Augusta Auto Auction was named one of the newest National Auto Auction Association members during the group’s 59th annual Convention and Exposition in Chicago last month.
Acacia Augusta is the first acquisition of publicly traded Acacia Automotive, Inc., which recently moved its headquarters from Ocala, Fla. to Nashville, Tenn. Two industry veterans, CEO Stephen “Junior” Sample and its president Tony Moorby, head up the newest auction chain, which hopes to add two new auctions to this fledgling group by the end of the first quarter of 2008. Moorby, an NAAA Hall of Fame inductee, has been involved in the U.S. auto auction industry since 1982 when he arrived from Great Britain to work for Anglo-American Auto Auction, which later became ADT Automotive, before being sold off to Manheim and ADESA Inc. in 2000.
Moorby said he was proud to once again be an active member of the NAAA. “The health and well-being of the association is a direct reflection of the health and well-being of its members and vice versa,” Moorby said. “The nation’s auctions need a national voice and the NAAA has always done an excellent job for its members.”
Sample and Moorby made good use of their time during the annual convention in Chicago by holding meetings and possible acquisition talks.
“The convention serves as a great backdrop for these nose-to-nose meetings,” Moorby said. “The social environment and the positive energy from having the industry’s experts and leaders in one locale are perfect.”
Acacia purchased Augusta Auto Auction, formerly known as Hilltop Auto Auction in July. The auction is currently located in North Augusta, S.C., just two miles from downtown Augusta, Ga. “This auction has all the potential to become a strong player in its market area,” Moorby said. “We are currently hard at work in putting a new face on the facility as we prepare to introduce the new entity as a mainstream auction operation.
The auction will introduce paperless block equipment in the auction lanes and other upgraded services. Augusta plans an aggressive expansion program that will lead to a much larger full-service facility in the near future.
“The dealer base in this community and surrounding area is fantastic,” Sample said. “We are thrilled at the potentials for growth, and have full confidence that these dealers will support us in the effort to create a substantially larger auction with great offerings of merchandise and services.”
Moorby said Augusta Auto Auction has done exceptionally well in its first three months of operation, and is the “success we thought it would be.”
The auction has now begun its second round of public fundraising.
“Once we achieve that balance and are able to leverage those funds, we will be able to move faster than we have here at the outset,” Moorby said. “After we get another couple of sales added to our portfolio, we’ll begin to achieve our goals.”