How does a small Leeds-based auction centre selling bric-a-brac, horses and the occasional vehicle become part of the world’s largest automotive organisation?
One answer could simply be that it takes nearly 100 years. But there’s much more to it than that. This year, Manheim celebrates its centenary – 100 years of stories, growth and innovation – so we’re taking the opportunity to look back at what made us the company we are today.
It’s a fascinating story that spans a world war, financial crashes, a pandemic and much more, but it’s also a story with a consistent theme – family.
You see, our foundations were built by the Myers and Bailey families: two separate companies that became competitors before coming together in 1995 in the biggest shake-up the UK remarketing industry had ever seen up to that point.
Nostalgia is very powerful – it’s great to look back, and our teams and customers have shared some great stories, some of which are on our dedicated ‘Manheim at 100’ web page, including an interactive timeline of our history. But we believe it’s not just about looking back.
Reflecting on our past has made it clear that change is constant, and to stay at the front requires continuous innovation.
Today our business looks very different to those early days. Manheim is now three businesses in the UK: Manheim Auction Services, Manheim Vehicle Services and Manheim Inspection Services; each a representation of the changing needs of our customers over the years.
From what began as a humble auction business, today we can support our customers at every stage of the vehicle lifecycle.
Being part of Cox Automotive helps us to do this. Cox Automotive is still a family-owned, private business, but it provides the financial stability to ensure we can take a long-term view and continue to meet our customers’ changing needs.
Our history is proof that we’ve never stood still, so we shouldn’t be afraid of the future.
It’s easy to forget now, but before Covid-19 change was already happening. The shift towards digital remarketing, for example, has been gathering pace ever since we launched remote satellite auctions in the early ’90s.
All the pandemic has done is accelerate that change.
So, what does the future hold? While it would be impossible to predict another 100 years in the future without a crystal ball, it’s easier to look ahead five or 10. What’s for sure is that the digital transformation of our sector will continue to gather pace.
It’s also about providing buyers and sellers with more than just auctions. Increasingly, customers will expect their remarketing partner to be able to connect all the dots to drive greater efficiencies, all underpinned by robust data and insight.
Today, Manheim is at the forefront of this connected approach. But looking back at our 100-year journey has reminded us that we’ve always been at the forefront of remarketing innovation.
Our approach won’t change, so we can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Before you go…
Keep up to date with all the latest ‘Manheim at 100’ content on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages, and by following #Manheim100
The undated pictured at top shows the Central Motor Auctions centre in Leeds – a former competitor – which is now Manheim Leeds and the company’s headquarters