ATLANTA — Toyota Financial Services (TFS) saw a 17% rise in conversion rates during a 16-week trial of Manheim’s Enhanced Vehicle Imaging. The results of the trial were documented in a recent case study released by both organizations.

TFS formed a partnership with Manheim to implement the EVI technology. The company was looking for a more efficient way to sell its inventory since moving from lane sales to online sales.

The trial looked at TFS online auction sales from February to April 2014 at Manheim Ohio and Manheim Phoenix. Using EVI, TFS achieved a 17% gain in conversion rates to 62% in a sample size of nearly 2,700 vehicles. Results also showed a 26% rise in the number of bids and a 1.1% increase in retention value — an increase of $132 per vehicle.

“Making buying decisions without actually seeing a vehicle first hand was difficult for many dealers,” said Mike Reid, national remarketing manager for TFS. “But with Enhanced Imaging, our dealers are able to view their target vehicle inventory online very similarly to the physical auction lane.”

EVI provides high resolution images of vehicles help sell vehicles online. The improved package, offered with Manheim InSight ECR Condition Reports, provides customers up to 18 vehicle images, heat map graphics to assess vehicle condition, and a dedicated photo staff to ensure consistent image quality across all Manheim locations.

TFS fully adopted EVI for all of its vehicles consigned at the 20 Manheim operation locations with the product in May 2014. It expects more than 65,000 vehicles at those locations to go through the EVI process in 2015. Since the trial, Manheim has an additional location with EVI with Manheim Toronto.

In addition to the improved sales results, arbitration cases dropped 17% and customer satisfaction rose, according to Manheim. Surveys conducted before and after the trial indicated that the new images have improved the perception of Manheim Condition Reports versus the competition by 18%, and overall perception of CRs had risen by 15%.

“The feedback has been positive for EVI, an innovative product designed to help our customers showcase vehicles better,” said Bonnie Hensler, vice president of product development for Manheim. “As 21 of our operating locations already have the EVI photo booths in place, we are expanding the program to include other OEMs.”