UVeye, an Israeli supplier of contact-free vehicle-inspection systems, has named two executives to head its North American management team for the launch of cost-saving products designed for car dealers, used-car auction houses and major vehicle fleets.

Glenn Hemminger joins UVeye as managing director of North American Operations, and Bob Rich will be North American sales director. The company recently announced plans to establish new offices in Ohio and New York and expects to open production and warehouse facilities in the U.S. next year.

Sites under consideration for future UVeye production facilities include locations in Michigan, Ohio and Texas, as well as several locations in the southeastern United States.

A West Point graduate, Hemminger had been director of international business development at Cleveland-based Dealer Tire. He previously had served in senior management positions at Cliffs Natural Resources and Gas Natural Inc.

Prior to joining UVeye, Rich had been a regional sales manager at Frogdata, a provider of advanced data analytics platforms for car dealerships. His sales and marketing experience includes work at DealerSocket, CDK Global, Cars.com and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

UVeye’s vehicle-inspection systems are equipped with high-speed cameras and artificial-intelligence technology to check for sheet metal damage, underbody component problems and tire wear. Its technology is also used by automakers to improve manufacturing quality and by security professionals to detect bombs, weapons and other onboard-vehicle threats.

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

Cox Automotive President and CEO Sandy Schwartz recently discussed his strategic plan called “The Way Forward,” during the company’s recent Mid-Year review.

“These are just crazy times,” Schwartz said. “We’ve gone from selling 50 percent online at Manheim to 100 percent online.”

But that’s not bad news.

Schwartz said Manheim’s flagship auction – Manheim Pennsylvania – recently sold 8,000 vehicles in one week, all digitally.

Plotting “The Way Forward,’ involves three areas, Schwartz said.

No. 1 is accelerating digital adoption to meet dealer demand. That means, creating the touchless car buying experience consumers want, while nurturing long-lasting service relationships and freeing time and resources to better serve customers, he said.

“This isn’t a new tune, we’re just beating the drum more loudly and a lot more,” Schwartz said.

When Cox asked Schwartz to run Manheim about a dozen years ago, Manheim was only selling 5 to 8 percent of its cars in some digital form. It took over 10 years to get to 50 percent, but the pandemic has moved that figure to 100 percent in just the last couple of months, Schwartz said.

The company has numerous tools to accelerate digital adoption.

“We can’t go backwards,” he said.

The second part of “The Way Forward,” is a focus on real-time market insights to fuel and help Cox Automotive’s customers make the best market decisions at all times.

Schwartz said Cox, with tools across more than 20 brands, has “unmatched data and analytics” to help with both wholesale and retail products.

No. 3 is to “be human at your core,” Schwartz said. This has to do with make continued safety the top priority for employees and customers. It means to nurture relationships and deepening customer ties by giving back to the community. It also means choosing business partners that share the same values.

Schwartz said despite Cox’s focus on technology, it’s “still the human touch, it’s still the human direction, that drives our technology.

“Trust is vital and the human touch must be felt in everything Cox does, from eco-friendly sanitizers in cleaning vehicles to social justice issues in communities.”

Black Book, in its June 23 COVID-19 Market Update, said recent activity has been strong, though it projects wholesale prices to drop compared to a pre-COVID-19 baseline this summer/fall, as the United States economy suffers through the effects of COVID-19.

“Auction activity this past week was on fire, with high conversion rates and high sale prices,” stated Black Book’s report. “Most no-sales this past week were the result of sellers holding firm to floors and not due to a lack of demand by the buyers. As a result, buyers are having to pay top dollar to secure quality inventory.

“As we entered June, wholesale prices continued to increase, and we now project that we will see an overall market appreciation for the entire month of June. As a comparison, last year’s prices declined by 0.9 percent over the same period.”

 However, Black Book projects demand will change later this year.

 “We anticipate that later this summer and fall, the wholesale prices will be between 10 percent and 15 percent lower than originally projected before the pandemic, due to a glut in supply and much weaker demand,” Black Book reported. “Prices will start to recover in 2021 as the economy becomes stronger. We also anticipate that older, cheaper vehicles in average condition will not decline as much due to increased demand for these units.”

The company continues to project that values will return to the pre-COVID-19 baseline as used supply will decline as a result of cuts in retail and fleet sales throughout the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

A strong retail month in June has led to tight supply for dealers.

“The lack of repossessions, delayed lease returns, and staffing limitations at the auctions are all contributing to low inventory levels at the auctions.,” stated Black Book. “The estimation is that it will be at least two more weeks before we start to see an increase at many auctions around the country.

Black Book’s estimate of the Weekly Average Sales rate
Black Book’s estimate of the Weekly Average Sales rate

“Despite most auctions continuing to operate under an all-digital platform, sales volume has rebounded to a level consistent with, and on some days higher than, this time last year. This is being driven by strong retail sales, which are then leading dealers to use auctions as their main source of inventory. The number of sales bottomed out around an 80 percent year-over-year decline when most auctions closed their physical sales (and some closed entirely) at the end of March.

“At the onset of the pandemic, as shelter-in-place orders went into effect, sales rates quickly tumbled into the teens, but rates have been climbing each week. We are now back at a level that is typically reserved for the springtime buying season.”

 

 

Wholesale used vehicle activity steadily improved over the course of May as the market moved toward recovery of both sales volumes and prices, according to the June 2020 Used Car and Light Truck Guidelines Plus Update from J.D. Power Valuation Services.

On an index basis, J.D. Power’s Used Vehicle Price Index increased by 8.3 percent in May vs. April and prices ended the period 6.8 percent below May 2019’s level.

“Wholesale auction prices improved for the sixth consecutive week through the week ending May 31. Prices grew by an impressive 14 percentage points during this time, which is a substantial improvement from the 16 percent trough recorded the week ending April 19,” said David Paris, executive analyst at J.D. Power Valuation Services. “While the rate of improvement is expected to slow due to an anticipated rise in wholesale supply in June and July, auction prices are expected to steadily recover over the remainder of 2020, finishing the year down by approximately 2 percent to 4 percent vs. 2019.”

Major findings in the report were that wholesale prices rebounded in May, with prices increasing by average 6.5 percent.

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