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Wholesale Markets - Quincy AA

Michael Cooley, general manager, Quincy Auto Auction, Quincy, Mass.:

 “Sales have been super.

“We’re in our 23rd year. We have six lanes.

“Volumes are good, they’re up. We’re averaging between 1,200 and 1,300 cars per week. Last year, we were at 900.

“I attribute a lot of it to the economy doing pretty good.  Some of it is just the overall growth of the car business.

“And some has to do with the facility itself. We’re drawing in more dealers because of the facility.

“Sales percentages are averaging in the high 60s, low 70s. Anything less that 66 percent is not good. We’re usually between 66 and 70 percent.

“We’re (bringing) into the lanes, on average, about 1,000 dealers per week. We’re easy to get to from pretty much anywhere. We’ve got guys who come down from Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and all over Massachusetts.

“The (volumes) are good for the dealers. Plus, we have a really nice storage facility. So if guys want to buy cars but can’t get them out right away, we provide them a storage facility at a reasonable rate. We have 120 acres available for storage.

“So they may see the market is right to buy cars and they want to buy 10 to 15 cars but don’t have the room for them. We can provide the storage.

“The overall (mood) of the dealers is that they seem to have a positive outlook coming out of the summer and into the fall buying season.

“About 90 percent of our volume is dealer consignment. That’s gone up a little bit as we cater more toward the independent dealers.

“We still do some fleet-lease. We do a lot with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, local banks and credit unions.

“We also work with Fleet Street Remarketing and they’ve told us that their consignments are going to be picking up into the fall season.

“Repossessions have gone down a little bit. I think the banks have been working a lot closer with their clients, trying to keep them in the cars.

“We still have (salvage/in-op units). We also do an RV sale a couple of times a year, in the spring and fall. It’s not a big number.

“Post-sale inspections have picked up a lot. They are up about 30 percent over last year.

“The average price coming through the lanes is about $3,200. It might have gone up a little, but not much.

“The truck market has picked up a little bit as we go into the fall. Light-duty trucks are starting to pick up. Outside of that, everything is steady.

“We’ve been seeing a lot more franchise dealers bringing their cars to the auction.”

Wholesale Markets - Pennsylvania

Grant Miller, president/CEO, Central Pennsylvania Auto Auction Inc., Lock Haven, Pa.:

“We’ve been here 27 years. We’ll have our 27th anniversary on Aug. 28. We’ll give away $27,000 in cash
and prizes.

“We have five lanes and we’re running all five.

“Volumes usually run up to 700 on our regular sale. We’ll average about 650. In terms of volumes, we’ve dropped a few. But dollar-wise, we’re managing to stay even with last year.

“Our sales percentages have averaged 61 percent since our first year. But we’re struggling to hold that now. We find that June and July, during vacations, is tough to do big volumes of business. During tax season, we were selling 78 percent. When that stops, the market changes really quick. We do a great job with late-model vehicles as far as prices, but we just don’t get a large amount of volume. 

“We don’t have a factory sale. We do business with a few banks and lease companies, but that’s about it. Our lease numbers run from 70 to 90 per week.

“We also have a utility sale once a month and we’ll run 1,000 cars on that day. That’s every third Thursday of the month. We have a contract with Verizon, so we remarket their lease-end and terminated vehicles.

“We’ll draw anywhere from 375 dealers a week for our regular sales to 500 for our specialty sales. We have great dealer support. More likely, 80 percent of our dealers come from Pennsylvania. But we have quite a few coming from New Jersey. We also get dealers from Ohio Maryland and New York. 

“We have our own transportation company and that helps us. We have 16 to 17 transporters, some four-car, some two-car and nine-car carriers. We can also move heavy equipment from our utility sales.

“We’ve found that to be very critical to our business.

“Our average price in the lanes – not including salvage – is between $8,000 and $9,000.

“Jeep prices are just our of sight. I can’t believe some of the prices they’re bringing. They’re bringing what they brought two years ago.

“I think, if anything is struggling, it’s the high-priced, late-model, full-size cars like the Chrysler 300s and the Cadillacs.”


Wholesale Markets - Minnesota

“In August, we will have been in business 31 years.

“We have four lanes.

“Our volumes have been right around 400 per week. It might be up a touch from this time last year, but I’d say it’s pretty comparable.

“In April, sales percentages were running about 65 to 67 percent. 

“Right now, it’s consistently 55 to 58 percent. So, all things considered, it’s not bad.

“On a week-to-week basis, about 85 percent of our volume is dealer consignment.  The rest would be from lease companies, banks, repossessions and GSA.

