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UCN

Used Car News

9/27/2021

Nichols Takes Gavel as NAAA President

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IN THIS ISSUE:

Rush - Dated Material

• NAAA • Taxes • Retail Markets

Charles Nichols is the incoming president of the National Auto Auction Association. He is also president of BSC America, with auctions in Belcamp, Md., and Tallahassee, Fla. UCN: You are part of an auction family. Tell us about your journey in the auction business. Nichols: My journey in the auction business started out when I was a young man. We sold repossessed vehicles in downtown Baltimore. I was more enthralled about repossessing the vehicles. That was the fun part. Every Saturday, we used to sell vehicles. My mom actually ran the organization at that point. I did a little stint at Warwick Community College. I was always into fishing and hunting. So, I talked my family into buying a marina complex and shopping center. All my family is from the eastern shore of Maryland, so I moved at that point. Went to college and ran the marina complex and shopping center that we redeveloped. I learned a lot about property management, construction, permitting and zoning. During that time, my mom and dad bought Bel Air Auto Auction in 1980. It was a two-lane facility at that point. I was helping out on the construction side. We bought another auction in New Orleans, but 16 years later, Hurricane Katrina wiped it out. We built different businesses over the years. But in 2000, when my mom passed away, the family decided to pull things in, since we were pretty spread out. I called our national accounts and continued to run our operations. I’ve worked very closely with my sister Michelle and my dad, Ray, in our family business. It has been a lot of fun; I’ve met

a lot of people and learned a lot of great things. This led us to build our new facility in Belcamp, Md. We like doing real estate and development to this day. I don’t repo cars anymore. UCN: Were there specific challenges in an auction family that someone else might not have had in a chain? Nichols: Our auction family started with my mom and dad. It wasn’t all about the auction. It was all about the relationships – how you treat the customer and work with the customer. It’s a work philosophy that’s served us well. Getting up early. Doing what you gotta’ do and looking out after your family. These things are pillars in our family. Education is also very important along with deep-rooted values. We are blessed to be very good partners in this business. It’s probably more of a competitive thing than anything. The good part is, we all have our own skill set. UCN: How was your experience running an auction going through the last two years of the pandemic? Nichols: We operate in two different states (Maryland and Florida) and two different counties. In Maryland, our Gov. Larry Hogan and County Executive Barry Glass-

man, were joined at the hip. So, we didn’t have these differences between county and state rules. We didn’t miss a sale in either market since we were deemed an essential business. For 28 weeks, we ran 100% digitally. Once our state went to 75% (capacity) in Maryland, we started running cars again and we have not stopped. Florida ran cars the whole way. Continued on page 3


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National Auto Auction Association 9/27/2021

NAAA President – Continued from page 1 We adjusted with PPEs, protective plastic, covers, etc. At Belcamp, we could spread out and we began using food trucks (instead of the cafeteria). We also took hundreds of thousands of videos to let our consumers see the cars. It was a lot of effort. Also early on, NAAA came together and there was a lot of effort, by a lot of people, to get through this. We had weekly calls with all the experts, from NAAA to ServNet, TPC, Manheim and ADESA. We all learned a lot. Everybody worked together. UCN: What are your priorities for the NAAA? What are the issues that you want to work on during your term? Nichols: There are a couple of things that I want to do. We want to keep working on (Incoming Chairman) Julie Picard’s diversity and inclusion (pledge). I made that promise to her. I’ve learned an awful lot about it. I look forward to pushing it along. You’re also going to be hearing a lot about our NAAA Jobs Board. We’re going to be making a push on that, as well. We need body techs, mechanics – so many different positions. It goes back to: do you have a good mentor in your shop class? We used to get referrals from shop classes all the time. I think that’s what it takes. We’re also going to make some advances on safety. The other issue that’s always tough to get our arms around is

