Is IARA’s Multi-Platform Bidding System Going to Make It?

by Jon LeSage, edi­tor, Used Car Mar­ket Reports

In a let­ter from Nov. 6, the Inter­na­tion­al Auto­mo­tive Remar­keters Alliance (IARA) affirmed its com­mit­ment to see a cross bid­ding mul­ti-plat­form online remar­ket­ing solu­tion to become wide­ly adopt­ed. Hav­ing a “cen­tral inter­face that allows con­signors to offer vehi­cles on var­i­ous online sites at the same time with con­tin­u­ous bid­ding across all venues” is a win-win for all par­ties involved, includ­ing con­signors, auc­tions, and ser­vice providers. In addi­tion to cen­tral­iz­ing the inter­face across the indus­try, ben­e­fits include cre­at­ing a com­pet­i­tive bid­ding envi­ron­ment, improved sales results, and mak­ing sure the vehi­cle for sale is exposed to the high­est num­ber of buy­ers pos­si­ble.

In addi­tion to mar­ket con­sis­ten­cy, the cen­tral inter­face will cre­ate a com­pet­i­tive bid­ding envi­ron­ment and improve sales results by ensur­ing that a vehi­cle is being exposed to the high­est num­ber of buy­ers pos­si­ble – more eyes on more cars.

But where does it stand now?

Ear­li­er this year, ServNet announced that it had joined ADESA in decid­ing not to par­tic­i­pate in the IARA’s cur­rent­ly pro­posed MPS. The com­pa­ny agrees with ADESA that, as it’s cur­rent­ly struc­tured, the pro­posed MPS would erode com­pe­ti­tion while increas­ing tech­nol­o­gy require­ments and expen­di­tures.

Man­heim, Colum­bus Auto Auc­tion, BSC Amer­i­ca, and WTG Glob­al (Whann Tech­nol­o­gy Group) filed a request with the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice dur­ing the spring seek­ing con­fir­ma­tion that MPS, in its cur­rent form, is in com­pli­ance with antitrust laws. Man­heim and its col­leagues believe MPS would help keep the indus­try on track to pro­duce live transac-tions this year; they think it would dri­ve inno­va­tion and effi­cien­cy to auc­tions, con­signors, and deal­ers. As far as we can tell, they’re still wait­ing to hear back from the Dept. of Jus­tice on it.

As for the lat­est devel­op­ments, IARA did a sur­vey find­ing that 87% of respond­ing IARA con­signors showed sup­port for a cross bid­ding mul­ti-plat­form online remar­ket­ing solu­tion. ARI, Donlen, Emkay, Fis­erv, GM, GM Finan­cial, Hertz, Hyundai Motor Amer­i­ca, Mike Albert Leas­ing, Motor­lease, NextGear Cap­i­tal, U.S. Bank Asset Remark­ing, and World Omni Finan­cial Corp., signed the let­ter in sup­port.

Sev­en addi­tion­al IARA con­sign­or mem­bers “expressed their strong sup­port for the cross bid­ding mul­ti­plat­form sys­tem but could not add their name to this let­ter due to inter­nal com­pa­ny pol­i­cy,” accord­ing to the let­ter. Three IARA con­sign­or mem­bers said they did not active­ly sup­port this ini­tia­tive.

What about auc­tions and ser­vice providers? They’re not men­tioned in the IARA let­ter. There has been a split in the auc­tion indus­try over it, and it’s most like­ly been unre­solved.

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