The auction world moves fast.
Technology changes and consolidation at the ownership level have dramatically changed the landscape in recent years.
With Cox Automotive Canada now offering a large suite – 10 brands and counting – of solutions, we wanted to find out how things have progressed with Manheim Canada.
Canadian AutoWorld caught up with Jack Sulymka, director of marketing and corporate communications at Cox Automotive Canada, to discuss how the company faired in 2017 and where things are headed next year.
Canadian AutoWorld: How would you characterize the year thus far for Manheim? Volume up or down?
Jack Sulymka: Manheim Canada has experienced a good year with volume sales up nine per cent in 2017. Since 2015, our growth on the remarketing side of the business has grown close to 20 per cent. This volume increase is the result of both dealer and commercial volume including some new clients that our team has worked hard to bring to Manheim.
Has the presence of U.S. dealers bidding at your auctions stayed the same in 2017 or dropped?
Our U.S. clients are important to our business here in Canada. Historically, U.S. buyer sales fluctuate with the value of the Canadian dollar. The strengthening of the dollar in the second half of 2017 may have resulted in a decrease in U.S. client sales through the remainder of the year.
What does the physical footprint look like now in Canada? How many lanes and how many facilities?
Our physical footprint in Canada consists of six locations – Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and our digital hub in Vancouver.
The Manheim Vancouver office location also serves as our regional office and Centre of Excellence for training for Cox Automotive Canada. In early 2016, Cox Automotive Canada, through Manheim Canada, acquired 100 per cent of Manheim Edmonton after a three-year partnership.
Any new things to highlight this year in terms of physical auctions?
We had a great start to the year with Manheim Toronto and Manheim Montreal receiving awards from GM Canada and Ford of Canada respectively for services provided based on a scorecard rating system.
We are extremely proud of these accomplishments and our employees have worked hard to earn these accolades. We have recently launched our 10th brand in Canada, Ready Logistics, which expands Manheim Canada’s client offerings with end-to-end transportation services and solution that connect auctions, dealers, consumer and fleet and lease clients.
And on the digital side? How would you characterize the growth in your online auctions this year?
The digital auction front continues to grow for us at Manheim Canada. Online attendance is up across the country, while online transactions have grown close to 10 per cent in 2017. We will continue to focus on this side of the business.
We’ve seen a number of app-based online auctions emerge in the last 24 months, how has that shaped your business?
As North America’s leading remarketing provider, we will continue to focus on evolving our digital technologies into the future with servicing our client’s needs as a top priority.
How has the proliferation of dealership groups in Canada changed your business?
Multi-store ownership in Canada continues to grow rapidly. Today there are over 115 groups that own more than five stores. This count has grown by more than 300 per cent over the last 15 years.
Cox Automotive Canada, along with its 10 brands, provides a vast amount of products and services where small to large dealer groups can benefit from. The automotive market is becoming more complex and challenging for all in the business. We have aligned our business model under one goal: to assist clients to make more informed business decisions, providing a vast array of products and technologies helping them to succeed.
What can dealers expect from Manheim in 2018?
Earlier in 2017 we launched our new Manheim Canada website at manheim.ca. This site serves as a point of reference to the numerous products and services that we can provide them including Simulcast access, OVE 24/7 digital purchase, Manheim Market Report and many ancillary services.
Our Manheim Market Report (MMR) was upgraded in 2017 providing an enhanced algorithm specific to the Canadian market including added data from digital platforms. Reporting is user friendly, mobile responsive and also includes regional data. We are also looking forward to condition and colour adjustments as part of the MMR in the near future.
We are in the midst of launching our pay online functionality that offers client convenience, enhancing the dealer online buying experience that is fast, secure and an efficient way to transact online for their purchases 24/7.
Additionally, Cox Automotive Canada is using the STRATIM Platform to enhance its local drive-a-way services at Manheim Toronto. This provides a better client experience allowing Manheim to scale more efficiently through streamlined operations.
Since the partnership launch in May 2017, Cox has been able to grow total pickups/deliveries by over 20 per cent month-over-month (or 130 per cent May vs. October) without having increase employee count or drivers.
STRATIM provides Cox features like order processing, routing/dispatching, real-time driver and vehicle tracking, photo documentation, and detailed analytics dashboards.
I have heard rumours about a new vehicle tracking system. True?
Yes, in 2018, we will be launching our Lot Management Optimization technologies in association with Cox Communications. At Manheim Canada, millions of vehicles are moved annually at our storage locations. With this technology, vehicles are tagged and are tracked through GPS. The GPS enabled Asset Tracker monitors vehicle movements and location within geo fenced zones. Asset Trackers allow us to know the exact movement of every vehicle, track historical movements, and provides notifications where vehicles move between zones.
Overall, this Lot Management Optimization technology benefits our clients providing up-to-date status on vehicles, faster pickup localization, reduced move cycle time and reporting capability.
Also, in late 2018 Manheim Canada will be launching our upgraded Simulcast 2.0 version hosted on manheim.ca and will be easily accessed through desktop, mobile or tablet devices.
This new proven, cloud-based system that has been successfully utilized in 20 markets globally over the last few years will enhance our clients buying and selling experience.
Some of the key elements of Simulcast 2.0 include multiple lanes offered simultaneously in one screen, improved reporting capabilities to support data insights and analytics, continued support with client EDI transmissions for inventory and sales information, updated vehicle options and increased visibility for announcements/disclosures, connected online and in-lane experience with Simulcast 2.0 and Manheim.ca and improved visibility on ancillary services, vehicle status and vehicle condition reports for consignors.