compliance. Compliance takes an inordinate amount of time, and we think there are some ways we can all work together, both independents and (Cox, KAR and other auction groups). UCN: Technology played a big part in the industry during COVID-19. Will it play the same role going forward? Nichols: Not only do we have more folks participating online, but they’re also all over the country and the globe. But there’s two parts. COVID came at a time when we had really good technology, but (the pandemic) pushed everybody to use it. We were lucky to have the tools to utilize during this time. Technology will always remain part of the process. But I don’t think we can get hung up on technology. We’re in a service business. People want to talk, engage, be served and they want their titles and checks. We can’t forget about the buyer, seller and our customers. UCN: Regarding inventory, the chip shortage has still stymied the flow of cars. What are your thoughts on how this might affect flow, values and business in the near future? Nichols: Every time I think the ship is starting to straighten out, it gets worse. I’m just not sure when it’s going to get straight. It’s a lot of moving pieces. I know that if some

Photo Courtesy of Bel Air Auto Auction TAKING THE GAVEL: Charles Nichols (in the red hat) stands ready at the block during a sale at Bel Air Auto Auction. Nichols is the incoming president of the NAAA.

of our institutional fleet clients don’t have a replacement car, they don’t have a car to put in the lanes. I do think it will level off. The good news is the market is also part of what‘s causing (the supply issue), since it is so hot.

a lot of work done. It has been a pleasure working with Julie. We also had the benefit of working on our CEO search and hiring Tricia Heon. I’m most proud of accomplishing that with Julie and our Executive Board. Julie has a deep love for this industry and once ran the biggest auction UCN: How has working with in the world in Manheim PennsylvaJulie as her VP this past year pre- nia. I consider her a mentor of mine, pared you for your term? for sure. Nichols: It’s been a fantastic time. Even though we had negatives with UCN: Anything else you’d like to COVID, we didn’t look back. We add? made a decision together and have Nichols: I just want to make sure crisscrossed the country via Teams, we look out after our members. Zoom, etc. They are important. We’re going to There’s not a week that went by work really hard on what we do for where we didn’t have four or five the membership. of these calls. I feel like I’ve been in Our members are the lifeblood of college this last year, even though the organization. We want to recogit’s been virtual. I feel like we’ve got nize them in any way we can.

Picard Praises Members’ Resilience in Challenging Year Julie Picard is the outgoing National Auto Auction Association President. She is vice president of industry partnerships for Cox Automotive and has spent three decades at Manheim in a variety of roles, including a past stint at Manheim Pennsylvania, the largest auto auction. UCN: You became president amid the pandemic, having probably one of the most challenging terms as NAAA President. How did you manage leading the NAAA, even as travel and live events were limited? Picard: Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 made it difficult to visit our auction members this past year. In lieu of physical visits, we set up

virtual calls with auctions that were celebrating milestone anniversaries; 70 auctions in total. The conversations we had were very insightful and most enjoyable. At NAAA, supporting our members is always our most critical mission. I’m proud to say that, as a team, we were able to complete several of our 2021 member goals without disruption. UCN: What did you learn during your term? Picard: The last three years on the executive team confirmed what I’ve observed during my past three decades in the auto auction business and will never forget: teamwork, resourcefulness, commitment, and caring are its fundamental charac-

ter. That’s what gives our members the strength and resilience to turn COVID’s unforeseen challenges into unexpected opportunities as we reimagined our operations, adopted technologies, and adjusted our best practices to be successful in the new normal.

will include an amplified focus on our membership, our strategy, advocacy, and taking the association to the next level! Joined by my fellow Board Members and association staff, we look forward to working alongside Tricia to expand the contributions of the NAAA that will continue to benefit our members UCN: You led during the big and our industry. transition, from Frank Hackett to Tricia Heon. Are you happy with UCN: What accomplishments how that process went and the or achievements were you most NAAA going forward under Tri- proud of during your term? cia’s management? Picard: Just consider a few of the Picard: We are thrilled about (this actions NAAA was able to take in year’s) announcement of our new the last two years to help all memNAAA CEO Tricia Heon. Tricia is bers navigate the unprecedented very excited about the opportu- circumstances we’ve lived through: nity to start her own legacy, which Continued on page 8

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News Briefs 9/27/2021

Volume 27 | No.9 Published By General Media LLC USED CAR NEWS (ISSN 1555-7413) is published at :

Rock and Roll Sale Returns DAA Northwest’s recent Rock and Roll Sale, featuring the Barenaked Ladies, brought a boost in consignment and dealers to the McConkey Auction Group’s flagship auction. The August 25-26 event marked DAA’s 26th Annual signature promotion. Pre-pandemic Rock and Roll Sales have seen over 5,000 consigned units, but that was not the goal for this year’s event, according to Bob McConkey, MAG’s president and CEO. “We knew this one wouldn’t be a record breaker,” he stated. “Our hope was to deliver some normalcy, and the market responded.”

