Used Car News 5/30/22

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UCN

Used Car News

5/30/2022

Industry Targets Catalytic Converter Thefts

IN THIS ISSUE:

• Summer Books • Dealer Shooting • Wholesale Markets

By Jeffrey Bellant

A Missouri bill to stem the tide of stolen catalytic converters died in the legislature, but the issue is not going away. Over the past year, complaints of catalytic converter theft have spread across the country and the Missouri bill was just one effort to prevent these crimes. In fact, national trade groups are pushing for Congress to pass a new law to address the issue. The Missouri effort was spearheaded by Rep. Don Mayhew (RPulaski), who has been pushing this issue since the 2021 session. “It didn’t get anywhere last year,” Mayhew said. “But in Missouri and even the Midwest, this problem has reached epidemic proportions.” In January, seven Missouri residents were indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a con-

spiracy to transport thousands of stolen catalytic converters across state lines to Arkansas as part of a multimillion-dollar business. “A scourge of catalytic converter thefts on a breathtaking scale had a significant impact on the Springfield community over the past two years,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore. “Not only were numerous individual car owners victimized, but several non-profit organizations and churches were also victimized.” The issue of catalytic converter theft first came to Mayhew’s attention through a 2021 incident at his county health department in Crocker, Mo. “They have a service vehicle that has had the catalytic converter stolen off of it three times,” Mayhew said. “They had to pay thousands of dollars every time they had to get it repaired. “(Thieves) just don’t take the cata-

lytic converter; they damage everything else around it.” While this year’s legislation got a hearing in the state House, it fell short. House Bill 2574 would have required state-regulated scrap metal dealers and others to require proof that the seller of a catalytic converter is a bona fide automobile repair shop or sign an affidavit that the converter was lawfully acquired. The make, model, year, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle from which the converter originated would have been required and maintained for four years. It would have required transactions involving catalytic converters to occur at the primary place of business of the scrap metal dealer. Anyone convicted of violating this section would have been guilty of a class B misdemeanor and subject Continued on page 8

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Summer Book Recommendations 5/30/2022

Leadership, Mentors, Talismans and Compliance Tips By Jeffrey Bellant

With so much bad news and anger permeating the country, it’s probably time to escape into a book. Used Car News asked a variety of leaders in the industry for their reading suggestions and as usual, we received a broad range of recommendations. So, pick up a copy of one or a few of the suggested titles, and I’ll add my own at the end. Elgie Bright, Northwood University’s department chair, automotive marketing/management My two-book recommendations for my students and for your readers would be: “The Theory of 5” by Chris Saraceno. We have used this book in our Leadership section of our General Management class. It is a great book, by a car dealer, that gets to the heart

of influence and mentorship. We challenge our students each year to look at those people, places, and things that they hold in high esteem and assess what impact it has on their decision making. This is a great book that helps identify those influences. “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Simek. We have used these authors’ books previously as Northwood University Omniquest selections. This simply means we try and incorporate the themes of the book into our instruction regardless of major or class content -- this is a great leadership book that addresses how great teams pull together to accomplish goals and shared outcomes. It also has a section on leading millennials which is a paradigm shift for many of our automotive organizations as they navigate the new normal of staffing, team building, and day to day operational efficiencies.

Penny Wanna, Auction Academy president I’m currently female-focused on empowerment, and all that implies. My last two books that I FELL ALL THE WAY INTO and bought for my daughters and nieces are:

“The Epic Mentor Guide – Young Women Entering the Workforce” by Illana Raia. A collection of mentoring advice from a ton of incredible women. I loved it, and it’s not just for new/young professionals, it hit Continued on page 6

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News Briefs 5/30/2022

Dealer Killed Retrieving Loaner

An Arlington, Texas car dealer attempting to repossess a car on May 16 was shot and died a few days later in the hospital. Adel Elhindawi, 52, succumbed to

ed assault with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated robbery. After Elhindawi’s death, Espy’s charge was expected to be upgraded to capital murder. Officers also arrested 24-year-old

BRIAN ESPY

QUYANNA MASSIE

his injuries on May 19. The Arlington Police Department said the suspected shooter, 31-yearold Brian Espy, was taken into custody on May 17, and was initially charged with one count of aggravat-

