Manheim Colchester's New USA-Style Auction Underway

A £1.5million development at Manheim Colchester has just commenced which will see Europe’s largest auction site adopt a new multi-lane auction format. Modelled on Manheim’s USA auction concept, four individual sales lanes will run simultaneously in one massive sales arena.

Once the building work is completed by mid 2007, the 52-acre Colchester site will be able to offer the highest vehicle throughput of any auction outside of the USA. Around 170,000 vehicles will go under the hammer each year and the uniqueness of the new development will allow the great majority to be offered during prime selling times.

To start with, each of the four lanes will have one auctioneer but, with the ever growing demand from vendors and buyers, Manheim expects to fully adopt the USA practice of two auctioneers per lane. This will further increase the capacity and create the most electric and atmospheric auction environment anywhere in Europe.

John Bailey, Manheim’s Chief Executive said: “We have been looking closely at the USA multi-lane concept for some time and Colchester is well placed to be the first of its kind in the UK. At 52-acres, it certainly has the physical capacity and with more fleet, manufacturer and dealer vendors wanting to sell there, it just makes so much sense. We’ve also conducted extensive research amongst the 8,500 individual buyers who come to Colchester each year and they are really up for it.”

Putting these numbers into perspective, the scale of operations at Manheim’s US flagship site in a town where the company derives its name, Manheim in Pennsylvania, has to be seen to be believed. Sitting on 450 acres there are 30 co-joined auction lanes, spanning 200 metres wide, all running simultaneously. Each lane has two auctioneers and in total over 10,000 vehicles are offered on a single sale day!

Back in the UK, Manheim intend to pilot the new concept for 12 months, before making a decision on whether to adopt a similar approach at some of the other larger sites in its19-strong network.

Ensuring the project is given first hand experience is American Ken Gmiter, over in the UK on a year-long stint as Colchester’s general manager. Ken’s role back home is as centre manager of Manheim’s 111-acre Fort Worth auction in Texas

2 January 2007 Staff

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