FAIRFIELD, Calif. --- Copart Inc. on Jan. 1 was issued a U.S. patent for its online auction platform, VB2. The VB2 online auction platform comprises a preliminary bidding session, which allows bidders to access auction items and submit bids, and a real-time virtual auction session.

In other company news, Copart opened its third facility in Kentucky on 21 acres in Walton. The new facility, located 25 miles south of Cincinnati, will serve clients in Kentucky and Ohio. "This new facility will help us meet the growing demand in the greater Cincinnati area," said Copart CEO Willis J. Johnson. "It also expands our footprint so we can better serve our customers by being closer to their vehicles."

Copart provides vehicle remarketing services to process and sell salvage vehicles through a virtual auction-style trading platform, principally to licensed dismantlers, rebuilders and used vehicle dealers and exporters.

Salvage vehicles are either damaged vehicles deemed a total loss for insurance or business purposes, or are recovered stolen vehicles for which an insurance settlement with the vehicle owner has already been made. Copart operates 136 facilities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The VB2 platform allows potential buyers to gauge the interest and price range of an item for auction before the virtual auction is actually conducted. Buyers can selectively monitor and participate in dozens of sales and place bids on the thousands of vehicles auctioned by Copart each business day. This lets buyers allocate their resources to the vehicles they are most likely to buy.

Copart replaced the live auction process with the VB2 online auction platform during its 2004 fiscal year. Currently, all of Copart's 126 North American locations and seven of its 10 locations in the United Kingdom sell completely online using VB2. In fiscal 2007, Copart sold over 1 million cars and vehicles over the Internet using VB2.

"We believe VB2 has had a tremendous impact on the success of Copart," said Johnson. "Since the introduction of VB2, the returns to our sellers have increased over 50 percent as vehicles which were previously purchased primarily by local buyers are now bid on and sold to buyers throughout the world.”

Originally posted on Fleet Financials