Manheim Auctions Inc. will invest $1 billion over the next five years to replace, refurbish and expand its auctions.
Manheim CEO Dean Eisner said the Atlanta company plans to expand, but much of that growth will be internal - replacing outdated auctions and improving services to dealers with more lanes and technology.
Manheim will spend $200 million this year in improvements, which will include the replacement of six auctions. The company has spent $500 million in the last five years to improve its infrastructure.
'It's our intent to grow; a lot of that growth is looking more internally and investing, as opposed to acquisitions,' said Eisner, who took over from Dennis Berry on Jan. 1.
Eisner was vice president of business development at Cox Enterprises Inc. of Atlanta, which owns Manheim. Berry now is Cox's president and COO.
'It's more about looking at the money we've already invested or we plan to invest in inspections, in repairs, in technology and making sure we're going down the right path. When something comes along that adds to that, we'll take a look at it,' Eisner said.
As the vice president of business development at Cox, Eisner said he worked closely with Berry on Manheim's expansion strategy, including the acquisition of auction company ADT Automotive Inc. last year.
ADT's former Remarketing Solutions now is the umbrella division for several Manheim and former ADT services. Remarketing Solutions includes services such as vehicle repossession, inspections, vehicle transportation and obtaining lost or duplicate vehicle titles and title transfers.
'I know that the two companies were fierce competitors, but sometimes when you have passions as competitors, when you come together you come together with a common bond,' Eisner said.
Eisner said he gravitated to Manheim because it had tremendous growth of its core business and related businesses, including Manheim Online, its wholesale Web site, and AutoTrader.com, its consumer Web site.
'I spent a lot of time involved with Manheim startups, acquisitions, expansion into Europe, developing Manheim Online, initiating AutoTrader.com and the ADT acquisition,' he said.
'Auctions are the core business, but people come to the auction and ask, `Do you have technology, can you do inspections, do you do reconditioning?' It opens up new doors.'
Manheim is the nation's largest wholesale auto auction with 86 auctions in North America and 116 worldwide.