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In preparation, DAA Northwest ensured state and local safety protocols were in place, calling on its guests to comply and stay healthy. “Everyone was very respectful,” McConkey said. Following the Ford Motor Company, Ford Credit, Hyundai Motor Finance, select late-model dealer consignment and MAG Now sales on Wednesday, Aug. 25, dealers and their guests were treated to a private party and an evening of live rock and roll. “The Cronkites warmed up the stage for Barenaked Ladies, who treated our guests to custom written songs about DAA Northwest as well as all their best-known

hits,” said General Manager Collin McConkey. “Thursday morning (Aug. 26), we opened all 12 lanes and ran 2,500 units – energy was high, and it felt like old times.” Nearly 900 dealers attended in the lanes and online.

Tesla Opens on Tribal Land U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (DN.M.) welcomed the announcement that Tesla is opening up its first sales and service center at Nambé Pueblo in New Mexico, which is the first agreement of its kind with a Tribal Nation. Heinrich delivered remarks at the ribbon-cutting event organized by Nambé Pueblo and Tesla, highlighting his ongoing efforts to decarbonize the nation’s transportation infrastructure and expand the accessibility of electric vehicles. “I hope that this is just the start of partnerships like this to bring economic opportunities to Tribal communities,” he said. “I can’t wait to see how Tesla and the Pueblo will build on this partnership in the months and years ahead to train workers and employees for good-paying, long-term careers right here in Nambé.” Heinrich, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, helped to secure significant federal investments in widespread, affordable electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. “We need to double down on this progress and expand uncapped consumer incentives for electric vehicles, make it easier to manufacture electric vehicles in the United States, and fund the rapid electrification of the federal fleet of vehicles,” Heinrich said. He supported President Biden’s executive order that sets a new target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles.

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.

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C R O S S WO R D PAGE 14


Taxes 9/27/2021

Income Tax Hikes Coming By Jeffrey Bellant

President Joe Biden’s massive tax-and-spending bill on the table at press time will affect many businesses, with one firm recently taking a look at potential repercussions. Chris Hesse, principal for CLA (CliffordLarsenAllen), the accounting, audit and consulting firm, talked about the proposals in a recent webinar. “President Biden would like to move that corporate rate to 28% and the House has a proposal, that passed, which actually has three rates,” Hesse said. “We’re going to go back to a graduated tax rate for the corporations, if this makes it into the final legislation.” However, until the final legislation is drafted, everything is still uncertain, he said. The House legislation moved the rate to 26 1/2%, which would only be for the very large “C” corporations with more than $5 million of taxable income. The ones below that level would be taxed at 21%. Corporations with taxable income at below $400,000 would actually have a tax cut down to 18%, Hesse said. CLA’s Jen Rohen, who hosted the webinar, said the graduated rates would “change the game” for so many businesses especially from an administrative perspective. Individual bracket rates wouldn’t change, Hesse said. “What is going to change is the top marginal rate from 37% to 39.6%,” he said. The House of Representatives is adding another bracket which it calls a 3% surcharge on adjusted gross income above $5 million. Hesse said this means a person in that bracket with very high charitable donations won’t get the benefit of those deductions. “So, in effect, you’re going to see a 42.6% tax rate, but even more than that because you don’t get the benefit of the charitable contributions,” Hesse said. Capital gains taxes have been a big topic of concern, he added, because Biden has said that for high-income individuals over $1 million, the government would “charge long-term capital gains at the same rate as the ordinary, which is 39.6%, plus the 3.8% net investment income tax.” Hesse said the House wasn’t willing to go that far. He added that economists are chiming in, saying that once you go

