Manheim has announced that Lynn Morgan has been named executive director of the new Manheim DRIVE (Development, Research, Innovation, Vision, Excellence) Center, which is slated to open in fall 2004. She reports to Ralph Liniado, senior vice president of business development.

The 145,000-sq.-ft. Manheim DRIVE Center, located on a fully developed 30-acre site just minutes from Atlanta in Stockbridge, Ga., is designed to be a full-service remarketing laboratory for both Manheim and its customers. As such, DRIVE will focus on concept development, execution, evaluation, and rollout of new products and services. The Center’s research and development labs also will be used to further enhance existing services, such as Simulcast, electronic condition reporting and automated image capture. In addition, the DRIVE staff will be testing new ideas and concepts, such as biometric identification and RFID (radio frequency identification) locating systems, to determine their viability.

DRIVE features a 180-seat bidding theater, where customers can hold auction sales that will be administered by auction staff from one of Manheim’s three nearby Atlanta auction facilities. The bidding theater will allow dealers to participate in Simulcast sales, book travel arrangements, and order lunch without ever having to leave their seat or the sale.

In addition to being a research and development and testing center, DRIVE will be an interactive training facility for employees, executive staff, and customers. DRIVE features fully equipped classrooms and lecture halls, and the center’s instructors will be able to provide customized curriculums based on the specific needs of Manheim employees or its customers. Manheim’s Nashville-based National Technical Center and its staff will relocate later this summer to DRIVE, which also features full-scale reconditioning shops.

Morgan joins Manheim with 14 years of experience at Cox Enterprises, Manheim’s parent company. She began her career with Cox in 1989, working as an editorial publicist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one of Cox’s many newspapers. After leaving the company for one year, she returned to Cox Enterprises in 1995 as an event marketing manager and managed the 1996 Summer Olympic Games program for Cox businesses nationally and internationally. In 1997, Morgan was promoted to director of sales development. In that role, she developed and managed sales programs for all of Cox’s multiple businesses.

In 1999, Morgan was named general manager of Cox Pro Sports and launched and managed the company’s two professional sports teams – the Atlanta Beat and the San Diego Spirit of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA). Two years later, she became president and chief executive officer of WUSA and served in that capacity until joining Manheim.