A groundbreaking ceremony in Wilson County, Tenn., Dec. 14 marked the beginning of a new era for Nashville Auto Auction as construction began on a new 14-lane, 265-acre facility.

Joining auction general manager Tim DeBerry at the groundbreaking were executives from Atlanta-based Manheim Auctions, parent company of the auction, and officials from the city of Lebanon, Tenn., and Wilson County. Immediately following the groundbreaking, DeBerry led those Lebanon officials on a tour of the existing seven-lane, 142-acre facility, which has been located at 1450 Lebanon Road in Nashville since the auction was founded in 1954.

The new Nashville Auto Auction is scheduled to open for business in the fourth quarter of 2001. Located in the Eastgate Business Park near the intersection of I-40 and Highway 109 in Lebanon, the auction is initially expected to handle 100,000 cars per year (with capacity to handle twice that many), and will employ more than 400 full- and part-time employees. Nearly 100 full-time jobs will need to be filled once the move is complete. Among the other highlights of the state-of-the-art facility will be:

o A 60,000-square-foot auction building with 14 auction lanes.

o A 15,000-square-foot training center.

o An 87,000-square-foot reconditioning building with detail, mechanical, and paint/body shop all under one roof.

o Car wash and check-in buildings

o Parking for nearly 25,000 vehicles

The auction comes to Wilson County without any special tax benefits, and will not require any additional city services or funds. The new facility is part of a company-wide commitment to facility improvements. Manheim is investing $200 million in 2001 to improve its auctions nationwide after spending $100 million on improvements each of the last four years.

“Nashville has always been one of the hubs of the auto auction business, and this new facility will truly be one of the very best in the industry,” said DeBerry, who was named general manager of the Nashville auction in November after spending two years as the general manager at the Lauderdale-Miami Auto Auction. “As many other fine companies have concluded, Wilson County is a great place to do business. We’re excited to be here, and we’re even more excited about how well we’re going to be able to treat our customers when the new auction, which is about twice as big as our current facility, opens next year.”

The Nashville Auto Auction is one of 20 former ADT Automotive auctions that were acquired by Manheim Auctions when it purchased ADT Automotive this fall. ADT Automotive’s corporate offices were in Nashville.

Other companies with major operations in Wilson County, which is immediately to the east of Nashville’s Davidson County, include Dell Computers, Toshiba, TRW, and Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores.

About Manheim Auctions

Manheim Auctions has been a mainstay in the wholesale automobile auction industry for more than 55 years. With 86 auction locations in North America, as well as operations in Puerto Rico, France, the United Kingdom and Australia, company officials say Manheim is dedicated to helping dealers succeed and to assisting auto manufacturers, fleet and lease companies, banks, and other financial institutions, to sell their used car inventories efficiently and effectively.

The company also offers transaction, reconditioning and certification services, managed remarketing, end-of-lease term management services, vehicle transportation, dealer floor planning, retail inspection, and government auction services.

Manheim Auctions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc, with more than 34,000 employees at its 126 auctions and related businesses; in the year 2000, the company auctioned over seven million vehicles. It is also a facilitator of wholesale and retail used car transactions on the Internet through its Manheim Interactive and AutoTrader.com lines of business. Manheim Auctions’ corporate headquarters is in Atlanta, and its Web site is at www.manheimauctions.com.