About 10 percent of the estimated 9 million vehicles destined for wholesale auctions sustain some unexplained theft or damage that averages $500 per unit while in transit.
The damage, primarily to off-lease and program vehicles and repossessions, costs the remarketing industry about $450 million last year and has driven home the need for thorough vehicle inspections and condition reports each time a vehicle changes hands.
The issue of vehicle inspections is on the agenda of the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance during its first roundtable discussion to be held July 24-25 in Denver, said Dave Langley, alliance president.
Inspection and documentation should start with the company that accepts or repossesses a vehicle from the consumer and continue with the facility that stores it and the transportation company that moves it to an auction site, said Langley, who also is national manager of vehicle remarketing at American Honda Finance.
That way, if something happens to a vehicle before it reaches its destination, it is possible to determine who is financially responsible.
The alliance consists of 100 member companies that are responsible for remarketing vehicles including auto, captive finance, auction and transportation companies.