Too busy to get to the auto auction? An alternative may be Manheim Auction's Simulcast auction. Launched in 2003, it allows dealers, from their desks, to bid on vehicles passing through auction lanes.
Manheim has licensed streaming audio and video technology that lets dealers at their computer terminals see in real time the entire lane as well as view and hear the bidding — provided their computers have adequate connection speeds. Almost 96% of the dealers using simulcast have a high-speed connection.
The dealer, in addition to seeing all of the action live, can access a vehicle catalog that links to a condition report and photo of each vehicle passing through the lane.
At each lane, the lane clerk uses a computer to keep track of each bid. Dealers who are actually at the auction can see each online bidding on large plasma screen monitors.
When an online bid is made, the screens flash the dealer's name and bid.
As of December, more than 30,000 vehicles were sold through the Simulcast auctions, generating more than $340 million in sales.
By the end of the year, Simulcast was covering 300 lanes at 70 auctions. Manheim plans to add up to another 300 lanes in 2004.