TO THE EDITOR:
While I agree with your opinion in "Why the used-car biz remains a fount of innovation" (June 18), I take exception to your exclusive shoutout to ADESA and Manheim.
The 194 independently owned National Auto Auction Association members make up a larger contingent of the wholesale auto auction head count than Manheim and ADESA combined. These primarily family-run businesses invest millions of dollars every year to stay abreast of technologies and processes that make their operations efficient and provide exceptional service to dealers. With technology partners like Auction Edge, Liquid Motors, XCIRA, Velocicast, Integrated Auction Solutions and others, the independent auctions have been at the forefront of innovation. From the formation of AutoIMS to move data to and from commercial accounts, to the development of mobile applications that help dealers locate vehicles on auction lots and streamline the checkout process, and to photo booth pictures without the vehicle even stopping, independent auctions have been instrumental in the development and implementation of cutting-edge technologies and processes that have changed the way business is done at commercial auto auctions across the country.
Independent auctions are also not beyond embracing programs operated by the two auction chains, making financing available through NextGear and AFC, posting vehicles on ADESA's and Manheim's online platforms OpenLane and OVE, offering dealer-focused products like Cox Automotive's DealShield and adopting condition report standards like AutoGrade (developed by Manheim).
Any conversation of used-car business innovation should include the contributions of these family-run businesses. Anything less smacks of bias and is self-serving.
PIERRE PONS, CEO, ServNet, Franklin, Tenn., ServNet is a network of independent auto auctions across the U.S.