Grace Huang said a boost in reconditioning requests led to the return of the 300 workers.

Manheim President Grace Huang
Manheim President Grace Huang

“As business conditions continue to improve, we plan to recall even more furloughed employees,” Huang stated.

She reported that with lots at full capacity, two-thirds of locations are participating with expanded viewing days and times. Manheim also has wireless tracking technology at 13 locations, with plans to double that total for year’s end, Huang reported.

Huang said Manheim is accelerating its investments in condition reports and imaging, as it is still limited to an all-digital format. The company promises key enhancements in the coming months, while continuing to comply with CDC guidelines.

Manheim continues to waive simulcast fees for buyers and sellers and waive the Manheim express sell fee for self-listed vehicles. The company also offers daily MMR retention values to help with valuations. It’s also waiving fees for vehicles sold without a title or title absent, as well as other assistance.

 

Wholesale used vehicle prices rebounded in the second half of May, raising the mid-month Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 133.0, a 5.74 percent increase from April, according to Manheim.

The wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage- and seasonally adjusted basis), however, showed a 4.8 percent decrease from May 2019.

Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices improved over the last two weeks, resulting in a 3.1 percent cumulative increase in the first two weeks of May on the Three-Year-Old Index.

In its report, Manheim stated, “Over the first 15 days of May, MMR Retention, which is the average difference in price relative to current MMR, was above 100 percent for all but one day and averaged above 101 percent. The MMR Retention trend reflected that vehicles were selling above current MMR values and was a clear reversal of what happened in late March and April.

“On a year-over-year basis, all major market segments saw seasonally adjusted price declines in the first 15 days of May. Luxury cars outperformed the overall market, while most other major segments underperformed the overall market.”

Used-vehicle retail sales – for the two-week period ending May 14 – were down 6 percent year-over-year on May 14. That was an improvement from the 67 percent year-over-year decline at the end of March.

Manheim reported wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix, mileage, and seasonally adjusted basis) decreased 11.41 percent month-over-month in April. This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 125.8, a 9.2 percent decrease from a year ago, and the lowest level in three years.

According to Cox Automotive estimates, total used vehicle sales volume was down 34.3 percent year-over-year in April. Cox estimates the April used SAAR to be 27.0 million, down from 39.3 million last April and down from March’s 32.0 million rate. The April used retail SAAR estimate is 14.4 million, down from 21.4 million last year and down month-over-month from March’s 17.3 million rate. 

Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index April 2020
         Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index : April 2020

 

Wholesale prices are stabilizing as the excess supply of used vehicles comes down, Cox reported. A rolling 7-day estimate of used retail days’ supply based on vAuto data, shows that used retail supply peaked at 115 days on April 8th. Normal used retail supply is about 44 days’ supply. It ended April at 53 days. Cox estimates that wholesale supply peaked at 149 days on April 9th when normal supply is 23. It was down to 65 days by month end.

As states lift restrictions, Manheim will begin to allow limited access to its property, in accordance with enhanced safety measures outlined by Center for Disease Control guidelines.

Manheim President Grace Huang made the announcement in a statement on May 1.

“Starting next week, select Manheim locations will begin providing access for clients to preview inventory on a limited basis,” Huang wrote. “These locations are aligned with relevant local and state ordinances to ensure our clients have a safe experience on our lots. Upon entry, clients can expect to comply with certain protocols to ensure their health and safety.  It is our hope that, we will be able to offer this access at other locations as local and state ordinances allow.”

She added “as always, the health and safety of our team members, clients and communities remains our top priority.”

Under these updates, limited preview periods will be available during specific days and times on non-sale days only. Should clients plan to preview inventory, strict safety and compliance measures will be in place. However, auction offices and facilities will remain closed.

Manheim will maintain Simulcast-only sales at its locations, where local and state directives allow. All digital channels and tools remain fully operational. Simulcast selling will continue to be handled by Manheim’s Remote-Seller tool.

The company will continue to allow vehicle pick-up and drop off at our auction locations as local and state directives allow.

As Manheim continues to update its operations, further COVID-19-related developments could alter its plans, Huang stated.

“Should this occur, we will adapt accordingly and communicate any changes to our employees, clients and partners,” she wrote.

Manheim will continue to offer support to dealers by:  waiving Simulcast buyer and seller success fees;  extending through May the waiver of Manheim Express sell fees for all self-listed vehicles;  waiving seller fees for vehicles sold without a title or Title Absent and temporarily changing the arbitration policy by not allowing arbitration on a TA vehicle. 

“As a team, we will continue to monitor industry conditions and stay close to our clients to understand their short and long-term business challenges and opportunities. Manheim remains committed to our industry and our client’s success and appreciate their continued partnership during these extraordinary times,” stated Huang.

 

 

Several veteran Manheim team members have been promoted to Market Center leadership positions, where they will work cooperatively across locations that share management and support functions. Created last year, Market Centers put multiple auction locations under a central leader, enabling greater collaboration and efficiencies for clients.

Manheim also announced that Manheim Statesville General Manager Ellie Johnson and Manheim Orlando General Manager Butch Herdegen Sr. retired from the company following a combined 65 years of dedicated service.

“While these moves were planned before the industry faced its toughest challenge yet, we know that having strong, seasoned leaders in our locations is critical to navigating the ups and downs of the industry,” said Patrick Brennan, senior vice president, Marketplace, Manheim.

JD Daniels was promoted to vice president and general manager of the Manheim Orlando-Central Florida Market Center. Since 2014, he has served as general manager of Manheim Phoenix where he increased both volume and profits, earning the location recognition including back-to-back Auction of the Year awards in 2018 and 2019.

Emily Decker, a 23-year member of the Manheim family, has been promoted to the role of Arizona Market Center leader and general manager of Manheim Phoenix. Decker will oversee the Phoenix operating location, Manheim Tucson and support Cox Automotive Mobility’s Pivet brand as it grows in the Phoenix market. Most recently, Decker oversaw operations for Manheim Indianapolis and Manheim Cincinnati.

Mandy Savage has been named general manager of the North Carolina Market Center that includes Manheim Statesville and Manheim Charlotte. Savage joined Manheim as a manager trainee in 2003. Since then, she has served in a variety of corporate and operational roles, including sales manager for one of the first OVE sales teams, director of digital best practices and assistant general manager of Manheim Palm Beach. Most recently, she spent the past six years as general manager of Manheim Detroit.

Noel Kitsch was promoted to general manager of Manheim Detroit and leader of the Manheim Detroit-Flint Market Center. A 20-year plus veteran of Manheim, Kitsch began his career at Manheim Orlando in Dealer Sales before transitioning into his first assistant general manager role in 2013.

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