Auto auctions in Florida last week took a hit in the wake of Hurricane Charley.
Orlando Auto Auction, for example, had to postpone its weekly Monday auction by two days. No, it wasn't because of damage to the site or the vehicles there. Rather, the 11 new-car dealerships within a half mile of the auction were without electricity on Aug. 16 and could not deliver vehicles.
"To change a sale day (is no problem) if you know a month ahead, but to change it on the day (it's scheduled) is difficult," said Greg Foster, general manager of the independent auction company.
"We had to spend a lot of time to make an effort at making a little bit of money this week to cover our payroll."
Foster said the auction ran about 350 vehicles in two lanes instead of its usual 550 in four lanes.
He expects business to increase as dealers recover.
Foster said he would have a bigger sale today, Aug. 23. He said: "I presume they (dealers) will be selling some replacement vehicles and taking some trades. I don't think it will bolster (the auction's) business, but we'll end up about even after the month's come and gone."
Foster said that while a neighboring paint and body shop was swept away and some of the debris landed on about 40 vehicles at his auction, damage to the vehicles was less than $10,000.