ADESA Inc. is ready to grow now that it is spun off from ALLETE Inc., company executives told Automotive News.

Cameron Hitchcock, CFO of ADESA Inc., says the auto auction company could not expand when it was a subsidiary of ALLETE because ADESA could not invest in its own initiatives.

ALLETE owns water, electric and real estate companies. It competed with ADESA for capital and management attention.

As a separate company, ADESA can expand its auction sites and acquire others, Hitchcock told Arlena Sawyers of Automotive News.

In October 2003, ALLETE announced that it was spinning off its automotive holdings to form a separate company. The separation of ADESA took effect last month.

Jim Hallett, president of ADESA Corp., says the subsidiary is adding four lanes at its Manville, N.J., auction.

ADESA Corp.'s site in Montreal also is slated for expansion, and two other expansion projects are being considered, he said.

ADESA Corp. is working with Toyota Financial Services to enable dealers to buy used vehicles from one another over the Internet. A pilot program began Sept. 1 among Toyota and Lexus dealers in California. The program will be available nationwide by Nov. 15.

Chuck Tapp, ADESA Corp.'s executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the initiative will allow the company to refine its Internet sales tool called "Live Block." That program enables dealers to participate in live auctions by computer.

Live Block began in summer 2003. By July 2004 it was installed in more than 90 percent of ADESA Corp.'s auction lanes that serve sellers of commercial vehicles.

Tapp says that customers who bid by computer buy about 6 percent of the vehicles sold in those lanes.