over 28% on capital gains, you start losing revenue. The reason is that people, at that point, stop selling assets and just hold on to them. Hesse said there is a movement to change the 20% capital gains rate to a 25% capital gains rate instead. “If you say, ‘Well, that’s not 28%,’ but you have to add the 3.8% net investment income tax to that,” Hesse said. The Biden administration said the effective date for this proposal would be 2021, but it’s not really 2021. “What they’re proposing here is that for transactions (capital gains) that occurred before Sept. 13, it would be at the old 20% rate, while gains recognized Set. 13 and later would be at the 25% rate,” Hesse said. Another big topic was the Sec. 199A deduction for qualified business income, a 20% deduction that taxpayers get for their sole proprietorship or investment in a business partnership or S-Corp. “It effectively lowers that maximum tax rate from 37% to 29.6%,” Hesse said. However, the House Ways and Means committee is proposing to put a cap on the deduction, making the maximum deduction capped at about $500,000 of business income – about $2.5 million of business income, Hesse said. “So, for the person who is subject to the 3% surcharge, you’re dealing with a rate increase from 29.6% – because active business income was not subject to the net investment income tax – to 46.4%, or a 16.8% increase in your tax rate,” Hesse said.


Digital 9/27/2021

Book: Embrace Digital Marketing By Jeffrey Bellant When it comes to marketing, dealers, like drivers, have blind spots. Nowhere is this more apparent than the digital marketing arena, according to Jeremy Anspach, founder and CEO of PureCars. Anspach recently published a book called “Blind Spots: A Guide to Eliminating Today’s Automotive Digital Media Waste.” Anspach explained his purpose in writing the book. “Today’s automotive industry is continuously focused on the premise that margin compression is increasing,” said Anspach. “I’m reminded of this in every conversation I have, and it’s a significant reason why I decided to write this book – to give dealers a game plan for how to eliminate the waste while also focusing on selling more cars, parts and service.” Anspach said traditional dealerships will survive the app-based car sellers, but they must adapt. He identified several blind spots in dealership marketing, one of which he calls “muscle memory.” That’s where a dealer sticks with the same strategy long after it stops becoming the best strategy. He also describes a “fixed-budget mentality” as another blind spot. Some dealers budget a certain amount for marketing in one area and once that money runs out, it stops. But if that source is driving more business, dealers should keep the money flowing to that source. Digital allows a dealer to track ROI and that should be the focus. Anspach said dealers should ask themselves three questions: 1. What are you marketing? 2. Who do you want to target with your marketing? 3. Where is the best place to reach those potential customers? Part of this process is closely considering the stock that you have so you can make more intelligent decisions. Determining how best to use digital advertising to drive customers directly to your dealer website is vital. Simply getting eyeballs on the ad or on a car isn’t helpful if it isn’t driving people to the dealership, according to Anspach. Another formula Anspach highlights is: “Data-oriented=Profit-centered.” Having an employee or vendor who can accurately analyze data is

critical to digital marketing success. But even data is not enough. Sometimes, too much data doesn’t help if the dealer doesn’t know what to do with the information. Ironically, dealers have to go old school in their thinking to understand the most important data. What are consumers looking at today? Where are they looking for vehicles? Answer those questions and then try to be where those customers are, Anspach suggests. For example, data might show that traffic was down a particular week. But why? Was the inventory different? Were the prices higher than normal? Are the photos online not helpful? The good news is with digital advertising, a dealer can switch up very quickly. Changing your target market, your advertising budget or your online ad placement may be key and it can be done much more quickly than billboards or TV commercials. Digital advertising is cheaper, again, because data can tell you what is working. Anspach praises Amazon throughout the book as a model of good marketing. In other sections he discusses price versus payment, showcasing what will sell, embedding value in your dealership and how leads cost you money. The book’s last chapter is a Q&A with the author, offering insight into how he got into the car business and what his philosophy looks like at the dealership level.


