The continued spread of a new coronavirus has prompted Cox Automotive's Manheim and KAR Global’s ADESA to switch all auctions to simulcast-only sales. For both companies, the move is effective Monday and runs for at least through April 3.
Both auction giants said they will waive related fees during the period. Their physical locations will operate as usual outside of sales hours and be open to sellers and buyers.
During sale days, Manheim said sellers can still represent their vehicles, but it encourages them to use online seller tools. Buyers can view vehicles on the lot but are asked to "respect social distancing," Manheim said. Buying dealers will not be allowed to enter auction buildings or lanes on sales days.
At ADESA auction locations, dealers will not be allowed on the premises during sales, the company said. The company said its offices, branches and auction locations will otherwise remain open for normal operations.
In addition to the simulcast-only sales, Manheim said it is performing deep cleanings, halting all food service in lanes and at lots, extending cleaning-crew hours, communicating Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measures to employees and clients and telling employees to stay home if they're sick.
Manheim has been running digital-only sales lanes throughout the country and converted three of its auction sites to be completely digital, Manheim Tucson and the latest, Manheim Houston and Manheim Flint.
Meanwhile, KAR Global's ADESA Seattle location began simulcast-only sales March 10 in response to the outbreak. Washington state, especially the Seattle area, has been one of the hardest-hit parts of the U.S. thus far.
Over the past week, the global outbreak of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has had far-reaching effects on American life: Major events and sports seasons have been postponed or canceled, employers are encouraging personnel to work from home and some state governments have been forcing businesses to close or reduce capacity.