Test-Driving Options When It Comes To Auto Auctions

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REDWOOD CITY, Calif.-In the automotive remarketing and recovery sectors, there are a number of new opportunities for credit unions to grow beyond the traditional methods CUs have deployed for selling and marketing used vehicles.

That is the message from Zach Hallowell, business line director for Openlane Wholesale Auctions.

Traditionally, Hallowell noted, credit unions have turned to physical automotive auctions to sell lease returns, turn-ins or repossessions. But with Openlane and similar companies, credit unions can partner with online wholesale automotive auctions to market and sell those vehicles on the Web.

"This opens up a new realm of possibilities for credit unions to increase their profits and time-to-sale, as well as reduce depreciation time for turn-ins or repossessions by marketing vehicles to a national online marketplace," he said. "This significantly reduces the costs associated with repossession for credit unions because no physical transport is needed for vehicles-they can be sold directly from an agent's recovery yard."

CUs also receive fair market values for the vehicles they remarket because of the increased exposure to buyers and the bidding process that each vehicle receives, Hallowell added.

Openlane has "a number of partnerships and programs in place" that can help credit unions work together with recovery agents to get vehicles exposure on a national level and have them sold faster than they usually are sold at physical auctions, he continued. The Recovery Database Network (RDN) is a division of Openlane, and the company partners with a number of recovery assignment software vendors to help match credit unions and lenders with recovery agents to assign vehicles out for recovery and upload them for sale on Openlane.com.

"Those vehicles are then exposed to a network of more than 25,000 registered buying dealers nationwide," he said. "We also offer a number of value-added services throughout the sales process to help provide greater transparency to consignors and lenders and provide them peace of mind that the entire process is being taken care of seamlessly from end-to-end."

Examples include the ability for lenders to track vehicle sales online at any time and receive real-time data, reports and condition info on vehicles, third-party inspection services, and nationwide transportation services, he said.

"In addition, Openlane works with the American Recovery Association, a national association for recovery professionals to provide remarketing programs for its members on behalf of their lender and credit union clients."

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