ATLANTA – Fleet managers and other auto industry professional participated in an in-depth remarketing symposium hosted by the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) Atlanta Chapter and Manheim Sept. 19-20 at the Manheim Drive Center.

Erik Kibler of Manheim presented a remarketing industry overview, pointing out that more than 50 million used vehicles change hands each year in the U.S. He offered several tips to maximize vehicle auction sales including “price to market, announce vehicles accurately, fit the vehicles to the auction buyer audience, and make vehicles frontline ready.”

Industry analysts Maryann Keller and Tom Webb explored the “Macro Factors Impacting Your Portfolios.” Keller, author, speaker, and principal in Maryann Keller and Associates, presented a gloomy assessment of U.S. automotive manufacturing. In her 30-plus years, she said, “I haven’t seen such turmoil in the auto industry in the U.S. There’s no turning back. There will be changes, either an end, or something very different from what we’ve known.” She did note that the U.S. is also the most profitable auto market, “even for imports.” She expects lifecycle costs to grow even more challenging, in terms of what to buy and what options and technologies to put into the vehicles.

According to Webb, Manheim Consulting’s chief economist, the housing market and fuel prices are two significant variables impacting fleet remarketing. He advised that fleet managers are correct to focus on MPG in selecting vehicles, “but not at the expense of depreciation.”

Other highlights of the two-day included presentations on “green” vehicles by Brett Smith of the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan, residual values by Jonathan Banks of Auto Leasing Guide, and online remarketing with Susie Avery from Online Vehicle Exchange. A demonstration of reconditioning services was also presented.

The event concluded with a ride-and-drive featuring popular fleet vehicles from major manufacturers.

Tom Webb, chief economist for Manheim Consulting (left), and Maryann Keller, automotive industry analyst and author, explored the "Macro Factors Impacting Fleet Portfolios" a a two-day remarketing symposium hosted by the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Fleet Adminstrators.

Manheim Drive Center technician Matt Arias explained the "three levels of clean" in the center's reconditioning services for participants in the NAFA Atlanta Chapter / Manheim remarketing symposium.