A typical car auction can bring to mind images of buyers strolling around a big lot looking at lease and rental returns.
Blenheim, Ont.-based RM Sotheby’s does things differently.
Instead of used Silverados and Camrys, it auctions off restored classics from the likes of Porsche and Le Mans. And instead of selling vehicles out of an auction house, it prefers to do so at prestigious events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held every August in California, that attracts buyers of blue-chip cars from around the world.
As RM Sotheby’s COO Alain Squindo said in an interview with Automotive News Canada, “Anyone who’s interested in cars puts (RM auction events) on their calendar.”
RM Auctions, which partnered with Sotheby’s in 2015, brought in $688 million in sales revenue to the company last year on the sale of 784 vehicles, 113 of which sold for more than $1.3 million each, and six of which sold for more than $13 million each.
That’s not bad for a company based in a town of less than 5,000 people.
RM began in 1976 out of founder Rob Myers’ garage as a vehicle restoration business. Over the next 15 years or so, the company – and its sales figures – grew at a rapid pace, to the point where it started its own auction company, RM Auctions, in 1991.