The National Auto Auction Association's wholesale certification minimum standards are ready. But not one auto company is ready to bite.
The association's goal is to establish minimum guidelines that provide consistency within various programs, said Kenny Osborn, president of the National Auto Auction Association.
Its objective is not to replace the wholesale certification programs of auto companies and financial institutions, he said.
In addition, association certification would enhance vehicles of wholesalers, dealers and others that sell at auctions but do not have their own wholesale certification programs, he said.
But the auction association still must convince the remarketing industry that the additional wholesale certification - covering areas such as structural damage and odometer accuracy - creates value for vehicle sellers, dealers and consumers.
No auto company has committed to adding the association certification to the off-lease and retired rental car vehicles they remarket at wholesale auctions, said Dan Dietsch, who is in charge of training auctions to carry out the association certification process. He also is managing director of the Manheim Technical Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Tom Cunningham, Ford Motor Co. manager of vehicle remarketing, said many major manufacturers, including Ford, have their own programs that exceed the auction standards and that their dealers know and trust.
Dana Hammer, manager of certified used vehicles, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations, said vehicles prepared for the company's wholesale Frontline Ready program meet the association standards.
Tom Kontos, vice president of Industry Analysis for ADESA Corp. in Indianapolis, has studied vehicle certification.
Certified cars sell for more
He said that wholesale certification, such as those offered by the auto companies and financial institutions, costs sellers $250 to $500, and that certified vehicles will sell for $500 to $750 more than comparable non-certified vehicles at auction.
Consumers are willing to pay $293 more for a certified economy car and $2,024 more for a certified luxury car than comparable non-certified cars, he added.
Dietsch said auction association inspection and certification would be done at individual auctions on behalf of the auctions' customers and would cost about $45 to $85 per vehicle depending on the vehicle and region of the country.
He also said those companies that meet or exceed the association's standards would pay nothing extra for association certification.