Cox Automotive has re-started Manheim's car auction operations via its online sales platform following “weeks of careful planning and implementation of the necessary safety measures”.
Yesterday AM revealed that online stocking portal Motorway had recommenced its daily online auctions following a COVID-19 enforced closure and Manheim has now revealed that its return will commence in a wholly online form.
“Stock will be available to buy through ‘buy now’ events and ‘virtual auctions’ via Simulcast”, the remarketing specialist said in a statement released yesterday (May 11).
Car buyers logging in to Manheim’s online auctions will not be charged the usual additional Simulcast fee until further notice, it said.
News of dealers’ growing ability to stock their forecourts with used vehicles follows the publication of Government’s 50-page ‘COVID-19 Recovery Strategy’ document, which indicated showrooms were unlikely to open until June 1 at the earliest.
While remarketing operations will be keen to get the automotive retail market moving again, many are awaiting the impact of initial trading on used car values, meanwhile.
Explaining the logistics of its sales in yesterday’s statement, Manheim said that buyers will be contacted following each sale to arrange collection.
It added: “Collection must be by appointment only. There will be a strict handover process in place to ensure the ongoing safety of our team members and customers.
“Buyers are also advised that vehicles purchased prior to lockdown can now be collected, with the same strict handover process in place.
“Auction centres are contacting customers to arrange handover appointments.”
Chris Cush, director of auctions and transport at Manheim UK, said: “We’re pleased to re-start our online auction operations this week.
"We’ve carefully planned the operational activity required to support each sale safely, both in terms of how our teams work and how customers receive the vehicles that they buy.
"We have established a strict operating process that ensures social distancing is maintained, and collections managed to ensure the safety of all involved.
"We will be ramping-up our sales timetable in the coming weeks but for now the focus is on ensuring we carefully manage activity to keep the wellbeing and safety of team members and customers absolutely front and centre of all we do.”
Jonathan Holland, the managing director of ADESA UK said that fleets and dealers were set to turn to online remarketing as de-fleet volumes rise and social restrictions remain in place this week.
ADESA said that online remarketing specialists are preparing for “a surge of used cars to be released into the wholesale market” and indicated that it was receiving high levels of enquiries from finance and leasing vendors and fleets who have been sitting on de-fleeted stock since the lockdown began on March 24.
“Many businesses who are keen to liquidate their assets and reduce any further exposure to depreciation are investigating online remarketing for the first time and are beginning to appreciate the expediency and cost savings,” said Holland.
“Furthermore, with social distancing restrictions expected to remain in place for the rest of the year, online remarketing is becoming an attractive option for trade buyers wary of visiting auction halls.
“As an industry we are seeing pent-up supply and demand with vendors and buyers using the lockdown as an opportunity to re-evaluate the way they dispose and acquire assets with online making more sense than ever before.”