Manheim said Monday it is adding 12 more auction sites where it's allowing dealers to bid in-lane, bringing its total to 17 such locations. The latest pilot locations include Manheim Denver, Manheim Nevada and Manheim Utah.
While bidders are allowed in lanes, vehicles are still not running through them, instead being shown on large screens as part of "digital blocks" with simulcast.
The Cox Automotive company first began allowing bidders to return to lanes at five pilot locations the week of June 22. It had planned on adding three additional sites in Florida, but postponed those amid rising levels of the novel coronavirus. Other pilots could also be postponed, based on the state of the virus.
"As we continue to move forward with our re-opening plans, we saw great success with our return to in-lane bidding at our five initial pilot sites," Alan Lang, Manheim's division vice president, said in a release. Lang added that the company adheres to "strict safety protocols" at the pilot sites, such as requiring facial coverings, social distancing and a daily review of pandemic data in each market.
"Should the data continue to support a safe environment for team members and clients, we anticipate moving forward with a larger group of locations by mid-July," Lang said.
Manheim and KAR Global's ADESA said on March 16 they would switch to digital-only auctions, as the virus outbreak began triggering stay-at-home orders in some parts of the U.S.
Some independent auctions continued to operate with buyers in lanes throughout the height of the pandemic, depending on where they were located.
ADESA brought in-lane bidders back several weeks ago, starting with seven locations. It was up to 22 locations last week.