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.

Beginning this week, five Manheim sites will pilot in-lane bidding; three additional sites will follow in the coming weeks.

These sites will transition from a Simulcast-only to a Digital Block sale format beginning with the first sale at Manheim Dallas. A Digital Block sale is an auction run at a physical Manheim location using Simulcast. The vehicle never physically moves across the block during the auction process; it is only displayed on-screen.

The sites below will pilot in-lane bidding beginning this week:
Manheim Dallas
Manheim Kansas Cit
Manheim Dallas-Fort Worth
Manheim Darlington
Manheim Tulsa

This will be followed by three additional sites beginning in the coming weeks:

Manheim Orlando

Manheim Central Florida

Manheim Lakeland

With most Manheim lots now open for clients to preview vehicles, the company is reminding dealers about it’s LotVision technology.

Introduced last year, Lot Vision is a GPS-based wireless device that is placed in a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port and reports its whereabouts on a Manheim lot within ten feet. Recently, the technology was enhanced to include vehicle tracking by VIN and work order number.

“Our lots are full right now, and dealers who are previewing vehicles tell us that Lot Vision is helping them find vehicles in minutes versus hours,” said Patrick Brennan, SVP, Marketplace. “Our goal is to extend this technology to all locations and continue to make improvements to enhance our client’s experience.”

Dealers and transporters simply input a work order number or VIN and activate “Location Services” on a smart phone or tablet to pinpoint the vehicle’s exact location and path to find it. For vehicles without an on-board diagnostic port, trackers are attached to the steering wheel. Lot Vision also speeds up vehicle processing for transporters.

Lot Vision is now in place at Manheim Atlanta, Manheim Georgia, Manheim Dallas, Manheim Dallas-Fort Worth, Manheim San Antonio, Manheim Orlando, Manheim Palm Beach, Manheim Tampa, Manheim Central Florida, Manheim St. Pete, Manheim Lakeland, Manheim Ft. Lauderdale, Manheim Ohio and Manheim Chicago.

 

Manheim President Grace Huang announced the company is bringing back hundreds of furloughed employees and, on June 8, began allowing sellers to rep cars in the lanes.

“I’m happy to report that we are continuing to experience positive signs of growth, including significant demand for used vehicles and record participation on our digital platforms,” Huang stated in an open letter. “Recently, nearly 20,000 vehicles were sold on Simulcast in a single day, and OVE saw an 81% increase in sales in one week.”

Huang added that “transparency and efficiency” remain critical to the company’s success.

Manheim is opening more lots for clients to preview inventory and more than 90 percent of Manheim sites offer expanded viewing days and times.

Auction lanes at Manheim Detroit
Auction lanes at Manheim Detroit

Huang added Manheim is planning to pilot in-lane bidding, requiring strict protocols, including redesigned auction blocks with plexiglass guards, new distancing requirements and enhanced safety measurements.

Manheim continues to waive Simulcast buyer and seller success fees, along with waiving Manheim Express sell fees for all self-listed vehicles and waiving fees for vehicles sold without a title or title absent (TA). It is also temporarily changing arbitration policy by not allowing arbitration on a TA vehicle.

 

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.

 

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