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Manheim/Nissan Hold Historic Mobile Auction Sale

June 10, 2003

More than 9,000 brand-new, hail-damaged Nissan cars and trucks were sold May 30-31 in the largest off-site sale in Manheim Auctions’ history, thanks in large part to Manheim’s ability to quickly create an auto auction on the automaker’s Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant campus, according to the company.

Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC) Remarketing brought in Manheim’s Nashville Auto Auction, located in nearby Mt. Juliet, Tenn., to set up the sale in 10 days’ time. Nissan dealers across the country were called, faxed and e-mailed about the sale. Large blocks of hotel rooms were reserved throughout the area. Tents were set up to cover makeshift auction lanes, registration desks and a hospitality area. Manheim logged and registered all the vehicles and arranged staffing for the massive effort.

“This was an extraordinary situation that produced extraordinary results,” said Michael Moumousis, vice president of national accounts for Manheim. “Great results start with great relationships, and NMAC Remarketing wanted to do something special with this event. In a very short period of time, everyone involved showed a tremendous amount of flexibility and teamwork to get this done the right way, and I think the results were beyond what anyone expected. This is a testament to earning your customer’s business.”

In total, Nissan ran 9,200 vehicles – Altimas, Frontiers, Maximas, Sentras and XTerras – through the six auction lanes Manheim constructed, selling virtually 100 percent of them. More than 830 people, representing 455 Nissan dealerships and 45 states attended the sale, which ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 30, and 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 31.

“When a storm of adversity hits, it takes a unique team effort to overcome challenging circumstances,” said Jim Yates, director of vehicle remarketing, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation. “The Manheim team, working under extreme and tight deadlines, worked hand-in-hand with various Nissan groups to pull together an auction of incredible size and complexity and the result speaks for itself.”

According to the company, dealers also received the red carpet treatment that is Manheim’s trademark. Dozens of on-site staffers were there to make the event as worry-free as possible for attendees. There were gala-style parties on both Thursday and Friday nights for the dealers. The hospitality tent at the “mobile auction” offered free barbeque, snacks and drinks. Free shuttle service was available from hotels, and even from parking areas to the lanes. Sunscreen was provided for those who didn’t think to bring it.

For many Nissan dealers on the new car side of the business, it was a rare chance to see what many used car dealers have known about Manheim and the auction process for years.

“I saw this as an opportunity to acquire a quality product at a discounted price,” said Mark Saliterman, owner of Wayzata Nissan in Minneapolis, Minn., who flew in for the sale and bought 78 vehicles. “But I didn’t expect for the sale to go as smoothly as it did, or for Nissan to sell as many vehicles as they did. It just goes to show that Nissans are in demand right now, and that the competitive bidding environment determines market value. It was like being at a normal Manheim facility, with typical first class service and with every detail covered. Manheim and NMAC Remarketing should be commended for that.”

According to the company, the event would not have been possible without Manheim’s “mobile auction” computer system, which was transported from the company’s Statesville (NC) Auto Auction.

“The computer system that makes up our ‘mobile auction’ technology is truly state-of-the-art,” said Sam Chaple, manager of Nashville Auto Auction. “Normally it is used for much smaller consignment sales. This was the ultimate test for the system, expanding to handle six lanes and more than 9,000 vehicles. It passed with flying colors, and shows just how much Manheim can adapt to our clients’ needs.”

Manheim has offered clients its “mobile auction” services for several years, but never on this scale.

“This was the largest off-site sale in Manheim’s history,” said Kelly Conger, Manheim’s vice president of operations, Midwest. “We basically moved our Nashville Auto Auction operations to the Nissan assembly plant without affecting our normal business in Mt. Juliet. Manheim has the ability to bring buyers and sellers together on this large a scale, and we are pleased that we were part of this incredible event.”

About Manheim Auctions

Manheim Auctions offers services that it says impact every stage of a used vehicle’s life cycle. These include transaction, reconditioning and certification services, managed remarketing, end-of-lease-term management services, vehicle transportation, dealer floor planning, retail inspection and government auction services. The company also assists auto manufacturers, fleet and lease companies, banks and other financial institutions in selling their used vehicle inventories. A technology provider to the wholesale auction industry, Manheim offers technology tools that it says helps dealers and national consignors handle their remarketing transactions more efficiently.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., Manheim Auctions has more than 32,000 employees at its 124 auctions and related businesses. Manheim is a global remarketing organization with 85 auctions in North America and additional operations in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Australia and New Zealand.

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