The continued spread of a new coronavirus has prompted Cox Automotive's Manheim and KAR Global’s ADESA to switch all auctions to simulcast-only sales, including Canadian sites.
Both auction giants moved to digital-only sales in Canada and the United States on Monday. KAR said ADESA, the largest auction group in Canada, would be digital-only through at least April 3.
In a statement, Cox Automotive Canada, which owns Manheim Canada, said it was “temporarily hosting all in-lane auctions across Canada via simulcast” and encouraged Canadians to use its digital auction platform, MUVIT.
A Cox Canada spokesman said in an email that the move was effective through the end of March and that it would be “reassessing every day and making decisions as things progress.”
KAR said ADESA would waive simulcast fees for sellers and buyers during the digital-only period.
At ADESA auction locations, dealers will not be allowed on the premises during sales, the company said. The company said its offices, branches and auction locations will otherwise remain open for normal operations.
Cox Automotive Canada said it has implemented staggered work hours and has had employees work from home, among other proactive measures.
Manheim in the United States said it was performing deep cleanings, halting all food service in lanes and at lots, extending cleaning-crew hours, communicating Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measures to employees and clients and telling employees to stay home if they're sick.
Both companies in recent years have expanded their digital offerings. Manheim converted three of its auction sites in the U.S. to be completely digital, Manheim Tucson and the latest, Manheim Houston and Manheim Flint.
Meanwhile, KAR Global's ADESA Seattle location began simulcast-only sales March 10 in response to the outbreak. Washington state, especially the Seattle area, has been one of the hardest-hit parts of the United States, thus far.