Quyanna Massie in connection with this incident. She was booked into the Arlington City Jail on one count of aggravated robbery. On May 16, the victim and one of

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his employees from Salem Autos drove to the apartment complex to retrieve a Jeep their business had loaned to Espy, but which Espy had not returned in the agreed upon timeframe. After using a spare key to enter the Jeep, the employee told investigators he saw Espy running toward them holding a gun. Espy then fired several shots in their direction. The employee drove the repossessed Jeep out of the complex and parked around the corner, waiting for the victim. As the victim tried to leave the complex, Espy fired multiple shots, striking and critically injuring the victim. Espy then got into a vehicle being driven by Massie and pulled up near the employee who was just around the corner waiting in the repossessed Jeep. Espy pointed the gun at the employee while demanding the employee get out of the Jeep. The employee complied and Espy drove away in the Jeep. Massie followed Espy as he drove away from the scene.

Hagar Headlines DAA Northwest

DAA Northwest’s May 19th Big Sky Sale opened with some news: Sammy Hagar and The Circle will perform during DAA’s Rock & Roll Sale this summer. The July 20-21 event will include an auction, party, and concert Wednesday followed by a full day in the lanes Thursday. “People talk a lot about the ‘new normal’ these days. Well, this is about the old normal for me – rock and roll at its core on our stage in July!” said Bob McConkey, CEO of McConkey Auction Group. Hagar will take the DAA Stage as one of rock music’s most dynamic artists. From breaking into the industry with the hard rock band Montrose to his multiplatinum solo career and his ride as the front man of Van Halen, the “Red Rocker” has set the tone for popular rock anthems. Songs like “I Can’t Drive 55” and “Why Can’t This Be Love” have earned him the music industry’s highest accolades, including a Grammy Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Along the way, Hagar has also become a philanthropist, a New York Times best-selling author, and an entrepreneur. DAA Northwest expects its 27th Annual Rock & Roll Sale will be one to remember.

Volume 28 | No.3 Published By General Media LLC USED CAR NEWS (ISSN 1555-7413) is published at : Used Car News P.O. Box 80800 St. Clair Shores, MI 48080 Phone: 586-772-5200 or 800-794-0760 Fax: 586-772-9400 www.usedcarnews.com Charles M. Thomas Founder (1947-2002) Lynda R. Thomas, Publisher Emeritus Colleen Fitzgerald, Publisher Editorial: Jeffrey Bellant, Managing Editor Ed Fitzgerald, Staff Writer Advertising: Shannon Colby, Account Manager Tony Moorby Columnist: Circulation: subs@usedcarnews.com Production: Tom Savage, Production Manager Cee Lippens, Web Master Used Car News is published every third week. Subscribers: We print advertisements as sent to us by auctions and other advertisers. It is not possible to verify the correctness of listed vehicles in auction ads. Most lists are partial and all lists are subject to last minute changes by auto auctions, so before travelling a long distance for a particular auto auction event, contact the auction by telephone for a fax of vehicles in the sale. Used Car News assumes no guarantees or liabilities concerning the accuracy of any advertisements. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any form is prohibited without the written consent of the publisher. OUR ADVERTISING APPROVAL POLICY Payments from first time advertisers must accompany the insertion order. Distribution is guaranteed by the USPS. The advertising reservation deadline is 12:00 noon Thursday, 11 days prior to the issue cover date. Ad materials are due by 5 pm Friday, 10 days prior to issue cover date. For advertising specifications please email colleen@usedcarnews.com.

Join the Conversation! Visit Used Car News online at www.usedcarnews.com or scan this QR code with your smartphone to be taken directly to the website.

