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Letter- Exec Dir - Fall 2008

Matthew Marks
IARA Executive Director
September 23, 2008


The recent economic landscape has created serious challenges, but also opportunities for everyone in the remarketing industry. Staffs are being asked to do even more with less. It seems this is a constant request. The IARA Summer Roundtable held last month in Dallas focused on items to help meet these challenges and was a success according to the attendees in providing timely presentations and solid subject matter. The IARA is taking positive action on several items through work in its committees.

The Summer Roundtable is summarized below.

1. The IARA thanks Dr. Ira Silver, PHD, and economist for the NAAA for opening the Roundtable. His presentation was lively, informative, and enjoyable. Terms not usually associated with the word economist in the same sentence. He painted the macro view of the economy to help us understand the current situation and how it affects the remarketing industry.

2. Don Elliott, Servnet, followed with a panel focusing on near term vehicle values. The panel members were Eric Ibara, Kelly Blue Book; Ricky Beggs, Black Book; Joe Spina, Edmunds; Tom Webb, Manheim Consulting. There was a consensus that prices will firm for the larger vehicles as the initial price correction was overdone. Also for the smaller vehicles the prices will soften somewhat as this category had an over reaction in upside value.

3. Don Roccia, VRS, led the Transportation Challenges Panel with members; Mike Bruce, HSBC; Greg Harris, Triad; Tim Martin, LeasePlan USA; Jeff Grandstaff, Insight Transportation. The fuel cost increase has caused many small transporters to exit the business. Some delays are occurring due to waiting for carriers or waiting for a larger loads to build. There is also some movement to use more and thus closer auction locations due to the cost of transport and the timing issues. All agreed that there is a need for consignors and transporters to constantly provide updates on vehicles status.

4. Bob Graham, ARI, led the lively used vehicle dealer’s panel. All agreed that auction promotion items don’t influence their buying decisions, but a hat is a hat. They are paying more for higher fuel-efficient vehicles and are having difficulty selling the large SUV’s and pickups. Financing is now also becoming a problem.

5. Jay Fahrendorff, ABC Minneapolis, (now ADESA), and Mike Bohannon, Triad Financial, co-moderated the Roundtable session on arbitration. After thorough discussions, it was agreed that most of the issues in this area stem from auctions and consignors not following the NAAA Arbitration Policy. The IARA agreed to endorse the NAAA Arbitration Policy and advise its members accordingly.

6. Dave Sutton, VW Credit, and John Brasher, West Coast Auto Auctions, co-moderated the Roundtable on frame damage. The question is whether all frame damage calls are in fact actual frame damage. The NAAA Frame Damage Policy provides the guidelines for what constitutes frame damage. The Roundtable consensus was that both auctions and consignors are not following the policy in all cases. This is a huge issue as the vehicle value reduction as a result of a frame call averages $2,000. In the case of a consignor selling 40,000 vehicles per year with a frame percentage call on 8% of their vehicles, this totals $6,400,000 in lost value. If just 10% of those were not truly frame damaged, the increase in value would be $640,000. As a result of this Roundtable, The IARA Standards Committee chaired by Dave Sutton will explore ways to address this issue as an educational item and also perhaps as a procedural change item. The Committee plans to hold a workshop session on the frame issue at CAR2009.

7. The IARA was proud and pleased to present its 2008 Special Recognition Award to Diane Barton, Manheim, for her outstanding work with the Michael P. Fisher Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center. This unit is one of the country’s only CICU’s designed exclusively to treat children. This is Manheim’s charity of choice. Diane is vice president of customer experience and has 21 years with Manheim.


The IARA is pleased to welcome the following new members for 2008. Graphic Solutions; Dealers AA of the Rockies; Dealers AA of the South West; Greensboro Auto Auction; HSBC; Insight Transportation; Metro Auto Auction (Phoenix); Rapid Remarketing; Vemark; American Auto Auctions; Emkay, Inc.

While in Dallas, nine members took various IARA Certification Tests. There are currently eighteen members in the program. Wheels, Inc recently had three people take some of the tests on site in their office with an outside proctor present. This type of on site testing can be arranged anytime. The first graduating class of IARA Certified Automotive Remarketers (CAR) will be recognized at CAR2009 in Las Vegas, February 25-26. Course signup is available on the website at www.iara.biz. Click on the training tab.

Manheim is now offering the IARA online entry level remarketing courses given through Northwood University to its employees. These twelve courses provide a broad level introduction to the remarketing industry. These courses have been designed to be completed in one hour each with access available 24/7. Continuing education units, (CEU’s), are awarded by Northwood for program completion.

The current slate of IARA Officers has been appointed to serve through August 2009. Steve Houston, Chairman of the Board; Layne Weber, President; Bob Graham, Vice President; Mike Antich, Secretary; Virgil Matczak, Treasurer. Congratulations and thanks for all your time and contributions. Directors with terms to 2011 are Don Fowler, Center One; Dave Alfonso, KIA Motors; Scott Kolb, The SKI Group.

The IARA will also be posting on our website the procedures by Carfax and AutoCheck that are necessary to correct vin information. A separate email to members will also be sent.

The IARA appreciates all the work of its committee members to add value to the remarketing industry. Please contact me anytime if you would like to serve on a committee.

Save the dates for the next IARA meetings. Winter meeting at CAR2009, Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, February 25th ,2009. . IARA 2009 Summer Roundtable meeting; August 17-20th; 2009, Chicago, Fairmont Hotel.

Have a safe winter and give thanks at Thanksgiving for all the blessings we enjoy.

Best regards,

Matthew Marks
Executive Director
International Automotive Remarketers Alliance

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