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News 9/27/2021

Picard – Continued from page 3

In March 2020, the NAAA website homepage also became a COVID-19 resource to keep our members informed while the NAAA leadership enacted a $1.4 million Relief Package, suspended association dues, and distributed AuctionNet dividends early • By May 2020, NAAA provided a playbook and video to serve as a valuable resource in establishing workplace policies and procedures for the safety of those who would be physically present as our auctions re-opened for business • In September 2020, NAAA provided disaster relief to several auction members impacted by the devastating hurricanes along the Gulf of Mexico • Throughout 2020, Auto Auction Jobs Identified 81 technical schools across the country that are interested in an internship or apprenticeship partnership with auto auctions. Auto Auction Jobs also uncovered 29 scholarships across the U.S. specifically created to financially assist skilled trades students in earning their college certificate or degree. • In January this year, NAAA launched a free, twice-weekly industry news service providing customized industry content to members • In February, I initiated the NAAA President’s Inclusion and Diversity Pledge with nearly 300 people from 44 organizations personally committing to take responsibility as leaders for cultivating a culture of inclusivity and combatting unconscious bias. • Finally, the NAAA was thrilled to have recently announced the first female CEO in the organization’s 73year history as Tricia Heon will replace Frank Hackett, who is retiring after 17 years at the helm.

Picard: Hold on Charles, it’s going to be a wild ride. There are many things facing our industry today that will keep Charles very busy. He’s the perfect president to be leading us through these next 12 months as we are hopefully making our way out of the grips of this pandemic.

UCN: Anything else you’d like to add? Picard: I’m no meteorologist but I know from my experience serving as NAAA’s president during a global pandemic that dark clouds do have silver linings. And our industry is blessed with people who can work together to mine those hidden riches to the benefit of all. Another important form of communication I was taught as a child is the ‘Thank You’ note. Although this is not handwritten, I want to use my final president’s interview to express my warmest gratitude to all those who made these silver lining opportunities more than just pie in the sky. I am extremely grateful for the support and help of our NAAA membership, our committees, NAAA Headquarters staff, my executive teammates Laura Taylor, Charles Nichols, Garrison Hudkins, Paul Lips, Charlotte Pyle and Mike Browning, as well as my Manheim colleagues Grace Huang, Patrick Brennan, and Alan Lang. Plus, I want to give my heartfelt thanks and happiest congratulations to our new CEO Tricia Heon. I’m thrilled with the choice of her leadership and vision for NAAA and the industry. Of course, most importantly, a big word of appreciation to all our dealers, consignors, and vendors. We value their partnership and willingness to work with us as we change and evolve to provide them with the UCN: What advice would you best, most up-to-date service posgive Charles Nichols as he takes sible. the gavel as the new president?


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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. ©2021 JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC (21-0010) 10/21


Retail Markets 9/27/2021 Compiled by Ed Fitzgerald

OHIO Scott Shook, owner, Shook Auto, New Philadelphia, Ohio “We’ve been in business 43 years. My father started it in August 1978. “Whether COVID sped up the move to online business, yes and no. Now, some of these non-independent dealers who sell a car through a vending machine, you can sell a car with 12,000 miles that way, but you can’t sell an $8,000 car that way. “Everyone’s expectations on a nice, clean car are different. Maybe they want a third-party to come inspect the car, and we recommend that. “We’ve had years where we keep up to 300 cars in inventory. That’s really unmanageable at this point. “Right now, we have 162 vehicles. We sell around 50 a month.

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“There’s always a demand for trucks, but with the gas prices creeping up there has been a demand for cars. Everybody wants to dump their big truck and get a Cobalt. “We buy some cars off the street, but right now I’m working with Value Auto Auction (Crooksville, Ohio) and Akron Auto Auction. We also recently bought at Manheim Pittsburgh. “We do some buy-here, pay-here with a certain credit group. We use GPS. We used to have the starterinterrupts but we’ve found all we need to know is where the car is. “The nice thing about the newer GPS is that they’re wireless and you can put them where they’re harder to find. “We usually take about 10 percent as a down payment. We do a maximum of 36 months financing.

“Our average reconditioning cost is $1,200 per vehicle, with most of it done in-house. We have three fulltime technicians. “Our average vehicle is probably 3 to 7 years old. We like to be under 80,000 miles; not to say we wouldn’t buy a bunch of trucks at 125,000 miles if they’re affordable. “The last car I sold was a 2009 Chevy Cobalt with 70,000 miles.”

