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MANHEIM’S vehicle auction business has received a significant boost in the third quarter of 2023 after returning to weekly physical auctions.

The increase in Manheim’s wholesale passenger and commercial vehicle auction business is in contrast to the weakening prices being seen across the wider used-vehicle market post-COVID. 

After focusing on online auctions – which remain an integral part of Manheim’s business – since the pandemic started in 2020, the leading auction house re-opened its physical auction lanes in June at its sites in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

Manheim has now reported that its in-lane auctions attended and used by dealers and the general public looking for stock, (along with its on-going digital auctions) gained in momentum across the last quarter. 

The company said that this growth demonstrated the underlying strength of the business.

Manheim managing director Murray Naismith said: “For dealers and the public alike, the ability to buy and sell online has been an integral part of the wholesale landscape over the past few years. We know that our customers value choice and our move to bring back in-person auctions now gives them the best of both worlds. The return of growing volumes and the energy that crowds bring to a live auction, proves that in-person auctions play an important role in creating a strong used vehicle marketplace.”

Wholesale volume was up 12 per cent in Q3 compared to Q2 indicating that the flow of recently traded-in vehicles from leases were making their way back into the wholesale channels. 

Manheim’s strong Q3 business performance included a 25.6 per cent year-over-year increase in September wholesales, as market conditions drove an 8 per cent reduction in the weighted price index of inventory.

Auctions: Murray Naismith managing director of Cox Automotive Australia’s Remarketing & Vehicle Solutions

Manheim, a Cox Automotive Australia brand, is a leading wholesale auction service that facilitates the remarketing of ex-fleet, government, rental, business, and traded-in vehicles, all put up for live or timed auction with detailed condition reports and high-resolution imaging. 

Key to Manheim’s evolution is its electric vehicle readiness strategy. It said major fleets are buying EVs at scale and that in coming months and years, EVs will be a common sight in auction lanes and online sales.

Manheim also runs heavy equipment auctions focusing on second-hand industrial, civil and agricultural equipment, as well as damaged vehicles through its salvage channels in partnership with major insurance clients. 

By Neil Dowling