The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Spotlight on Key Fleet Remarketing Leaders: Past and Present

Vehicle remarketing has come a long way since J.D. Rawls held his first auction in 1938. As these 23 leaders show, the industry continues to grow and evolve.

September 2012, by Staff

Vehicle remarketing is a relative newcomer to the automotive scene — born less than 75 years ago when J.M. Rawls held the first auto auction in Leesville, S.C., but it has rapidly matured with a cadre of professionals who specialize in the field and have transformed it into an important part of the automotive and fleet market with the use of both brick-and-mortar auctions and the Internet to remarket vehicles to a mass audience. While highly competitive, the remarketing industry is also very collegial as industry organizations such as the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA) and the National Association of Automotive Auctions (NAAA), and others attest.

Below are 23 of the remarketing industry’s notable consignors who have had a hand in shaping and guiding the evolution of the commercial fleet remarketing industry.

Darrin Aiken

Wheels, Inc.
● Assistant Vice President of Vehicle Remarketing

Aiken has been in the automotive industry for more than 25 years. In 1989, he began working for Wheels, Inc., launching his remarketing career. He was promoted to director of remarketing in 1997 and to assistant vice president of vehicle remarketing in 1999.

Aiken is a member of the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA), the Used Truck Association, and the National Association of Fleet Resale Dealers (NAFRD). He also serves on the Manheim Client Advisory Board and the ADESA Advisory Board, and has taught remarketing courses for the NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA).

Bob Brehm

Emkay, Inc.
● Assistant Vice President (retired)

Brehm was with Emkay from 1969 until retiring in 2003 as assistant vice president. He started as the fleet maintenance manager and was promoted shortly thereafter to the fleet remarketing department.

Brehm’s primary goal was to quickly merchandise a potential off-lease unit prior to the lease-end and the delivery of the replacement vehicle. To quickly offer the off-lease unit for sale, Brehm used both wholesalers and auctions throughout the area to secure the unit and ready it for sale in the shortest time possible.

Greg Carson

● Union Leasing
● Director, Fleet Operations

Carson is the director of fleet operations for Chicago-based Union Leasing. Carson has been serving the fleet industry in various capacities dating back to 1987. He established fleet service programs for several national leasing companies, and developed direct repair networks for the accident management and insurance business segments.

William Cieslak

● PHH Arval
● Vice President, North American Remarketing

Cieslak is responsible for PHH Arval’s remarketing operations for cars, light, and heavy trucks, as well as managing PHH’s network of new vehicle dealers. Cieslak joined PHH Arval in 1986 when PHH acquired Avis Leasing Corp., and has been a driving force behind the consistent excellence of PHH Arval’s remarketing results.

He is a recognized industry expert in the marketing of used vehicles, residual forecasting/realization, and supplier management.

James Crocker

Merchants Leasing
● Director of Fleet Operations

Crocker joined Merchants Leasing with more than 15 years of experience in the automotive industry within the operations realm. His Merchants’ tenure began in 2009 in the maintenance management department where he developed an in-house team to manage clients’ maintenance needs. Following that position, Crocker managed Merchants’ Fleet Services, which included telematics, roadside assistance, and more.

Currently, he is director of fleet operations, overseeing purchasing, remarketing, and logistics. Crocker helped develop and implement a multichannel method to remarket off-lease vehicles, which has allowed Merchants to determine the best avenue to remarket vehicles based on a multitude of factors.

Chuck Davis

PHH Arval
● Vice President, Used-Vehicle Sales (retired)

Davis was vice president of PHH Arval’s used-vehicle sales department from 1983 until his retirement in 2005. During his tenure in this position, the department broke new ground in used-vehicle sales channels and performance and became a leading used-vehicle remarketer in the fleet industry. Davis joined PHH in 1974. He moved into used-car sales in 1978 and was promoted to vice president in 1983.

Robert Ferraresso

● Motorlease Corporation
● Vice President (retired)

Ferraresso joined Motorlease Corporation in 1963 in the company’s maintenance department, and was promoted to maintenance manager, operations manager, and vice president before retiring in 2006 after 44 years with the company. He was instrumental in making the full maintenance offering successful with clients. As operations manager, he took on the automotive remarketing role.

He led the company’s efforts as it began to aggressively remarket to its own lessees — with attractive financing, used-car warranties, and pricing close to wholesale as well as working directly with auction facilities. Subsequently, Ferraresso helped Motorlease set up the company’s retail used-car lot for premier used cars as well. Later, the Internet afforded Motorlease, along with other leasing companies, entirely new opportunities for remarketing, and doing business in general.

Bob Graham

ARI – Automotive Resources International
● Vice President, Vehicle Remarketing

Graham joined ARI – Automotive Resources International in 1973. He began in the new-vehicle ordering area, moved to the maintenance management department, then to vehicle remarketing where he became manager, director, and then vice president in 2010.

He is a former officer and director with the National Association of Fleet Resale Dealers (NAFRD) and was honored as its Fleet Person of the Year for 1990-1991.

Graham has also been actively involved in the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA) for the last several years, serving as director, vice president, and president of the Alliance.
He also serves on the Manheim and ADESA Auctions Client Advisory Boards.

Frank Grochal

● ARI – Automotive Resources International
● Vice President, Vehicle Remarketing (retired)

Grochal, former vice president of vehicle remarketing, ARI – Automotive Resources International, retired from the company in 2005 after a successful career spanning six decades. His tenure at ARI began after graduating high school, starting as a clerk and working his way up to vice president of vehicle remarketing.

Grochal was one of the first industry professionals honored by the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA). In 1983, he was inducted into its Hall of Fame.

In 2003, Grochal was recognized for his 50-year milestone of service to ARI and the automotive industry. He was singled out by the NAAA and National Association of Fleet Resale Dealers (NAFRD) organizations and presented with special awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from NAFRD.

Arthur Lewis

American Leasing Corp.

Lewis started his career more than 50 years ago remarketing off-lease vehicles for American Leasing at N.A.D.E. (now Manheim New Jersey), which was the sister auction to Manheim, Pa. These were the two original Manheim auctions.

The general manager, Warren Young, was considered an “icon” in the auction industry, and mentored Lewis, who quickly learned that the proper reconditioning of vehicles was essential.

Lewis continued remarketing off-lease vehicles from American Leasing, in addition to purchasing vehicles from large fleets, other lease companies, rental companies, dealers, etc. to re-wholesale as well as export.
In recent years, with his son Daniel on board as vice president, the company has transitioned to the era of Internet remarketing, allowing it to reach buyers worldwide.

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