SOUTH CAROLINA Michael Threadgill, coowner, Triple T Motors, Florence, S. Carolina “This is a family business. My dad and granddad started it and we’ve been in business 46 years total. I took charge last August, but I’ve worked here since I was about 10 years old. “We did not have to shut

down for COVID. Thanks to our governor, he kept everything open. We’ve also got a repair shop and a rental car franchise, so we were able to offer alternative transportation for nurses and doctors. “Our average inventory is about 30 cars and we probably sell 15 a month. We’re having trouble finding inventory and what you do find you have to pay so much to get it. “The majority of what we have in stock now is cars. We’ve probably got seven trucks and SUVs, and the rest are cars. “We’ve got three auctions within a 40-minute drive of us. We’ve got Manheim Darlington, right out our backdoor. We’ve got Grand Strand Auto Auction, which is in Conway. And a new one, Dealers Auto Auction, was just opened by (former NIADA president) David

Andrews in Columbia, about an hour away. “We are doing more business online, but you still want to touch, feel and look at the vehicles. “We do a little bit of buyhere, pay-here. We have a related finance company that we do it through. We’re probably 70 percent traditional retail, and 30 percent buy-here pay-here. “We use GPS on all our buy-here, pay-here cars and also our rental cars. “As far as reconditioning costs, some vehicles we don’t have to touch. “Other cars you might have to spend $1,800 to $2,000. We do everything in-house. We have a full-time mechanic and my brother does all of our detailing. “The last car I sold was that 2018 GMC 2500 series pickup, with 51,000 miles on it.”


Wholesale Markets 9/27/2021 Compiled by Jeffrey Bellant

MISSOURI Justin Brown, general manager, Missouri Auto Auction Inc., Columbia, Mo. “Our volumes are up. We’re running about 450 to 500 a week. We’ve been able to keep moving, so we’re blessed on that part. “The market we’ve been seeing in September is much better now than before COVID. We’re just working harder and going a little further to get the cars. “We’ve been running at close to a 70% conversion rate. In the height of it, we were running in the mid80s, which is crazy. “We run 70% dealer cars and 30% lease/repo. There’s still not an overabundance of repos. “We’ll get between 200 and 250 dealers in the lanes, and another 200 to 250 online.

“Our average price coming across the lane is about $10,500. “We also do a monthly truck and equipment sale. “Our digital attendance for our weekly sale has doubled, but our physical attendance has gone up as well. When (chain auctions) around here stopped (running physical sales), we gained a lot of customers. “Once we get them in here, I think we’re the best at being able to retain them here. “Everyone is a creature of habit. They go to a sale on a specific day and this is their schedule. But when people couldn’t go to a physical sale (at the chains) they immediately started to look at where else they could buy. So, people started showing up and once they got here, this was their new schedule. “Our goal is to run them across the block and do this

iress T d ice e s U t Pr m s u e i w m Pre the Lo at

process for customers. I have no vision of stopping that. Even when we had to go all-digital, I told dealers as soon as we can go back the other way safely, I’m going to do that. “As high as the (prices are), people want to walk past that car and listen to the motor as it comes across the block. “We’re excited about the fall and next year.”

PENNSYLVANIA Clint Weaver, general manager, America’s Auto Auction – Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Pa. “We have six lanes. “We’re off about 200 or 250 cars per week. We’d normally be in that 1,300 to 1,500 range per week. Now, we’re in the 1,000 to 1,200 range. “It’s been tough and from what I’m hearing and what

