ATLANTA - In response to strong sales performance and improved efficiencies, Sonic Automotive, one of the nation's top three auto retailers, extended its two-year exclusive agreement with Manheim ( Going forward, as a result of its successful relationship with Manheim, Sonic also plans to include Electronic Condition Reports (ECRs) on all vehicles sold.

"Our commitment last year to move and consolidate Sonic's auction business from competing locations to Manheim locations is the best wholesale move we could have made," said Hal McLarty, vice president, Sonic. "We appreciate the support the Manheim team gives us, and we look forward to a great partnership in 2012."

"Our goal is to continue to create efficiencies for Sonic, supporting its purchasing, as well as sales activities," said Susie Heins, vice president, dealer sales, Manheim. With Manheim's focus on quality and innovative solutions for dealers, we enhance their customer experience."

In January 2011, less than 25 percent of the vehicles Sonic offered for sale at Manheim included an ECR. However, beginning Q4 and by the end of the year, half of the units registered for sale had ECRs. Offering ECRs proved highly beneficial for Sonic as its Simulcast reach increased by 36 percent since September, positively impacting vehicle retention.

To further support Sonic, Manheim Consulting provided data demonstrating how ECRs generate more in-lane and online bid activity, and fewer arbitrations. In response, Sonic seized the opportunity to take advantage of the added value ECRs provide by increasing traffic on Simulcast, and in-lane, making it three times more likely for a vehicle to be sold.