CARY, N.C. –
Manheim is piloting the return of in-lane bidding at five of its auctions this week, with three more set to follow suite next week, a company spokesperson told Auto Remarketing via email.
The first of these sales is at Manheim Dallas on Tuesday. Others that will pilot in-lane bidding this week are Manheim Kansas City, Manheim Kansas City, Manheim Dallas-Fort Worth, Manheim Darlington and Manheim Tulsa.
Manheim Orlando, Manheim Central Florida and Manheim Lakeland are slated to pilot in-lane bidding starting next week.
Manheim’s auctions have been running in Simulcast-only mode since early in the pandemic. With the in-lane bidding pilot, these select auctions will move into the Digital Block format, where the vehicle remains stationery and bidders view the car on a screen.
In an update letter shared June 9, Manheim president Grace Huang said of this pilot: “This change will require strict protocols, including redesigned auction blocks with Plexiglas guards, new distancing requirements and enhanced safety measures. Should social distancing violations occur, or we experience a rise in COVID-19 hot spots, this pilot program will be suspended.”
Huang and Patrick Brennan, who is senior vice president of Manheim Marketplace, discussed the potential for bringing back in-lane bidders during an interview on June 5.
“We’re probably going to be putting some plans together really centered on and led by safety and social distancing and masks and all sorts of other safety protocols. We want to make sure that we can follow, our team members can follow and our dealers can follow (those measures),” Brennan said at the time. “And we’re probably going to put some pilot locations out there near the end of the month and explore what that looks like.
“That one’s going to be a tough one. We’ve certainly seen this industry for many many years not be able to social distance and follow those types of things — not that we needed to, back then, per se,” Brennan said.
“But it’s going to be very important, based on some of the things we’ve seen in the industry that’s taken place here in the last few weeks to make sure that we do this in the right manner,” he said. “We’re asking for a little bit more patience from our dealers, but we think we’ll be moving in that direction as the summer rolls along here, as we learn a little bit more about it.”