C R O S S WO R D PAGE 14


Used Cars 5/30/2022

EV Future Relies on Innovation By Jeffrey Bellant

The confluence of high inflation, rising gas prices, microchip shortages and an emerging commitment to electric vehicles has caused a lot of strife, but this moment offers an opportunity, said Lewis Black, CEO of Almonty Industries. During a recent interview with Used Car News, Black discussed a range of issues and their potential effect on the future. “I think there’s a certain amount of wishful thinking, politically, across the globe,” said Black, who was in Spain at the time of the interview. “Recently, the Spanish economy minister – which doesn’t even sound like it should be in the same sentence – proclaimed, ‘Don’t worry. Inflation has peaked and by the second half of the year, we’ll be back to normal.’ “This is in a parallel universe of wishful thinking.” Black said he was asked last year when he expected stabilization and his answer then was 2023. “But that was prior to seeing inflation starting to take a grip,” he said. This will have an effect on the chip shortage, too. Black’s firm specializes in acquiring distressed and under performing operations and assets in tungsten markets. Tungsten is an integral material in electronics and semiconductors. Black said inflation makes all raw materials more expensive and it creates greater economic uncertainty. “Building these (semiconductor) plants is extremely expensive, so companies may say, ‘Eh, lets just see how this ends up before we build this bloody, great, big $3 billion plant,’” Black said. “Unlike government, this is actually somebody’s money.” The push for more semiconductor manufacturing is huge in South Korea, according to Black. “The South Korean government announced that over the next 10 years that $350 billion would be deployed by industry there to expand semiconductor output,” he said. The worldwide effort to transition to electric vehicles is part of the push, as EVs use “more than double the number of semiconductors than a regular gasoline vehicle,” Black said The problem is that governments are exacerbating the chip shortage problem by aggressively moving to EVs.

Automakers face other challenges because of the limited number of semiconductors. “They know that governments love EVs and they don’t like gasoline,” Black said. “So naturally, you push your EV production because you don’t want to upset the hand that feeds you.” That push becomes a trend that social media feeds – insisting that EVs are the future, and everyone needs to jump on board. “The mad genius in all this is Tesla,” Black said. Tesla came around when hybrids were all the rage. The idea of a battery-powered car, which had been done as far back as 1980s, wasn’t drawing interest. “Then Tesla comes along and made it sexy,” Black said. “It reshaped the whole view of the entire automotive sector.” He said Tesla has become the Apple of EVs. Black admitted he was an EV skeptic, but “it’s a pretty damn fine product now. “It’s like something out of a Sci-Fi movie.” As everyone focuses on how best to generate clean energy, one thing becomes clear. “I think we’ve established over the last decade or so, that wind and solar aren’t going to cut it,” Black said. “Without wind and sun (clean energy) is not terrible effective. “This means that all roads lead to nuclear.” Yet, over the past several years, governments in places like Germany, were quick to close down nuclear power plants. So, the key is how to make an EV more affordable. “These are expensive cars,” Black said. Ultimately, the market will have to find a way to make it less expensive, in the same way that Henry Ford did with the automobile, he said. To be fair, Black said auto manufacturers “in the past decade have really upped their game.” Where they used to simply push cars over the years, figuring consumers didn’t have a choice, now they have to fight for the consumer. “I think that’s great, but I think politicians have to stay out of this,” Black said. Black urges governments to let markets find the right solution. “The market will determine the coverage of EVs. They will determine how far EVs get,” he said.


Books 5/30/2022

Books

– Continued from page 3

home for me and defined new lines that I had either blurred or didn’t realize. “Dear Sonali, Letters to the Daughter I Never Had” by Lynn Toler… Wow… Wow… Wow…. A phenomenal leader giving straight forward, no BS advice and counsel to all women (and men) covering both areas equally; professional and personal. Jay Wertzberger, ATI Auto Transport “Atlas Shrugged” is the most amazing and longest book I ever read. I read “The Fountainhead” before that. Both by Ayn Rand. I don’t care about her politics. These books will make you bulletproof with your personal visions and business dreams. “The Talisman” is a book co-written by Stephen King, but the genre is not horror. It’s an alternate reality inside of the real world, and ultimately, a thriller about overcoming obstacles and finding purpose in the unknown. I love this book - because it found me when I needed it most. Joe Miller, AutoIMS As for reading, I can’t recommend this book enough: “Atlas of the Heart” by Brene Brown. This life-changer offers new perspective and understanding of the emotions and experiences we have throughout the daily course of our lives. Brown’s work allows us to better map all facets of our human journey and live more authentically. Eric Johnson, Hudson-Cook: I could highly recommend the latest edition of the “CARLAW F&I Legal Desk Book: 373 Things to Know About Auto Dealer Finance (9th Edition).” I’m a co-editor of the 9th Edition along with Tom Hudson and Michael Benoit, so I may be a little biased. Each chapter addresses a topic of crucial interest to dealerships. Each chapter is authored by lawyers who deal with that chapter’s subject every day and in detail. The authors present their information in an easyto-follow, Q&A format, with as little “legalese” and as much useful and practical information as possible. I just started reading “Band of Brothers” by Stephen Ambrose. I’ve watched the series several times but have never read the book on which the series was based. I think it’s extremely important to remember what those men did and went