I’ve been seeing it’s not going to get better soon. “We probably had one of the best spring-to-summer that we’ve ever had. Even (Sept. 16), we ended the day at 72%. We’d typically be at around 62%, so we’re still above normal. “We’ve got a lot a great local sellers and consigners who have continued to support us through all this and we’re doing all we can for them. On (Sept. 16) we had about 450 dealers in the lanes and probably another 275 to 300 online. It’s changed drastically. Pre-COVID, we’d do 8% to 12% a week sold online, with maybe 100 guys online. Now we’re getting 250 to 300 online and we’re selling 35-to-40% online continuously. “We’ve gained a lot of buyers this year with online sales through Pipeline. We

also kept a lot of our regular buyers happy and coming just because we were able to get the (physical) lanes back up and running. We’re back to running a traditional auction, driving cars through the lanes. “And to be honest, my team has got a lot stronger at handling those Internet sales with more efficiencies. “But we’ve still got 60 percent of our guys, or more, in the lanes buying cars. “Our average price in the lanes has grown since COVID. Before, we averaged $5,500, now we’re pushing $8,000. “We’re probably about 60% dealer and 40% fleet/ lease, which is a good mix for us. “We also do a truck and specialty sale on the last Thursday the end of each month. It’s been a strong market, as well.”

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Disconnected Jottings From

Tony Moorby 9/27/2021 Tony Moorby Some 21 years ago, when ADT Automotive was sold to Manheim Auctions, I was approached by Warren Young, Manheim’s previous president, and Ruth Hart Stephens who ran their Canadian interests, to become the Executive Director of the National Auto Auction Association. I declined the invitation. It wasn’t an instant decision as I gave it a couple of days to consider the opportunity to promote an industry I dearly loved, admired and believed in to achieve new levels of market reach and sophistication. In the end, I had the notion that the position was akin to that of herding cats. It’s one thing to run a company that has a single-minded philosophy, shared with everyone in the company. To have the authority to ensure that the road maps of budgets, mar-

keting, operations and communications are adhered to, altering course as necessary to grow and prosper are as exhilarating, exciting and rewarding as anything I can think of. The demands on an association director are myriad and it is a rare bird that fulfills every requirement efficiently and successfully. Frank Hackett has been doing that superbly for the last 17 years and is now retiring. In essence, the NAAA CEO must have an ear to the concerns of every member; there are about 360 now, including international members. On top of that, he has to be in tune with the fancies and foibles of customers from used car dealers to major corporations. All this on the shifting sands of an industry that is evolving at breakneck speed from being a quiet redistribution facil-

ity to a modern, megalithic, digitally driven powerhouse of transactions and transportation. It’s a $110-billion responsibility stretching from coast to coast Not only has Frank been on top of it all, he’s also led the industry through legislative changes (while fending off changes that don’t improve the industry). With the help of members, industrywide safety programs have been introduced. This doesn’t happen without the insight and support of folks he works with at the small home office. He depends on them heavily from communications to conventions without looking over his shoulder. I wasn’t being rude at the reference to cats – enjoying a successful relationship with a one-man-band auction owner, having concerns that are as important

By Myles Mellor

Across 1. Compact SUV from Toyota

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39. ____ airbags 40 Civics and Accords

14. 350Z maker

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43. Agricultural, for short

18. Zero to sixty measurements, for short

45. Makers of the M 600

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Solution to this puzzle in the 10/18/2021 issue. Call 1.800.794.0760 for a FREE subscription.

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healthy retirement to a fellow who has brought a solid air of credibility, respectability and admiration to an ever-grateful membership. Tricia Heon has big boots to fill and I’m sure will cast her influence far and wide in her years ahead.

9

6. Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car

33. Nissan hybrid

12. Mid-size truck from Chevy

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. c o m

3. Nissan SUV

11. Dodge pick up

• 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

to him or her, requires an impartiality that disallows any particular allegiance to a nationwide corporation. Such political dexterity is a rarity and Frank is clever at measuring the pros and cons of his decisions for the benefit of the industry. He used to be a wrestler! A policeman too! He comes across as a no-nonsense, enigmatic thinker with strong advice and guidance. Every year he deals with a new association president who typically has an agenda or soapbox and he tries to ensure that those messages are broadcast within and outside the business. Being on the road with Frank (although, for me, it’s been a while) is rewarding as well as tiring – he keeps a frenetic pace of energetic activity and all along retains a cutting sense of humor. I sincerely wish a long and

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Solution to the 9/6/2021 puzzle

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Profile for Used Car News

Used Car News 09/27/2021  

Used Car News 09/27/2021  

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