Manheim ExportTrader.com has joined forces with a Japanese auction company to make Manheim's used-vehicle offerings available to more dealers outside the United States.
The agreement with Arai Auto Auctions, of Tokyo, will add about 10,000 dealers from around the world to Manheim's potential customer base, said Scott Stephens, general manager of Manheim Export, which oversees Manheim's export activities.
More bidders buoy wholesale prices of vehicles owned by sellers such as auto companies, financial institutions, rental fleets and dealers, Stephens said.
The addition of overseas buyers, therefore, is good news for sellers of used vehicles at Manheim auctions. But it also means auction buyers will face even more competition for scarce and increasingly expensive used cars and trucks.
"There are 10,000 buyers viewing cars that weren't there a month ago, coming from overseas and from markets primarily served by Japanese auction houses," Stephens said. "They've been buying right-hand-drive cars.
"Now we're saying, 'Look at the population of cars out there, and these are left-hand-drive cars.' We're seeing a massive flow of interest in U.S. vehicles from this dealer base."
Manheim ExportTrader, a joint venture between Manheim and ExportTrader.com, of Toronto, was created two years ago to help dealers outside the United States buy vehicles at Manheim's U.S. auctions.
Dealers who are registered on the ExportTrader.com Web site can buy vehicles from Manheim online and have them shipped anywhere in the world, Stephens said. The site also can handle such details as title transactions, financing, arbitration and customs clearances.
Stephens said many vehicles available at Japanese auctions are purchased by dealers who export them to other markets, including eastern Europe and the Middle East. Few of those vehicles stay in Japan.
"We are the conduit between a massive foreign buying population and our U.S. domestic operation," Stephens said. "We make sure foreign buyers can buy in our lanes with minimal disruption."