Bob’s Market Update: The Perfect Storm

In the future, we will all look back to the spring of 2020 and say to ourselves, “Wow, that was the weirdest time in our lives.”

Specifically, as it relates to our auction business, we were shut down for two months with nothing but despair and dread for our customers and ourselves. We apprehensively wondered what the future might hold.

Fast-forward to today, and here we are selling cars and trucks with a completely different business model: 100% online sales. And further adding to the mystery and surrealness of the time, we are experiencing quite literally the strongest wholesale market in history. It is all just very weird.

Demand across every product line and price range is staggering. Trucks specifically are off the charts. We are fortunate to have the inventory, and it is evaporating before our eyes. We sold over 90% of the late-model trucks offered this week. That is simply a first in our history. The over-all sales percentage is well into the 80s.

What does all this mean? To me, it is the perfect storm. Pent-up retail demand resulting from months of shelter in place, consumers with stimulus money burning holes in their pockets, vehicle inventories all but depleted, and OEMs struggling to ramp-up production have the market out of balance.  Is this a “new normal?” Of course not. Will it last for a while? Yes.  The supply of used vehicles in going to diminish for a while and it is going to get harder for all of us to find the inventory we need.

We hope to be able to welcome all of you back to the auction at some point soon. When we do, we will have to operate under new safety restrictions that will impact us and you, our customers.

It will most likely be a while before we run cars in the lanes and can bring all of you in alongside them. We hope we’ll be able to give you the option to attend sales in our barns while bidding on the cars you have previewed on our lots. When this next phase happens, vehicles will stay right where they are parked and will be displayed on monitors in the lanes. This will be our next step, and we are going to get there as soon as we can. It may very well happen in Spokane before it happens in Seattle. Right now, it is all unknown and it is beyond our control. So, for now, we will keep doing what we are doing, and we will continue striving to do it better each week.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll join us online next week – it’s going to be a big one. Wednesday brings MAG Now at 1:00 pm on the EBlock app and DAA Northwest’s 2-Day Event Sale kicks off Wednesday at 2:00 pm with a great lineup that includes a closed Ford Factory Sale and more. Thursday morning, we’ll keep things going with hundreds of late-model trucks and SUVs, and the region’s best dealer consignment. We’ll wrap-up the week in Seattle with our weekly sale at 9:00 am and a GSA Public Auction at 11:00.

One more thing – This weekend, we’re launching a new website that includes all our McConkey Auction Group sales in one place: It includes all our auction schedules, links to EBlock and Pipeline Simulcast, and much more. We hope it’ll help you plan your digital (and future physical) auction attendance.

Thank you for your patience and your support. I hope all of you are well and that you are selling cars like hotcakes.

— Bob