Auction news roundup: Rock & Roll sale headliner, inspection & CR upgrades and more

We begin this auction news roundup in the ServNet group, where member auction DAA Northwest announced the headliner for its Rock & Roll Sale: Sammy Hagar and the Circle. Hagar is perhaps best known as a former frontman of Van Halen, along with his longtime solo career.

There will be an auction, party and concert on July 20, followed by another sale July 21. 

“People talk a lot about the ‘new normal’ these days. Well, this is about the old normal for me — rock and roll at its core on our stage in July!” said Bob McConkey, chief executive officer of DAA Northwest parent McConkey Auction Group, in a news release.

Elsewhere in the group, Akron Auto Auction announced a few personnel changes:

  • Chrissy Grabill is new the assistant general manager
  • Jason Miller is now repossession department manager
  • Brigette Shepler is now sales manager
  • Will Lutes has been added as floorplan finance specialist

Over at Carolina Auto Auction, the team has opened a new inspection center and mechanic shop that includes 28 bays. It houses the condition report and mechanic areas, while also providing a larger commercial drop-off area. The latter is designed to reduce the strain on the main gate and aid in traffic flow throughout the facilities.

The 30,000-square-foot facility is complemented by 16 acres of paved parking, an additional guard house and state-of-the-art equipment, the auction said.

It opened May 9.

“We are excited to announce the opening of our new Carolina Auto Auction inspection center and mechanic shop. The new facility will provide increased efficiencies that will allow us to continue to drive industry-leading service excellence for our existing and future customers alike,” assistant general manager Vann Humphrey said.

KAR upgrades CRs for BacklotCars

Next, KAR Global has teamed up with tech consultancy Thoughtworks to develop enhanced condition reports for KAR’s BacklotCars platform.

The upgraded features, which include engine audio recordings, are designed to provide CRs that are “more accurate, more consistent and easier to understand,” thus improving experience on the online wholesale platform.

“Vehicle buyers want increased consistency, accuracy, trustworthiness and reliability in the inspection process, and this highly-innovative iteration simulates seeing and hearing a vehicle in person,” BacklotCars chief operating officer Josh Parsons said in a news release.

“Thoughtworks helped us combine the best features and functionality of the BacklotCars and CARWAVE inspection frameworks while identifying areas to streamline across the platforms,” Parsons said. “The result is a single, enhanced condition report framework that accelerates sales for sellers and provides buyers with comprehensive condition information that is easy to understand.”

Thoughtworks North America chief executive officer Chris Murphy added: “We are excited to partner with BacklotCars on its journey to revolutionize wholesale automotive with next-generation digital experiences for its dealers. The expanded digital inspection process will help the company operate more efficiently while helping dealers make the most informed buying decision possible.”

IAA expands UK office

Over at IAA, the company said Wednesday its UK-based operations is relocating and expanding its head office in the southern UK.

The current facilities will now be utilized as a customer service center.

“The expansion and relocation of our southern UK head office demonstrates IAA’s continued commitment and investment in its UK business,” said Tom Rumboll, UK Managing Director for IAA and CEO of SYNETIQ, in a news release. “In addition to building capacity to support the company’s growth in the UK, the new office will create a more dynamic working environment that underlines IAA’s focus on attracting and retaining the most-talented people in the industry. This transition is vital to IAA’s further expansion in the UK, enabling us to meet the needs of our growing customer base.”