John Hammer, 47, returns to ADESA as president of the auction company today. Here are excerpts from a wide-ranging interview with reporter Jesse Snyder.
Q. What's the future of the auto auction business?
A. The auto auction industry is a marketplace that's really ripe for change. There's a lot of runway there for us to grow.
ADESA impacts the customer experience. At every touch point, we have data and technology that our customers want and need. We want to be faster and better.
Your parent company, KAR Auction Services Inc., has many parts and services beyond the ADESA auction in its structure. What's your objective?
KAR is unique because we touch all aspects of the remarketing industry — auctions support, finance … the Cars Arrive [transportation service]. We'll be piecing all that together from a customer perspective.
For many of our customers, an auction is necessary but it's not a core function. It's not central to what they do as a business. They may need to sell repos, sell used vehicles or to buy some vehicles. But that's not what they do. So we make the auction as easy as possible for them.
ADESA and KAR have used acquisitions as a way of creating a technology services department. Will you continue making acquisitions?
More acquisitions? We're a publicly owned company, so I have to be careful about discussing future actions. But like [KAR Chairman] Jim Hallett has said, past performance is often a predictor for future performance. You've seen a lot of acquisitions. We have used acquisitions and created partnerships.