Saab Cars USA and Saab Financial Services Corp. hosted the first Simulcast Auction at Manheim AA using the new on-line Manheim system. According to the companies, the Manheim Simulcast system allows remote buyers to view, hear, and purchase vehicles that are running in the conventional sales lane at Manheim AA. The first sale was on December 18 and was attended by over 20 buyers on-line along with more than 35 bidders in the conventional auction lane. Saab Financial Services Corporation said it sold over 35 vehicles to "on-line" bidders with close to 400 accepted bids recorded on the system.
Heather Stewart, director of operations for Saab Cars USA commented that she thought this on-line product from Manheim would have a tremendous impact on increasing the Saab buyer’s involvement in the remarketing program. "This product allows us to reach our entire dealer network regardless of the time or location of our sales," Stewart said. Director of Remarketing for Saab Financial Services Corp., Larry Janus, believes that the convenience of the system is only half the story. "We feel strongly that if we can just get 5 to 10 more dealers involved and buying our vehicles on-line it would help our used vehicle values tremendously." When Greg Gehman, general manager of Manheim AA was asked for his comment he stated, "Since our founding in 1945 Manheim has been known as the 'Top of the Market' in vehicle remarketing with our brick and mortar facility and excellent customer service. With the technological marriage of 'on the block' and 'on line' bidding, I feel that we have postured our operation to be of maximum advantage to Saab Cars USA, Saab Financial Services, and those consignors who may follow and particularly to the purchasing dealers."