through in World War II so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. Mark Schirmer, Cox Automotive “Frankly, there is only ONE book that matters right now: “Dale Pollak: The Whole Truth.” Michelle Krebs, Cox Automotive “I am reading (and re-reading, in some cases) the Louise Penny series. She is a Canadian writer – I follow her on Facebook, which is fun. The crimes take place in and around a town called Three Pines in Quebec, Canada – closest city is Montreal. They center around francophone Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. The town’s characters are an interesting and entertaining lot. Amazon is making the first eight books into a series. Actor Alfred Molina will play Gamache, which is perfect. I’m trying to read at least the first 8 books before the series starts.” Jeffrey Bellant, managing editor, Used Car News: My first suggestion would be the Bible, of course. My next would be great for young men graduating from high school or college. “Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage” by Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL and current Texas congressman. Crenshaw describes his SEAL career and his near-death encounter with an IED. He also discusses stoicism, responsibility and avoiding the lure of the outrage mob. Another book, “Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice” by Bill Browder, is the story of an investment guru who made a fortune in post-Cold War Russia – until Vladmir Putin booted him from the country, then had his attorney, Sergei Magnitsky, tortured and killed. His death led to The Magnitsky Act. For a great memoir, try “My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir,” by Clarence Thomas. Truly, a great American story of a man in full. When his grandfather tells him, “The damn vacation is over,” you will crack up. Speaking of laughs, normally I read fiction for thrills and scares, not for humor. But we need humor today. So read the classic “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole, a book that made me laugh on almost every page. If you like absurd comedy or would like a madcap tour through New Orleans, check it out.



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5/30/2022

Catalytic – Continued from page 1 to having any business revoked. The bill would have added unlawfully acquiring a catalytic converter to the offense of stealing. Mayhew blames the failure of the bill on one major recycler who fought against it. He said the law wouldn’t be a problem for a typical business. It only becomes burdensome if the business is doing a large volume, which should raise red flags. “If you’re doing 20 catalytic converters a month, that can’t be onerous, but if you’re doing 3,000 a month, you need to be asking yourself some questions,” Mayhew said. “It would have just put some accountability in the system.” While Mayhew gears up for a new battle next year, there is a nationwide effort to get the U.S. Congress to act. The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association led a partnership of automotive and transportation industry associations in drafting a letter to Congress strongly supporting H.R. 6394, the Preventing Auto Recycling Theft (PART) Act, a bill designed to combat the growing national problem of catalytic converter theft. The National Automobile Dealers Association, American Car Rental Association, American Truck Dealers, American Trucking Associations and National RV Dealers Association are among the 13 organizations that joined NIADA in signing the letter, which was sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and the committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (RWash.) on May 16, during National Police Week. “Congress must pass H.R. 6394,” NIADA CEO Robert Voltmann said. “It is a critical piece of legislation to combat catalytic converter theft. “During Police Week, it’s even more important to highlight how this legislation provides local law enforcement with the necessary support needed to combat rising catalytic converter theft.” The letter points out the sharp rise in catalytic converter thefts – up 325 percent in 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and likely surpassing that in 2021 – and notes that replacements can cost victims as much as $2,500. The bill, introduced by Rep. Jim Baird (R-Ind.), would require new vehicles to have unique, traceable ID numbers stamped on catalytic converters at the time of assembly, as

