ATLANTA – Manheim’s leadership team today signaled their full support for the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) and its National Certification Standard (NCS) Program, set to debut Jan. 1, 2011.

David Munnikhuysen, vice president, strategic initiatives, said Manheim intends to fully adopt the standards, which create for the first time a uniform system for the wholesale certification of used vehicles traded at NAAA member auctions. Munnikhuysen also is a member of the NAAA committee that will monitor the performance of the NCS program throughout the country.

“Everyone wins with the implementation of these easy-to-use certification standards,” Munnikhuysen said. “By scoring vehicles according to carefully selected criteria, auctions will ensure buyers and sellers have a clear method for comparing inventory anywhere or anytime, whether it’s in-lane or online.”

“Manheim will be fully ready to implement the new certification standards,” he said. “This new level of transparency only serves to promote more trust and confidence among auctions, buyers and sellers. It’s beneficial to our industry and our customers.”

Using the new NCS program, vehicles will be scored on such things as exterior condition, mechanical operation, mileage and other criteria. Their score will determine if vehicles fall into one of three tiers or condition levels:

  • Platinum: Exceptional overall cosmetic and mechanical conditioning; the highest quality vehicle

  • Gold: Cosmetically and mechanically sound overall; very good condition for model year and mileage

  • Silver: Primarily a mechanical guarantee with some minimal cosmetic issues; average condition for model year and mileage

    Mike Broe, executive vice president, U.S. Operations, Manheim, said wholesale certification can be confusing for dealers who buy used vehicles at auctions, because some sellers have their own certification criteria. What may pass for one auction’s gold standard may not measure up to the gold standard of others. “The NCS program removes any ambiguities,” said Broe. “By setting the bar with 48 standard criteria and three certification levels, a buyer now will have good idea about what they’re buying at auction.”

    “This is critical, since today’s auctions provide buyers and sellers with inventory options around the clock,” Broe said. “When you buy something new online, you know what you’re getting. But when you buy something used, you need pictures, you need a comfort level that you’re getting a vehicle as advertised. I’m proud that NAAA and our industry as a whole have stepped up to standardize this process for everyone’s benefit.”

    Manheim’s adoption of the standards remains in line with its mission to make the remarketing process as seamless as possible for its customers by ensuring accuracy and consistency across all physical locations and online channels.