ADT Automotive Inc. held its spring Client Advisory Board meetings April 4-18, 1999 in Long Beach, Calif. The event takes place twice a year to keep the auctions clients abreast of new methods and services as well as to share thoughts and ideas among the group. Speakers at this meeting included Van E. Jolissaint of DaimlerChrysler Corp. who spoke about the future of the automobile industry, and John Beagan of Street Smart who spoke about certification.

The Client Advisory Board is made up of members from company-owned fleets, commercial lessors, bank and finance companies, car rental companies, manufacturers, sub-prime lenders and members of the media. This years meetings included breakout sessions by segment. Attending the car rental breakout session were Todd August of Avis Rent A Car Inc., Greg Dart of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Dave Wilson of Alamo Rent A Car. Larry HarNess of ADT moderated the session.

In all, 11 topics were discussed. At the heart of the conversation were electronic condition reports, common wear and tear standards, and whether or not certification has value to remarketers.

The main concern regarding electronic condition reports among the three car rental company representatives was the difference in frame damage reporting from one auction to the next. The group also voiced a desire to have the condition report double-checked.

The session also asked the question, Should we have common wear and tear standards? Different models and makes handle wear and tear differently. The case was made that a ding on one vehicle may be more acceptable than a ding on another vehicle, thus not affecting the sale price as much. Certification was a hot topic in the breakout as well. The group discussed the value of certification and whether or not there should be a standard for which vehicles should meet. Thoughts on the subject included the fact that certification would be subjective, and that it would be redundant if the car is sold while under warranty. The group felt that certification might be worthwhile on a car not under warranty, such as an older car with more than 60,000 miles.

At the end of the breakout session the rental group rated the auction industry as a whole, giving it an eight out of 10. Greg Dart says, The industry improves every year. In general it gets better all the time. The next ADT Client Advisory Board meeting will be held Oct. 7-9, 1999 in Winston-Salem, N.C.