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Commercial Consignors Find Sales Success with New In-lane Digital Block Format
Dealers enjoy virtual cafe as they bid on commercial vehicles at Manheim Central Florida

In expectation of the influx of off-lease vehicles, Manheim is working with commercial clients to find the most efficient ways to move inventory. Manheim Central Florida has developed the Digital Block sale as a transition experience for buyers who prefer the live auction while using enhanced imaging, digital tools and online sales to drive efficiency and reduce operational costs.

“A few benefits of the digital block format are faster sales, enhanced imaging, and more importantly a feel of exclusivity,” said Butch Herdegen, general manager of Manheim Central Florida. ”The dedicated sale space and specialized format really differentiate their sale.”

In a Digital Block sale, buyers gather in a lounge-like space set up in Lane 14. A live auctioneer calls the vehicles as they show up on the big screen and takes their bids. Buyers also attend online via Simulcast. No cars actually run through the lanes, but they have enhanced imaging and a complete credit report available for buyers to consider.

“The majority of the feedback has been positive. Online buyers enjoy the enhanced, high-quality images. In-lane buyers enjoy the atmosphere and comfortable buying environment,” said Herdegen. “They like being able to sit and buy cars at a high top table while eating a snack and scrolling through the Condition Report on their tablet.”

By not driving the vehicles through the lanes, there is less risk, the sales process runs more efficiently, no cars get out of run order, run out of gas or do things that distract buyers and it takes fewer people to staff the sale. However, many clients still find comfort in being able to see, smell and touch the inventory, so vehicles listed in the sale are parked nearby. Buyers have the opportunity to walk the lot and inspect the vehicles before or during the actual sale.

“I think the concept is a complete success and a nice step in our evolution towards more and more virtual/digitally based sales,” said Paul Hickman, VW Credit, Inc. Central Region Manager, Auction Operations who hosts Digital Block sales at Manheim.

The Manheim Central Florida team is holding sales in its Digital Block format once a month with seven such sales hosted this year resulting in an overall sales rate of 96 percent.

“We see great potential for the Digital Block sale format,” added Herdegen. “From standard consignor based sales to special inventory sales, Manheim Central Florida plans on making the most of this great new sale opportunity and we expect other locations will soon be offering this format as well.”

This story ran on Auto Remarketing: Manheim Goes Digital to Handle Influx of Off-lease Vehicles (11.29.16)