well as creating a grant program to stamp VINs on the catalytic converters of existing vehicles, improving record-keeping standards for purchasers of used catalytic converters and making theft, sale, trafficking or known purchase of a stolen catalytic converter theft a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison. The bill follows the lead of new laws in 10 states designed to deter catalytic converter theft, but the letter states, “a federal framework is needed … because this crime frequently involves trafficking stolen parts across state lines.” The letter closes by urging the House Energy and Commerce Committee “to support and hold a hearing on this bipartisan legislation.” The state of Maine has experienced widespread thefts of these parts, even though the state has laws to help combat these crimes. In Maine when you sell a catalytic converter to a scrap metal facility you must sign an affidavit swearing the converter is not stolen and produce a photo ID. To legally buy and sell catalytic converters the law requires you maintain records to show it was legally obtained. This crime is closely linked to drug dependence and is a way for people suffering from drug addiction to get money fast. According to Maine State Police, the wording and definition of Maine’s current statute has proven challenging for law enforcement and prosecutors alike. Changes are being proposed to amend the statute through the legislature in the coming months. In 2021, Maine State Police arrested and charged 10 people in connection with a massive catalytic converter theft ring. Maine State Police led a multiagency investigation into the theft of catalytic converters in Northern Penobscot and Southern Aroostook Counties, according to Maine Police. Nine defendants sold over 1,000 catalytic converters and received over $190,000 for them dating back to December of 2019. The estimated replacement cost of these 1,000 converters is over $2 million. Maine Police reported that the replacement cost for a catalytic converter at a dealership is in the range of $2,000. Catalytic converters sold as scrap go for $150-$1,500 depending on the level of precious metals contained within the converter.


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Retail Markets 5/30/2022 Compiled by Ed Fitzgerald

ILLINOIS

Eric Nelson, owner, Nelson Automotive, Mt. Prospect, Ill. “We’ve been in business since 2008. “For COVID we were always considered essential, so we were always open. Illinois never shut down entirely. “It used to be that we had 100 some vehicles advertised. Now we’re running closer to 60-something. Pre-COVID, our sales were about 700 a year, all in, retail and wholesale. Post-COVID we’ve done more sales, but it’s a lot more wholesale. “We sell more cars than anything else. But we certainly sell a good amount of SUVs. And we make sure we have some trucks on our lot. “We’re spending more on reconditioning than we used to. With all the body and mechanical work, it’s probably

10

about $1,000 per vehicle. “I haven’t been to a physical auction in one-and-ahalf years. Manheim Milwaukee is my favorite one in the area. “Pre-COVID we had a ton of three-year-old vehicles and a smattering of everything else. Right now, our average car is six or seven years old and has 80,000 miles. “We do just a little buyhere, pay-here. “All our advertising is done online, with CarGurus and Autotrader. “We are a dealership with a focus on two things: keeping our expenses low so that we can sell cars for less than the competition and still put food on the table, and customer satisfaction so that you keep coming back and tell your friends about us. “We were awarded the 2015 Illinois Quality Dealer

of the Year by the IIADA, which recognizes our customer service and community involvement. There is a great American tradition of philanthropy, one that I always saw practiced in my family. “I put my personal cell phone online so that a customer can always get a hold of me if they have an issue. “The last car I sold was a 2014 Toyota Tundra that rolled off the lot 60 minutes ago. It had 75,000 miles and we sold it for $28,000.”

LOUISIANA

Rudy Martinez, owner, Ponce Imports, Baton Rouge, La. “I’ve been in business since 1998, two different locations. “I find myself doing business with little, privately owned auctions. Oak View Auction is here in Baton Rouge, they let me take my

cars without paying for them. I send them a check later on. They deliver the cars to me. So, my loyalty is to mom-and-pop auctions. I like doing business with them, they treat you like a person and not like a dollar sign. I can call Darren Amedee (general manager) in the middle of the night and he will answer. “All my cars, when we first buy them, we take them for a test drive and then recondition whatever needs to be done – air conditioning, water pump, brakes, hoses, in addition to the detailing. “We go from A-Z on our vehicles. I take pride in showing the customer the list of things we did to the car before we put it up for sale. I find myself spending about $700 average on recon. “As far as the down payments, from May to January, I find the majority of

customers put down $2,000 to $2,500. Over the years I’ve found that I don’t want to go over 36 months (for payments) because the customer can get tired of the vehicle, or he wants to trade the vehicle. “I used to say, mileagewise, I would go to the auction and get cars up to 130,000 miles. In this era, when there are no vehicles, I find myself buying vehicles from 130,000 to 250,000 miles. It’s crazy right now. “I recently opened a second lot. I recommend anyone new to this business to manage their inventory and have a budget plan. “From the moment you step on our lot until the time you drive away, the customer’s buying experience is our No. 1 priority. “The last car I sold was a Toyota Tacoma 2008 with 156,000 miles for $11,950.”


