Auction House Drama, NPR’s ‘stealership’ Coverage, Nordstrom Heading Upstream

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Welcome to Wednesday as we cover ACV’s recent lawsuit filed against major and minor auction houses, a recent story on NPR covering the so-called ‘stealership’ phenomenon, as well as retailer Nordstrom’s strategy to move product offerings upmarket.
ACV has filed an antitrust lawsuit against many physical auctions including giants Manheim, Carvana owned Adessa, and many others whom it claims conspired to deny them access to AutoIMS, an industry standard platform in the auto remarketing industry

  • The platform is provided by a joint venture of those four companies, Auto Auction Services Corp who is also named in the suit
  • The suit states, AutoIMS inconsistently enforced its physical auction requirement to “preclude membership to certain digital-only platforms like ACV, which pose an existential competitive threat to NAAA’s controlling members.”
  • ACV points to the fact that many other auction houses now offer exclusive digital auction services
  • ACV also cites the loss of customers such as Hyundai Capital and Santander since they did not have access to AutoIMS and those companies had workflows that depend on them
  • ACV is seeking injunctive relief, monetary damages, and legal fees

  • NPR releases a story titled “Inside the rise of 'stealerships' and the shady economics of car buying” which began as the writer, Greg Rolansky’s journey to find a new truck to replace his stolen one
    • The article gives an efficient overview of the franchise system and covers the pros and cons of the current system with a factual and common sense approach
    • The benefits of having a local dealer network to serve customers, let them see product, service vehicles, have recalls taken care of, and of course, all those jobs
    • He also covers the lobbying power that comes along with the economic leverage and questions whether or not stopping OEMs from having a monopoly on pricing is really effective reasoning for a Dealer network
    • He then chronicles his truck buying experience and cites ‘stealerships’ charging as much as $20k over sticker to those who would charge MSRP, but he’d have to wait up to 6 months
    • Finally, he settled on a truck he found 400 miles away for $2k over sticker negotiated down from $5k
  • This untitled 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser is one of approximately 2,500 Trail Teams Ultimate Edition examples built for the model year, and it was acquired by the selling dealer in 2014.
  • This Rivian RT1 Adventure Edition has 47 miles and is currently at $100k
  • In retail news, Nordstrom Rack’s sales remain steady, is making a move to push more premium products into its stores to cater to the higher economic profile of its consumers according to CEO Erik Nordstrom
    • Sales up 6% in Q2 but started to wane.
    • They had brought in lower priced merchandise to gain entry p

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