ATLANTA – As digital wholesale continues to be a primary source for buying and selling vehicles, Manheim has named Brad Burns—a 17-year veteran of the company with extensive client-facing experience—as associate vice president of Vehicle Information. Burns will be instrumental in leading the transformation of Manheim’s vehicle information, helping to drive client confidence across all platforms in the Manheim Digital Marketplace. His appointment comes as 81% of Manheim’s sales in 2020 went to digital buyers.
We’ve been listening intently to clients of all sizes, we’ve heard what they struggle with the most when it comes to buying online, and we’re taking big steps to give them the information they need, how they need it.
“We are on the cusp of tremendous change in wholesale that will help grow client confidence in transacting digitally and improve the way our industry does business,” said Zach Hallowell, senior vice president of Manheim Digital Solutions. “But to help clients be comfortable online, we have to be highly consistent about what information we collect, how we collect it and how we share that information. Brad’s close work with our clients over the years gives him the unique perspective needed to take Manheim’s Vehicle Information to the next level.”
Burns has spent the majority of his nearly two-decade-long career working closely with clients across several Manheim operating locations. He began his career with Manheim in 2003 as a sales representative at what is now Manheim Central Florida. He served in various client-facing roles throughout Florida before being promoted to assistant general manager at Manheim St. Pete in 2014, followed by general manager in 2017.
His experience leading a Manheim location that specializes in under $5,000 cars helped Burns fully understand what the broader spectrum of clients needs when buying digitally. According to Burns, the under $5K client base in particular experienced a bigger challenge when Manheim went all digital in 2020. His team put themselves in the clients’ shoes and worked closely with them to find out what they needed to know to confidently and comfortably buy cars online.
“We went from some of our clients choosing to conduct business digitally to everyone having to—and now we want people to want to,” Burns said. “We’ve been listening intently to clients of all sizes, we’ve heard what they struggle with the most when it comes to buying online, and we’re taking big steps to give them the information they need, how they need it.”
Burns’ first priority is generating a greater level of consistency in the information Manheim collects and how it displays that information. That work will begin with improving Manheim’s current tools and then leveraging several new technologies, from those developed in partnership with newly acquired Fyusion to others currently being piloted.
Manheim’s Vehicle Information Journey:
Manheim has been a pioneer in the vehicle information space, with the creation of standard damage descriptions and AutoGrade, both of which brought a new level of consistency to wholesale inspections. Since flipping the switch to all-digital sales in March 2020, Manheim made several enhancements to its vehicle information, including more than doubling the number of images in condition reports, forming a client advisory panel focused on condition reports and instituting a condition report quality program which includes extensive training of inspectors and increased auditing of condition reports and vehicles.
The future of vehicle information will combine the best technologies with the most comprehensive data to produce detailed, objective and intelligent information about the complete condition of a vehicle—cosmetic, safety, structural, and mechanical.
Currently, Manheim is piloting undercarriage imaging at several locations, with the goal of having the largest inside-the-gate deployment of this crucial technology. Manheim is also continuing to rollout capabilities that deliver higher resolution imaging, as well as capturing more mechanical and safety data—all with the goal of creating the industry’s best, and most consistent, condition reports that give dealers the utmost confidence in buying digitally.