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Manheim Pennsylvania June 2, 16, 30 800-833-2886 Manheim Riverside June 9, 23 951-689-6000

Choose Chase on ADESA.com and OVE.com for quality bank-sourced vehicles. Contact auctions directly for current sale information. The Jaguar word mark, the Jaguar logo, and Jaguar Financial Group are trademarks of Jaguar Land Rover Limited and any use by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) is under license. The Land Rover word mark, the Land Rover and Oval logo, and Land Rover Financial Group are trademarks of Jaguar Land Rover Limited and any use by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) is under license. The tradename “Subaru Motors Finance” and the Subaru logo are owned / licensed by Subaru of America, Inc. and are licensed to JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”). Maserati Capital USA, the Maserati logo and model designations are registered trademarks used by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) under license from Maserati S.p.A. The tradename “Aston Martin Financial Services” and the Aston Martin logo are owned by Aston Martin Lagonda Limited and are licensed to JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”). Neither JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) nor any of its affiliates are affiliated with ADESA, Inc. or Manheim, Inc. Each auction is solely responsible for their website content, sales events, promotions, fulfillment and operation of the auction. ©2022 JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC (22-006) 06/22


Wholesale Markets 5/30/2022 Compiled by Jeffrey Bellant

MONTANA

Jake Gertsch, sales manager, Auto Auction of Montana, Billings, Mont. “We’ve owned the auction for about 18 years. ‘We have four lanes, but we have two double blocks so we have the capacity to run six lanes. “Volumes are down, for sure. We’ve been running about 450 or so. That’s been our average recently. Before COVID, we’d run 600 and 700 for the past five or six years. “Right now, we’re running more dealer cars. The fleet/ lease stuff has kind of disappeared, the rental stuff has kind of disappeared. It’s pretty minimal. We used to have 150 cars in the fleet/ lease lane, now we’re running about 50. “As far as bidders, between who’s in the lanes and online, it’s between 300 and

350. It’s probably half in the lanes and half online. So, we’ll sell cars that will go to Florida, New York, all over the place. “Dealers in our lanes say the same as everybody, the numbers are down, but the money has been good on what they are selling, Also they are selling what they can get. “Most of them have been profitable, but the numbers (of units) are extremely low. “I think this year is going to be the most challenging that way. I figure we’ve had two low years of production and auctions are used to selling two- and three-year-old cars. But I think it will be two more years before production gets back to normal. “I would guess our average price is in the high $20,000s, to $30,000. We’ve been selling $100,000 vehicles in the lanes which is unprecedent-

ed, like the new Escalades and Jeep Grand Wagoneers, are over $100,000. “We also have a GSA sale once a month and numbers are down there since they’re not getting many cars. We had one a few weeks ago and ran about 30, which is half of what’s typical. “But even through all these challenges, business has been good. We’ve been blessed, so we’re grateful, not just for the team we have here, but for the network of dealers that have supported us for years and years.”

TENNESSEE

Brandon Derrick, general manager, Memphis Auto Auction, Memphis, Tenn. “The auction has been here since the early 1990s. “We run four drivethrough lanes, but also do an early-bird lane, just to get people going. We’ll start at

8:45 a.m. and shut it down around 9:50, running about 45-50 cars. “We’re consistently 60% dealer volume and 40% fleet. We had some tougher months with dealer volume, but fleet picked us up and carried us through the first part of the year. “In January and February, we saw a good volume of fleet and repo. “Currently, we’ve been running about 500 a week. We’re consistently at 62% (conversion rate). “We’re averaging about 275 to 300 in-lane (bidders). We also consistently have between 100 and 125 online. “Dealers are thankful that we never shut down and they can still come out. “Our average price in the lanes is about $7,300 per car. It has not dropped off over the last year. “We also have a monthly

powersports sale. It’s on the third Wednesday of every month. It has been harder to get inventory for that. We’re more camper driven. We’ll sell some golf carts and some four-wheelers, but mainly campers. “I expect to see those volumes grow, but recently we just haven’t had a ton come in. “Overall, last year was a record year for us. We’ve been blessed five years in a row of record-breaking sales. “We’re in the middle of building a new auction. It’s on the same property, but directly behind us. The (facility) we’re in now is going to be all recon. “I think the digital world is going to keep evolving. “But I think there’s always going to be a home for that as-is car where people are going to have to come and kick the tires.”

