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Lisa Franz, manager, Big Valley Auto Auction, Donna, Texas:
“We had our five-year anniversary last September. We didn’t pick the best time to start an auction. My father is the general manager, and he said if we could make it through 2008, 2009 and 2010, we could make it through anything.
“We have four lanes and we’re running all four lanes.
“I was just running some statistics from last year and see that we’re up about 20 percent on volumes. Before tax season (fell off), we were averaging right at 500 (vehicles).
“Sales percentages have been right at 52 percent. I would say that’s a little bit higher than last year, because our sales are up a little.
“We are all dealer consignment.
“We have a little under 300 (bidders) per sale. I think that’s up 10 to 15 percent. We’re just up across the board (in all categories).
“We’re in south Texas, right on the border, between Mission and Brownsville.
So we’re pulling dealers from the Rio Grande Valley.
“We do bring some dealers in from Mexico, but Mexico really tightened up about a year after we opened.
“I think our dealers are doing well. I know our franchise guys are just exploding. They’re building new franchise dealerships left and right.
“Some (vehicles) that
always do well this time of year are the soccer-mom-type cars, like the minivans, Toyotas and Hondas.
“Since we’re in south Texas, trucks are always (strong).
“We have online bidding through AWG. We go by how many bidders are logging on and we go by sales. Since we’re kind of new to it, we still get excited when we get online bidders. We had 27 online bidders during a recent sale. Most of our online bidders are wholesalers and exporters.
“The funny thing we’re seeing is (a spike in sales) of 2002 Toyota Highlanders – these little four-cylinders. We’ve got buyers that are exporting them overseas. I wish I could get into business just buying Highlanders. It’s just insane – the interest in these four-cylinders.
“The only thing struggling are Chryslers.
“We are excited for the rest of the year. We’ve paved another three acres to our south and we need more room already. It’s amazing how fast we add things and we already have to (grow more).
“It’s one thing to say, ‘build it and they will come.’ But it feels really good when you build it and they actually do come.”
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The U.S. Energy Department recently recognized Manheim Pennsylvania organizations for efficient parking lot and parking garage lighting.
Vice president and general manager Julie Picard accepted the “Highest Absolute Annual Energy Savings in a Retrofit at a Single Parking Area” award given to Cox Enterprises for the Manheim Pennsylvania project. As a Cox Enterprises subsidiary, Manheim participates in the company’s national sustainability program that focuses on waste management and reducing energy and water consumption.
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Insurance Auto Auctions released its newest industry research, the Annual Salvage Report .
In this report, IAA analyzes and interprets major industry trends and the responses to the dynamic economic environment.
Among the report’s findings is that crushed-car prices are poised to improve this year after steel manufacturers made strides to eliminate excess supply.
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ADESA Little Rock raised nearly $60,000 with a charity fundraiser auction to benefit area tornado relief efforts.
Auctioneer Steve Sims first came up with the idea for the sale. An inspiration to his fellow staff members, he felt this was an opportunity for ADESA employees and dealers to support the local community.