MAFS General Manager Decker Discusses Expansion, Services

ATLANTA -- Manheim Automotive Financial Services recently announced the addition of a satellite office located on the north side of Jacksonville, Fla. MAFS General Manager Kathy Decker said the new location was launched to extend the company's reach into areas where no auction office exists.

The new site is sponsored by the Orlando Orange County Auto Auction and is also conveniently located near the Jacksonville Auto Auction, as well as ADESA Jacksonville, according to the company.

The new facility is located at 10737 New Kings Road in Jacksonville. Decker said it's a first-of-its-kind location for Manheim, designed to provide dealers with all MAFS services that traditional auctions provide, including on-site staffing, diverse financial options and access to online services.

"The office is staffed five days a week for the dealer's convenience, and it can service existing MAFS dealers, as well as assist new dealers with questions and process an application for a new floor plan," Decker explained recently to SubPrime Auto Finance News.

The company's goal with the new location is to provide MAFS services in an area that's convenient for dealers to visit, even when they're traveling to competitor auctions. For instance, while MAFS services are housed in Manheim's auctions, the company said it realizes that there are areas where clients are located that are underserved. This way, dealers can stop by the MAFS office whenever the need arises, Decker pointed out. It also gives the company a chance to gain new clients, she added.

Tony Markese, Manheim's Orlando Orange County AA general manager, said, "It's important to be near your customers. The new satellite location offers valuable services to customers while giving them added convenience and choices."

After doing some research to explore whether adding a satellite office in Jacksonville would make good business sense, MAFS found there were 387 dealers in the area who did not have access to MAFS. The closest Manheim auction is in Daytona Beach, more than 100 miles away, the company mentioned.

Ken Harvey, regional director of sales for MAFS, said, "Manheim is expanding its presence in order to better serve its customers. The growth will help us position ourselves to be more competitive."

"Dealers will have access to our online services, such as Simulcast and OVE.com," Decker noted, saying there is a large potential for new dealers who may have never done business with Manheim or MAFS. "As market needs change, we hope to include other Manheim services in the MAFS center.

"Any dealer who uses any Manheim auction can use the office," she continued. "We encourage dealers who have questions to visit Tamara Porter, office manager, or call her at (904) 663-6237."

The new office features computer work stations and ongoing training sessions, according to the company. Additionally, as Decker pointed out, dealers can access Manheim Simulcast, OVE.com and other company products at the site.

MAFS Shares Details about Services

While the company specializes in floor-planning services, just this year, MAFS launched a receivable financing program for dealers who have a buy-here, pay-here program.

"We have had tremendous response to this program, as we again are serving a niche of dealers that are important to Manheim but underserved by larger financial service providers," Decker explained.

MAFS provides a full line of financing products specifically designed for independent dealers, including floor planning for vehicles, big trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicles.

"Manheim takes pride in providing great service to dealers via MAFS departments at each auction, and it has begun providing the same quality service at other locations," Decker said.

"A dealer's MAFS line can be used at more than 200 auction locations," she added. "Last year, the MAFS floor plan product became available at National Auto Auction Association's member independent auction locations, allowing independent auction facilities to access a dealer's credit availability via a Web site and finance vehicles while receiving funds electronically the next business day."

Continuing on, Decker said MAFS has seen "tremendous acceptance" of its program at independent auctions, flooring more than 30,000 units to date this year.

"Just as MAFS has done for Manheim auction locations, MAFS gives the dealers more buying power in the lanes for the independent auctions as well," Decker highlighted.

While Decker said MAFS currently has a strong array of services for dealers, she noted the company is always looking for ways to better serve its clients.

"We are working on a program to support financing for dealers purchasing vehicles at our Total Resource Auctions salvage auctions," she said. "We have recently reintroduced the MAFS product in Canada and have expansion plans to offer our services throughout the country. Additionally, we are exploring opportunities in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe and the Asian Pacific, where Manheim continues to grow."

Offering a bit of history about MAFS, Decker said it was launched in 1994 to provide capital to independent dealers to increase their ability to purchase units at Manheim auctions.

"The independent dealer market had been traditionally underserved by commercial banks, and Manheim's knowledge of these dealers' buying behaviors and the dealers' strong relationship with Manheim auctions made it natural for MAFS to establish lending relationships with this important dealer group," Decker told SubPrime Auto Finance News.

MAFS began with a 90-day Gold card program, and since then has added the 45 Special, which is a shorter-term loan at lower-line amounts that requires fewer financial documents from the dealer, Decker said.

"This program (45 Special), is especially helpful for dealers just getting into the business," she said. "We have also expanded the types of vehicles we will floor plan to include big trucks, recreational vehicles and motorcycles. The MAFS commercial financial services division offers loans for rental car inventories, working capital and receivables financings.

"Dealers can also take advantage of the MAFS group insurance program to insure their vehicle inventories," Decker added. "Today, MAFS serves more than 15,000 dealers, providing $2 billion in available credit lines."

A complete list of auctions where MAFS is available can be found at .

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