While digital auction sales will continue to grow, it remains to be seen how much of the industry’s wholesale auction volume eventually will go online and by how much that will pull sales from physical auctions.
The two largest players — Cox Automotive’s Manheim unit and KAR Auction Services’ ADESA arm — are not sitting idly by for the answers. Both are diving headlong into the digital space, offering new tools for wholesale buyers and sellers to more efficiently move vehicles. As such tools spread, digital auction volume will no doubt dominate the market, estimated to be about 10 million vehicles in 2018.
At Manheim, about 43 percent of transactions are now digital.