The Manheim mobile auction unit

Manheim Mobile Auction Unit sells over £1 million-worth of vans in first year


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Manheim introduced its Mobile Auction Unit at The Commercial Vehicle Show in 2015, and since then, the uniquely advanced vehicle has directly assisted the sale of more than £1 million-worth of vans. It has helped to sell almost every type of commercial vehicle, from car-derived vans to an agricultural tractor.

Manheim's Mobile Auction UnitThe award-winning Mobile Auction Unit, which uses mobile technology to create a physical and online auction environment in any location, has achieved great results for a number of vendors since its launch 12 months ago. It provides a significant benefit for vendors pushing their assets into the wholesale market, as hundreds of buyers can attend in person, or join live via the Simulcast bidding platform.

It has been set up on the banks of the River Thames to host the UK’s first offsite outdoor vehicle auction for Citroën UK, which achieved a 100% conversion rate on more than 220 vehicles; and hosted an auction at Hitachi Capital’s HQ in Trowbridge for a selection of premium commercial vehicles, which achieved a 96% conversion rate and an average selling price performance of 113% against guide.

More than 500 buyers have used its on-board technology to remotely join commercial vehicle auctions, which have accepted more than 1,000 bids in total. The growth in online commercial vehicle sales is increasing, with a record one in three units sold through Manheim’s online sales channels in 2015 overall, and that figure reaching 49% in February 2016.

In 2015, Manheim sold 18% more vans than in 2014, and observed year-on-year volume increases of nearly 20% at the start of 2016. With these pressures, vendors are not only looking towards physical auction centres to help achieve their remarketing objectives, but also to online sales channels that are unconstrained by location and time slots.

Matthew Davock at a mobile auctionTo meet the growing demand from online buyers, Manheim needed a world-class connectivity solution to bring buyers remotely to offsite auctions. The Mobile Auction Unit uses Manheim’s Simulcast online bidding platform combined with state-of-the-art Viprinet hardware, which blends four separate 3G and 4G signals from different mobile data providers’ SIM cards to ensure the greatest connectivity, anywhere in the UK. It can also broadcast a localised WiFi service to assist buyers who attend in person if their mobile data signal is poor.

Based on a Volkswagen Amarok Ultimate 4x4 double-cab pick-up, it features a unique rostrum structure in the load bay, a waterproof public address system, TV screen and webcam. The Mobile Auction Unit is driven to the remote auction venue and along with Manheim’s team of commercial vehicle experts.

Manheim offers the broadest possible range of remarketing sales channels, from physical auctions at 17 centres across the UK, to online-only Bid and Buy Now events. The Mobile Auction Unit provides a bespoke sales channel for a vendor to use at any location, at any time, providing the greatest possible flexibility and reducing the logistics costs and time taken to get stock on sale.

Vendors can avoid potential logistical challenges and the associated cost of transporting stock. There is also a benefit of reduced days in stock, which can be weeks or months in the case of specialist assets that are typically sold infrequently at physical auctions.

By engaging the largest possible active online and physical audience, Manheim ensures that it delivers the greatest number of national and international buyers to help achieve maximum values.

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