Mid-Year Report Reveals Strong Market and Thriving Sales Environment at ServNet Auctions

It has been an interesting, though positive market in 2018. Tax time took hold early and never stopped, with the dip we generally expect to see following the refund checks not really materializing this year. The economy is performing well, and we are seeing higher conversion percentages across the board. In addition, volumes are stable: while dealer inventory is a bit light, we're making up for that in institutional business which is keeping the lanes full of vehicles. Dealers who report that they're short on supply are looking for cars on all platforms, which has resulted in strong pricing and strong conversions.

 Eric Autenrieth President, ServNet

Eric Autenrieth
President, ServNet

A continued strong market has a strong bearing on improvements being made at auctions throughout the ServNet world, as our owners improve their facilities and processes to better serve their customers. BSC America's Bel Air Auto Auction is coming up on the 1st anniversary of the opening of an all-new 185-acre facility that has set a new standard as one of the most innovative facilities of its kind. Likewise, customers are reaping the benefits of doing business Clark County Auto Auction, which joined the ServNet Auction group earlier this year just after opening its new world-class facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana. KCI Kansas City is undergoing a three-phase modernization and update this year, and has just unveiled its new 5,000 square foot Commercial Accounts Building. Other auctions have been busy during the summer months expanding their lots and modernizing shops. To make way for increasing consignments, Indiana Auto Auction paved an additional 15 acres, while Carolina Auto Auction is expanding its lot with 16 acres of gravel. Greenville Auto Auction recently broke ground on a new detail, condition report, online and marketing facility, which will make the auction able to detail and CR vehicles more efficiently and effectively while providing the space and technology to offer the best support for online customers.

As ServNet owners look to enhance their facilities to ensure that that the physical space of the auction stays relevant and efficient, they have also worked hard throughout the year to use and improve the many alternate tools to ensure success for their customers: selling upstream, expanding online capabilities and engaging buyers after the vehicle has crossed the block. ServNet recently conducted a highly successful and first-of-its-kind sale for U-Haul using an innovative approach. We grouped over 100 U-Haul vehicles from the 22 ServNet auctions across the country and offered them in a weekend online-only event through SmartAuction. It was one of the many ways that ServNet auctions collaborate to enhance market exposure for its customers, and is the kind of event we expect to use even more in the future.

In addition to attending to business at their auctions, ServNet owners have focused a good deal of their time and energy this year to nurture the health and growth of the industry, serving the NAAA and other industry organizations to lend their expertise and voices to establish policy, explore solutions to common challenges, and consider the innovations that will benefit the wholesale buying and selling process. This service beyond the auction contributes to our shared success, and it is gratifying to see how much our owners contribute.

Leading that group is Chad Bailey, president of Akron Auto Auction, who is currently President-elect of the National Auto Auction Association and takes on the post of NAAA President in the Fall. In addition to the rigors of overseeing the daily operations of his auction and shouldering the many added responsibilities attendant on his responsibilities with the NAAA, Chad, along with the other ServNet auction owners, is an active participate on a number of ServNet committees that address a variety of industry issues. These auction owners are also generous with their time in serving the NAAA, as members of its Board of Directors, as Chapter Presidents, as Committee Chairs, as involved committee members, and as liaisons to other industry groups. I'm proud of all that our owners do to be involved, to make sure that our voice is heard, and particularly to battle the disruptors in our business to make sure that the lane presence remains strong in the remarketing industry.

Concluding the first half of the year, many members of the remarketing community had occasion to meet together in July, at what has become the highlight of the summer for many of us: DAA Northwest's Rock & Roll sale. It was a tremendous auction event in its own right: 5,000+ vehicles consigned over 2 days, 1700+ dealers in the lanes, and thousands of customers and guests enjoying an outdoor rock & roll concert on the auction site. But in addition to being a must-attend event for buyers and sellers, the Rock & Roll Sale has become something of a focal point for the entire industry, an opportunity to see a great auction in action while providing an opportunity for colleagues to meet together in an exciting environment. There's not an event like it anywhere else in the industry, and we're proud of our association with DAA Northwest, its owner Bob McConkey, and the auction staff as valued colleagues in the ServNet Auction group.

In looking forward to year's end, I hold no crystal ball to forecast the future, but all indicators point to a strong finish for 2018. A lively economy, a healthy market, involved and committed leadership and customer-focused service will continue to spell success for buyers and sellers at ServNet auctions

 
 Eric Autenrieth President, ServNet Auctions

Eric Autenrieth
President,
ServNet Auctions

.The ServNet Auction Group is a network of America's best strategically located independently-owned wholesale auto auctions. Since 1988, ServNet member auctions have been working together to provide a full range of remarketing services to its customers, including the best auctioneers, inspections, reconditioning, transportation assistance and inventory financing. The ServNet Auction Group is managed by TPC Management with headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee.