ServNet’s President Surveys Group’s 30th Year
In his year-end message to the auction industry, Eric Autenrieth, ServNet's President, surveys the group's 30th anniversary year, highlighted by the addition of the group's 23rd auction location and business solutions that will carry forward into 2019.
Another year draws to a close. As we all pause to take stock of the past 12 months, to straighten our desks in preparation for a break from the flow of traffic through our auction lanes to enjoy holidays, I look back on a great year in business, topped by 30 years of growth and success among our group of ServNet auctions.
As I reported earlier this year, the market has continued to be interesting, though positive. Tax time took hold early and never really stopped, with the dip we generally expect to see following the arrival of refund checks not really materializing until late in the fall. While dealer inventory was lighter than in years past, our auctions made up for that in institutional business: repossessions, off-lease units and rental returns. Dealers who reported shortages in inventory looked for cars on all platforms, which has resulted in strong pricing and strong conversions.
Along with a dynamic market, customers enjoyed an exceptional customer exeperience at ServNet auctions across the country in 2018.
ServNet Continues Growth, Adds FastLAne Auto Exchange
ServNet wraps up its 30th Anniversary Year with another upswing in growth, adding FastLane Auto Exchange as its 23rd auction location.
"The ServNet auction owners welcome yet another new facility to our ranks," said ServNet President Eric Autenrieth. "Led by owner/operator Greg Price, an industry veteran who comes from second-generation family lineage in the industry, FastLane Auto Exchange is taking the industry by storm, recording exponential growth over the past two years. Greg is a colleague with great experience and talent, and we are pleased to expand ServNet's geographic footprint into the all-important upper Midwest region."
Located just north of Flint Michigan in Mount Morris, FastLane Auto Exchange has been in operation since 1978, and was purchased by a group led by Greg Price in January of 2017. Under Price's leadership, the auction has undergone a staggering transformation, expanding in less than 2 years from an evening sale running 100+ vehicles a week on one lane to a Wednesday afternoon auction featuring 700+ vehicles on 8 lanes.
Greater Rockford Auto Auction Announces Partnership with Turn Auctions
The Greater Rockford Auto Auction (GRAA) is excited to announce a partnership with Turn Auctions, a new mobile-based auction platform. Turn offers 15-minute wholesale auctions via its iOS and Android app. Auctions on the platform began November 1st and will take place seven days a week. Selling vehicles on Turn is open to all commercial accounts, franchise dealers and independent dealers. At the completion of a sale, GRAA will inspect the vehicle and arrange transportation. Turn expects to enter into similar relationships with other independent auctions.
"Turn is the next stage in GRAA's expansion of its omni channel sales model, adding to our in-lane, simulcast and out-of-the-gate options," said Ryan Clark, co-owner of GRAA and co-founder of Turn. "Turn will give our sellers greater exposure for their vehicles and our buyers the opportunity to source inventory all throughout the week. In addition, GRAA's vehicle inspection will give buyers the confidence in purchases that they cannot always get from other platforms."
The Turn Auctions app is available by searching for "Turn Auctions" in the App Store or Google Play.
Houston Auto Auction Prepares for Annual Christmas Sale
Houston Auto Auction invites its customers to its annual Christmas Sale on December 18th. Hundreds of cars are expected, including units from ARI, Texas Bay Credit Union, First Service, First Community, Stream, Element, Centerpoint Energy, and many more.
The auction will offer complimentary cookies, coffee, and a steak or chicken lunch beginning at 11:30PM. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the sale. Dealers purchasing a vehicle in the lane at the Christmas sale will have a chance to win an Amazon Kindle, gift card, Shop Vac, Sony speakers, or a 65" curved 4K HDTV.
Houston Auto Auction constantly strives to be on the cutting edge of the Auction world, providing auction types that benefit both the seller, and the buyer. The auction features a real-time, globally accessible simulcast with no delay, powered by AWG that allows customers to both purchase vehicles and rep vehicles from the comfort of the office, or any place with a high speed internet connection.
Indiana Auto Auction Talks Turkey in November
The team at Indiana Auto Auction was talking turkey as they hosted the auction's very first "Turkey 10K", a contest dealers entered to win $10,000 on November 15th. Every dealer attending the sale that day received a ticket for each vehicle they bought or sold at the auction. At the end of the day, tickets were drawn and five lucky dealers qualified for the contest.
Each of the five dealers then picked a different colored shirt and number that matched the color of one of the live turkeys at the end of the lane. When the starter said "GO", the dealers were allowed to either coax the turkeys with food or flap their arms behind them to motivate them to move. All of the dealers had clear instructions that they could not touch the turkeys, or they would face disqualification.
One of the turkeys and its dealer took off quickly toward the finish line, but ended up stalling at the finish line and would not cross. At that point two other turkeys and their dealers went across the line before the first turkey finally decided to cross. Congratulations to Mint Auto Sales for winning the $10,000. All participants also won a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving as well.
Greenville Auto Auction Celebrates the Season with Big Christmas Sale
Greenville Auto Auction kicked off the month of December and enjoyed one of their best events of the year. On December 6th, GAA hosted its Big Christmas Sale. During the sale, three dealers were randomly selected to participate in Santa's Workshop where they had 30 seconds to open presents containing different money denominations. Altogether, all of the presents had a total of $5,000 cash.
Along with Santa's Workshop, dealers also had a chance of winning different lane prizes. Among the prizes given away were a Ninja Coffee Maker, a $350 Bailey's Fine Jewelry Gift Card, and an Apple Watch Series 4. Overall, the Big Christmas Sale was a great success as GAA sold a great majority of its inventory.
Akron Auto Auction, Dealers, Raise a Helping Hand
On December 11th, Akron Auto Auction hosted a special one-vehicle charity auction in efforts to help raise money for a woman with serious medical needs.
Doctors told Katie Hominsky, a Medina, Ohio woman who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, that if she does not receive a successful stem cell transplant, she will be permanently confined to a wheel chair or die at a very young age. Katie and her family have been tasked with raising funds for the costly procedure but are still a long way away. Bill Doraty Kia, a Medina dealership who heard of Katie's story, decided to get involved to help. Bill Doraty Kia pledged to donate a vehicle that would be auctioned off in the lanes in Akron. All proceeds generated from the sale of the vehicle will go towards Katie and her cause.
In the week leading up to the sale, more and more dealers became familiar with Katie and her story. The vehicle, a 2009 Kia Rio, was staged for sale in the first Bay with balloons along with Katie's photo in the window.
On sale day, Katie and her family arrived at Akron Auto Auction to be present during the sale. A local news crew also arrived to film the event to further share Katie's story and experience. At around 10 AM, the entire auction paused to turn its focus on the event in Bay 1. As the crowd gathered around, the vehicle was fired up and the bidding commenced. The actual value of the vehicle in the lane proved to be secondary to the true reason why it was there. After numerous back and forth bids from all over the arena, the bidding ceased at an astounding $5,000, well above the estimated sale price. National Auto Group, a subsidiary of JD Byrider, was the winning bidder. The dealer representative revealed later that his mother suffered from this disease, so this benefit hit close to home for him.
The donations did not stop with the sale of the car. Akron Auto Auction donated $1,000 more dollars to Katie along with many other dealerships chipping in with additional donations. All in all, the event raised well over $6,000 dollars to Katie in hopes of getting her that much closer to her goal.
After the sale, Katie wrote in a Facebook post "Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart to Bill Doraty KIA, Akron Auto Auction, FOX8, and the dealership that bought this car! I am beyond grateful and humbled by this whole experience!! God Bless you ALL!!"