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Letter - Exec Dir - Fall 2007

Matthew Marks
IARA Executive Director
September 14, 2007

Greetings:

Greetings and best regards to all IARA members. I am pleased to report that The IARA continues to become a stronger organization thanks to the volunteer commitment from its members. The monthly meetings of the Board of Directors and Committees are the heart of how the Alliance functions. Committee participation is welcome anytime. Just contact me for information.

1. Two new Board members have been selected since our last newsletter. Jeff Bescher, ADESA, replaces Warren Byrd, and Chuck Novince, Manheim, replaces Nick Peluso. Welcome to both new members and many thanks to Nick and Warren for their support.

2. New IARA members since this past spring include; HSBC; Citi Financial; Greensboro Auto Auction; Metro Auto Auction, Phoenix; Rea Brothers Mid South Auction; Orlando Longwood Auto Auction; and Vehicle Donation Processing Center. The membership committee under the leadership of Don Fowler continues its strong work. Thanks to all committee members for their time and effort.

3. A new Meeting Site Selection Committee, chaired by Sharon Loguidice, Tri-State AA, Cicero, NY, has been formed to locate the 2008 Summer IARA Roundtable meeting. The committee has selected Dallas, Texas, as the next location with meeting dates of Tuesday, August 19th to Thursday, August 21st, 2008. Mark your calendars and watch for further meeting details.

The 2008 Winter/Spring IARA Roundtable will be held in conjunction with CAR in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, Wednesday, March 26th to the 28th. The IARA portion of the meeting will commence March 26th, at noon, with the Circle of Excellence Award Luncheon.

4. PLEASE NOTE!! There is a “Members Only” area now active on our redesigned and enhanced IARA website. It contains a search feature to find contact information on members and a member’s library, which will become a valuable resource for members. Currently the area contains the past three months of used vehicle proprietary data analytics from NADA. This data is not available anywhere else.

The section also contains the Salvage Vehicle presentation by Michael Lasini at the IARA July Roundtable, and the Performance Metrics study results conducted on behalf of IARA at the beginning of 2007. The other presentations made at the July Roundtable will also be added. Please let me know if you have any problems accessing this section. We will be adding content periodically. Please send any suggestions you may have for material that should be included in this section.

5. Congratulations are in order for those who took the first series of tests in the IARA Certified Automotive Remarketer (CAR) Program while attending the IARA Roundtable in Cincinnati. Participants were; Glenn Dykes, Wheels; Chris Wise, Charleston AA; Jill Tarallo, Network Remarketing; Mike Antich, Bobit Media; Ricky Beggs, Black Book; Scott Kolb, The SKI Group; and yours truly, Matt Marks. Two others could not make the meeting and will be tested later. There were five courses available for testing with a total of 110 questions. With 75% as the passing grade, only one person failed to pass one test. All agreed that the total time of one and a half to two hours of concentrated testing was a real strong examination of the subject matter. We plan to release the next five courses within the next thirty days and have all 25 completed by year-end. Please continue to check the website (http://www.iara.biz) for the CAR Program information and course releases.

6. The Summer Roundtable in Cincinnati was one of the best according to the nearly one hundred attendees. The strong topic content along with the strength of the presenters made for a very professional education session.

The first panel was the Salvage panel led by Pat Walsh. The panel presented ways to appraise a salvage vehicle by assessing the 10-12 most valuable items on the vehicle. It was also highly recommended that salvage vehicles not be included in a regular vehicle sale as this is not the right buyer audience. A used car dealer may pay only one hundred or two hundred dollars at a regular auction, but a parts dealer may pay over a thousand dollars for the same vehicle at a salvage auction. Thanks to panel participants Mike Lasini; Doug Jensen; Kevin Heersink; and Doug Mellette.

The Used Car Dealer Centric panel followed with Layne Weber of Citi Financial leading the panel discussion about what used car dealers look for when buying vehicles. All agreed that better photos are a must when using the internet. Auction promotions are nice but do not influence buying decisions. Certifications and warranties are not that important. The biggest factor in influencing a positive outcome of a sale is the consignor’s willingness to sell the “first” vehicle in the run sequence regardless of the price. If this happens, then the buyers know the consignor is here to “sell” and not just stick to the floor price on all their vehicles. This will prompt more aggressive bidding, otherwise a “hard price” position on the first offered vehicle will dampen buyer enthusiasm. Thanks and appreciation to the dealer panelists; Mike Schwab of ACRA Automotive Group; Doug Turner, of J. D. Byrider; Rick Slanker, of Voss Auto Group.

7. The Performance Metrics Roundtable led by Dave Sutton, VW Credit, and Jill Tarallo, Network Remarketing, focused on what groups and subgroups should be defined before a metrics study takes place. Any data collected would be presented so you can compare yourself to the group or subgroup. Subgroups may be defined as daily rentals; lease; balloon; company vehicles; repos; theft; salvage (as defined by title). A geography overlay would be included as per the 6 regions listed in the Black Book.

The Grading Scale and Inspections Roundtable led by Bob Graham, ARI Fleet, and Jay Fahrendorf, ABC Minneapolis, discussed the issues involved with the use and adoption of the NAAA Vehicle Grading Scale. Most agreed that there are too many Grade 3 vehicles. Inspectors tend to rate most vehicles as average. One suggestion to improve the scale’s consistency, was to have the CR’s system produce the grade automatically. IARA will continue to explore ways to facilitate the grading scale.

8. The last two panels featured discussions on Data Mining, and Specialty Sales. Lynn Morgan, Manheim Consulting, led the Data Mining panel. The discussion centered on using data mining techniques to drive remarketing decisions. Standardization of the data is a must. Black Book’s terms definition was recommended. Panelists presented examples of how they use data mining. Panelists included Don Meadows, Auto IMS; David Lever. NMAC; Ty Brewer, Servnet Auction Pipeline; Tom Kontos, ADESA.

Karen Braddy, Manheim, led the final panel on Specialty Equipment/Boats/Motorcycles/RV’s. This classification includes all non-vehicles. Most sales are online sales with a heavy use of photos and videos. Some items such as large RV’s can be certified with an intensive inspection. There is also a large overseas buyer audience for these types of assets.

Ricky Beggs from Black Book stated that Black Book has been licensing data on these types of assets since 1998. They now publish data 12 times per year including classifications for condition.

David Woods of Harley-Davidson, stated that used bikes are not that popular with new H/D Dealers. Need for more education on potential for profits on used bikes. He indicated that the Fall and Winter months are high repo months for bikes and that there is a huge seasonality swing for bike sales. In addition to Woods and Beggs on the panel were; Tom Thornton, M&T Bank; Mark Melton, Brashers Auctions.

9. In closing, I want to mention that there is on going discussions with AFLA, Automotive Fleet Leasing Association, on the prospect of a partnership between our two organizations.

Finally, it is a pleasure to work with so many fine professionals in this industry on common goals to enhance the remarketing business segment. Please contact me any time with ideas, suggestions, complaints, or items of interest. Looking forward to seeing as many as possible at upcoming Industry Conferences.

Have a safe Winter Season.

Best regards,
Matthew Marks
Executive Director
International Automotive Remarketers Alliance

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