“They will be able to see more stock in a concentrated period of time,” says a Manheim spokesman. “Some larger dealer groups and supermarkets have been sending two buyers to bigger sales, and at Colchester they will be able to buy more vehicles in the key period between late morning and early afternoon.”
The open-plan Colchester site enables buyers to see all the stock and, when dealers are selling, they are likely to get more potential purchasers for their vehicles.
When completed in early summer, according to Manheim, its new site will have Europe’s biggest throughput, with around 170,000 vehicles going through each year.
Ken Gmiter, manager of Manheim’s 111-acre auction centre in Fort Worth, Texas, will manage the Colchester site for a year.
The cost of acquiring land, and difficulties obtaining planning permission, means it makes sense to improve the use of existing sites.
Manheim is likely to monitor the performance of the Colchester site through 2007 before deciding whether to open other multi-track UK locations.
Its Birmingham and Manchester sites are relatively small, but Leeds has more room for potential expansion.