KAR Auction Services Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire BacklotCars Inc. for $425 million.

BacklotCars is an app and web-based dealer-to-dealer wholesale platform featuring a 24/7 “bid-ask” marketplace and comprehensive vehicle inspections performed by automobile mechanics. Upon closing, the acquisition will further diversify KAR’s broad portfolio of digital capabilities and accelerate the company’s strategy to be a leading digital dealer-to-dealer marketplace provider.

“I’m confident the addition of Backlot’s leadership, technology, and exceptional customer-service model will quickly benefit our combined customers, enhance KAR’s competitive position and accelerate growth for both organizations,” said Jim Hallett, chairman and CEO of KAR.

BacklotCars was founded in 2015 in Kansas City and currently serves dealers in 46 states across the United States.

After the transaction closes, key BacklotCars leaders like Justin Davis, Ryan Davis, Josh Parsons and Fabricio Solanes will remain with the company, and KAR intends to continue operating BacklotCars’ Kansas City headquarters location.

The transaction is expected to close prior to year-end pending the requisite legal and regulatory approvals.

Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 3.64 percent month-over-month in August. This brought the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 163.7, a 15.8 percent increase from a year ago and a record high for the Index.

Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices improved at a decelerating pace over the four full weeks of August, resulting in a 1.6 percent cumulative increase on the Three-Year-Old Index. In the last full week of August, the Three-Year-Old Index declined 0.1 percent, ending the streak of 16 weeks of price appreciation. MMR Retention, which is the average difference in price relative to current MMR, averaged 100.5 percent for the month and ended the month under 100 percent for four of the last five days. Likewise, the sales conversion rate declined over the course of August but remained higher than normal for this time of the year.

On a year-over-year basis, all major market segments saw seasonally adjusted price increases in August. Luxury cars and pickup trucks outperformed the overall market, while most other major segments underperformed the overall market.

According to Cox Automotive estimates, total used vehicle sales volume was down 4 percent year-over-year in August. Cox estimates the August used SAAR to be 38.0 million, down from 39.7 million last August and flat compared to July. The August used retail SAAR estimate is 20.3 million, down from 20.7 million last year and slightly down month-over-month from July’s 20.4 million rate.


Used vehicle prices have recovered as the supply of used vehicles has come down. Using a rolling seven-day estimate of used retail days’ supply based on vAuto data, we see that used retail supply peaked at 115 days on April 8. Normal used retail supply is about 44 days’ supply. It ended August at 38 days, so lower than normal. Cox estimates that wholesale supply peaked at 149 days on April 9, when normal supply is 23. It was down to 24 days by month end.

August total new vehicle sales were down 19 percent year-over-year, with two fewer selling days compared to August 2019. The August SAAR came in at 15.2 million, a decrease from last year’s 17.1 million but up from July’s 14.6 million rate.

The average price for rental risk units sold at auction in August was up 8.4 percent year-over-year. Rental risk prices were up 2 percent compared to July. Average mileage for rental risk units in August (at 39,500 miles) was down 17 percent compared to a year ago and down 15 percent month-over-month.


Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index August 2020
163.7 15.8 percent/January 1995 = 100


CRIF Partners with PenFed

September 09, 2020

CRIF Select, a provider of indirect lending partner programs, has reached an agreement with Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) for an exclusive indirect lending partnership. 

Headquartered in Tysons, Va., PenFed Credit Union serves over 2 million members with over $26 billion in assets and locations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and in Okinawa, Japan.

CRIF Select specializes in indirect auto lending partner programs. With an expert focus on dealer and market management, CRIF Select supports a client base of more than 5,000 auto dealers and over 130 full-service auto lenders. Its integrated technology-based solutions make loan approvals faster, more accurate, and virtually paperless, thereby delivering lower costs for institutions and better service for their customers and members. CRIF Select’s auto lending solution, Select Complete, provides full dealer management, underwriting, processing and funding, technology, and reporting and consulting services.

“Partnering with CRIF Select will help us expand our market footprint and reach new auto lending levels in 2020 and beyond,” said Ivan McBride, Director of Automotive Lending, PenFed Credit Union. “We are thrilled to partner with CRIF Select and their amazing team in order to reach our goals. We are immediately entering 10 new states and continue to work towards offering PenFed auto financing in all 50 states.”

CRIF Select’s Document Automation process is state-of-the-art and will allow PenFed to work with dealerships in a digital environment to collect and audit all contract and funding package documentation. 

A major benefit for PenFed Credit Union is that they will now be able to utilize CRIF Select’s connectivity to portals such as Dealertrack and RouteOne. 

American automakers FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors issued a new report, the American Automakers 2020 State of the U.S. Automotive Industry, illustrating how vital these three American companies are to the U.S. economy, by driving growth in both manufacturing and job creation.

As policymakers consider additional measures to support the U.S. economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the data in this report shows why American Automakers are critical to this effort.

“American Automakers FCA US, Ford, and General Motors are pivotal in driving growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector and will be essential to the recovery of America’s economy in the months ahead,” said Governor Matt Blunt, president of AAPC, the trade association representing the three American automakers. “The 2020 State of the U.S. Automotive Industry report highlights the many crucial contributions American Automakers make to our nation’s economy. These unique contributions are especially important as policymakers consider steps to recover from the negative economic impact of the coronavirus on the U.S. economy.”

The Detroit 3 produced 5.8 million vehicles in 2018, representing 75 percent of their U.S. sales and exported nearly 1 million American-made vehicles last year, serving more than 100 foreign markets. The trio of automakers invested more than $34 billion in U.S. assembly, engine and transmission plants, R&D labs, headquarters, and other facilities (2013-2018). The Detroit 3 accounted for 238,000 U.S. workers at 260 assembly plants, manufacturing facilities, research labs, distribution centers, and other facilities, located in 31 states. They also spent approximately $20 billion in R&D in 2018.

According to trade-in data from Edmunds, trucks are retaining the greatest value and commanding the highest trade-in prices of all consumer vehicles.

Edmunds analysts took a look at all 2017 model year vehicles traded in during July and determined their respective retained values by comparing the average trade-in price of each model against its average original MSRP. Edmunds data reveals that midsize, heavy-duty and large trucks made up seven of the top 10 vehicles with the greatest overall retained value. Toyota Tacoma clinched the No. 1 spot, commanding an average trade-in price of $26,766, or 75 percent of its original MSRP. The Ford F-350 Super Duty came in second, generating an average trade-in price of $49,174, or 74 percent of the vehicle’s original MSRP. The complete top 10 list, along with the full list of vehicles with the greatest retained value broken out by segment, can be found below.

“Trucks have been an increasingly popular choice for new-car shoppers during the pandemic, but because of the factory shutdowns, new inventory hasn’t been able to keep up with demand. Used trucks are now getting their moment in the spotlight and enjoying a period of particularly high value as more shoppers flock to the used market,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights. “If you’ve been thinking about selling the truck in your driveway, now is the time to do it.”

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