“On average, we’ll (draw) about 125 to 130 dealers in the lanes. 

“That’s comparable to last year. It seems like things slowed up a little bit in June, so there was a little bit more anxiety going on.

“I think that we were coming off such highs in March and April that there was a little bit of a natural letdown in May and June. Of course, car prices were also pushed higher. But I don’t see anything out of the ordinary, compared to years’ past.

“Our dealers come mostly from Minnesota, 

“But we’ll also get some from North Dakota, South Dakota, a few from Wisconsin and some from Canada. 

“But they are predominantly from Minnesota.

“We have GSA sales several times throughout the year. 

“This year we had them in May and June. We’ll have them (every month) through November. During a recent GSA sale, we had a lot of Malibus and Grand Caravans. We also get a fair amount of G6s, Ford Focuses and then a variety of trucks. We get a lot of ¾ ton trucks. We also had a lot of Uplander vans and Dodge Avengers.

“The first sale we had a 106 units and the next was 116. So I’ll day we get 110 units on average.

“On the fleet-lease side, we run cars from Westlake Financial, Union Leasing and United Auto Credit. Half of those vehicles are repos and half are regular fleet cars.

“The average price coming through the lanes is about $4,800. I’m not positive, but I think that’s up about $200 from a year ago.

“Trucks never really get soft, but if you have a really nice truck, those are doing well. If I’ve seen any softening, it’s probably in minivans.

“But if you have anything in the 40,000 to 80,000-mile range, then it’s doing well.”


Wholesale Markets - Kentucky

Clint Lutz, general manager, Paducah Auto Auction, Paducah, Ky.:

“We’ve been in business since 1991.

“We have three lanes and we’re running all three.

“Volumes are pretty much the same as this time last year. They may be off just a hair, but we’ll run 200 to 225 every week.

“Sales percentages have been in the high 50s, low 60s. On a good week, it will hit almost 70 percent.

“(Percentages are) about the same as this time last year. Of course, July
always turns around and it’s slow.

“We get about 150 dealers in the lanes. It’s probably about the same as this time last year.

“Just looking across the lanes, it seems the same.

“But last year, we didn’t have the computer system we have now that keeps up with that. We have a good set-up that tracks the bidders, the number of them in the lanes, the sales percentages (etc.), the whole nine yards.

“Our old system would just check people in but not really track who was here and when they came.

“We’re in the western part of the state, so our dealers are coming from a 150 mile to 200 mile radius.

“They are coming from Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

“It seems like at the sales, there is a shortage of really nice cars with low mileage. When you get one, it brings top dollar.

“Dealers, most of them, sound like they’re doing just fair. Nobody’s bragging.

“A majority of our cars are dealer consignment.

‘But we’ve got some (repos from) local banks and some from TitleMax and payday loan places. We’ll sell for those places.

“On a normal week – out of our 200 to 225 total (units) – we’ll get 50 or 60 that are new-car trades, maybe 30 or 40 are repo-type cars and the rest will be regular dealer consignment.

“Everybody I talk to is expecting a bigger increase in repos over the coming months than they expected they would have this time last year.

“We also try to do a
salvage sale once a month.

“The average price is in the low $4,000s.

“I really feel that if the demand for the good mileage stuff and nicer cars stays the way it is, the prices are
going to stay strong.”


Wholesale Markets - Colorado


Matt Read, general manager, Loveland Auto Auction, Johnstown, Colo.:

“Business has been really good. We had a huge first quarter due to tax season.

“April was good as well.

“Our run numbers were up a little bit in the first quarter. That’s started to settle down a little bit, cars are a little tougher to come by, but we’re hanging in there.

“Our auction is always growing a little bit. We
always see an increase in bidders every year and this year is no different. We get bidders from Nebraska, Wyoming, a few from New Mexico. The majority of our business is Colorado-based.

“Everybody seems to be happy. They all had a good tax season. 

“The dealers in Wyoming who are near Indiana reservations had an extra tax season because the Indians settled a lawsuit and received large checks.

“We do really well with trucks. Any truck sells well.

“The $10,000-and-under cars and SUVs are our bread and butter on that side.

“We don’t do anything online. 

“Business seems to have slowed down in the past couple of weeks. The kids are getting out of school and we always get that summer slump.

“About 90 percent of units are dealer consignment. The rest come from local banks.

“The dealers were keeping all their trades for a while. They’re not holding onto stuff like they used to. They’re starting to send more cars to auction. A majority of our consignment comes from new-car stores.

“We have a loyal group of consignors. We’re about 45 mils north of Denver.”