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Disconnected Jottings From

Tony Moorby 5/30/2022

Tony Moorby “In fishing, you have a rod and a line with a hook at one end and a fool at the other!” A comment supposedly made by Dr. Samuel Johnson who could be very cynical in his social observations. It’s an opinion which, for most of my life, I have also espoused, having no desire whatsoever to hang around a riverbank and stare at a bobber for an inordinate amount of time. Last weekend my grandson, Aiden, “invited” me to accompany him to a local lakeside to watch his piscatorial efforts. Now remember, what I know about fishing could be written on a pinhead. He only recently became enamored of this hobby but has adopted the pursuit as vigorously as anything outside of a handheld device. ‘Hook, line and

sinker’ comes to mind as he shows off the contents of his tackle box – most of which is either smelly or dangerous. His dexterity amazed me as he set up and started casting and within minutes had a smallish Bluegill flapping around before he released it back to the lake. And so it went for the next couple of hours as he successfully caught a dozen or so fish of varying makes and models. My assumed boredom was dismissed fairly quickly as I recognized the occasion as an opportunity to watch all kinds of other wildlife around us. The ability to take time and stand and stare was as rewarding as the time spent with Aiden. Red-tail hawks were displaying their acrobatic mating flights high above us in

beautiful swoops and swirls while ugly Turkey Vultures were pulling an unfortunate rabbit apart, arguing and clawing at the prey and themselves. A Grey Heron was showing off his fishing skills and having enormous luck stealthily plucking what I assumed to be minnows with clockwork regularity. Fishing vessels of every stripe fit for a lake from a blowup raft to high powered bass boats provided an occasional background drone and Sea-Doos danced and skipped around pontoons having a party. In the afternoon we moved to the base of Percy Priest Dam. The gates were closed allowing the adventurous Aiden to plunder the pools at the bottom of the monolithic structure – he looked so small. The highlight for me,

1. Honda minivan 5. Subaru sedan 7. Rainy 9. Musk’s electric car 10. Nissan SUV 11. Climbing plant 13. Dietitian’s stat, abbr. 14. Duo number

25. Ignition system device, 2 words

5. A car that has a long body and rear door with space behind 28. Part of a royal flush rear seat 29. Road, abbr. 6. Jaguar model 30. Subaru SUV 7. Type of tire 31. Drop 8. Prius automaker 35. Not glossy 12. Owner of Bentley 36. Classic pony cars 16. Sentra maker from Plymouth 18. Top driver 38. Emptied fluid

15. BMW’s little success

39. Kia compact

17. Hyundai SUV, 2 words

Down

21. Isuzu SUV 23. Blue color 24. 4-door utility vehicle from Subaru

1. Kia sedan 2. Sure! 3. Former Swedish auto 4. Toyota hybrid

19. Former Pontiac SUVs 20. Fix 22. Driver’s panel

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with all kinds of man-made structures and alterations, nature and wildlife finds a way to make the most of any situation. Aiden’s no fool and he showed me a thing or two. I know I would now take issue with Johnson’s premise.

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Solution to this puzzle in the 6/20/2022 issue. Call 1.800.794.0760 for a FREE subscription.

14

To see past columns from Tony Moorby, visit www.usedcarnews.com/ columnists/tony-moorby

Play Online at Us e d C a r N e ws. co m

By Myles Mellor

Across

• 50-year veteran of the industry • President from 1997– 2000 of ADT Automotive • Served as ADESA’s executive vice president of sales and marketing • Moorby & Associates 2006–present • NAAA Hall of Famer • IARA Circle of Excellence

on top of the privilege of spending time with him, was to catch sight of a Bald Eagle swooping low over the dam and scoping out the area for lunch. The visit was short-lived but exhilarating as heck. They’ve made a successful comeback in Tennessee since a release program was started in the early nineties. As the afternoon got warmer and the sun was high, bites became rarer and it was time to beat a retreat to the air-conditioned cool of the car and an easy ride home. I was aglow with the results of his efforts along with the tingle of sunburned skin. The whole exercise convinced me that I don’t get out often enough to appreciate what’s going on around us and that, even

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