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Inside an Auction Day at Manheim Atlanta


We’re back on the road! Last year, we visited Cox locations in Austin, TX, Omaha, NE, Burlington, VT and Hampton Roads, VA. Our first stop in 2024: Manheim Atlanta. 

I’d never been to a wholesale car auction, but I could already imagine myself surrounded by hundreds of cars, each with its own story and potential buyer. I was excited to witness the bidding frenzy firsthand. 

But there’s more to an auto auction than meets the eye. I recently had the opportunity to visit Manheim Atlanta on a busy sales day, and I was blown away by the amazing people working behind the scenes. There are so many moving parts — from the body shop to the auction lanes to the office — that keep Manheim’s massive vehicle auction running like a well-oiled machine day in and day out. 

“Our folks are doing the work and believe in the mission to take care of the customers,” said Doug Kramer, general manager at Manheim Atlanta. “Everybody’s just pulling together to do what they’re supposed to be doing — and if the stars align, it’s a perfect day.” 

Here’s a look at what goes on at a Manheim auction site — and why so many people love working there. 

The pre-auction excitement  

My day was off to a great start with a surprisingly easy drive from West Midtown to our Manheim Atlanta campus near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. (If you know Atlanta traffic, you know what I mean.) 

As I pulled up, there were cars as far as the eye could see. I would later find out from Doug that there were about 11,000 cars securely stored on site that day. 

Established in 1945, Manheim moved its headquarters from Manheim, PA, to Atlanta, GA in 1968. And Manheim Atlanta is where we started the original highline sale — the wholesale of luxury vehicles, including BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari and more. 

That morning, I met Jayla Ores, a marketing support specialist who was handing out raffle tickets. She helps organize the pre-auction raffle and invited me to go watch the early-bird games that happen before the sales officially start for the day.  

“We do a raffle to see who gets chosen to play a game, and then the winner has the opportunity to either get some Manheim swag or a credit on their account that they can use anytime toward their purchase,” Jayla said. 

Doug was at one of the auctioneer desks and started reading out the raffle numbers from a bingo-style machine. There was a game of ladder toss in one of the lanes that drew a crowd. Jayla handed out prizes to the winners. 

Game time 

I loved the energy at the auction; it was all very fast-paced and exciting. As soon as the doors opened, you could hear the auctioneers in different lanes rattling off information about the cars that were driving up. 

As I walked through the lanes, I tried to make out what the auctioneers were actually saying — it almost sounded like they were speaking in another language. I learned that professional auctioneers go to school to learn that specialized technique. 

“They’re very well trained,” Doug said. “They're in charge of that transaction between the buyer and seller.” 

Nowadays, the action runs both in-person and online. Although there are fewer lanes open since part of the operations went virtual, there’s still a nice turnout of folks on auction day. I watched as buyers, which are primarily representatives from car dealerships, examined the cars and took notes. The cars were also broadcasted on TV screens for online buyers who were tuning in remotely. 


The people who keep the engines running  

While I was looking forward to seeing the auction in real time, one highlight of my day was getting to know some of the people who work at Manheim Atlanta.

Glen Bergeron, mechanic shop manager, said he’s been at Cox for 18 years because of how the company treats their employees. Glen didn’t have experience in the auto industry before he came to Cox, and he’s built his career up from a level-one technician to where he is today. 

Glen also opened up about how significant it has been to have great medical coverage with Cox as he’s battled cancer: “Our benefits are outstanding, and I get better medical care than what I think I would have somewhere else.” 

I also had the pleasure of meeting Tracy Dindy, a former chef who joined as a contractor and now is a level-two maintenance technician on the team. Tracy talked to me about why he is grateful to Cox for the support he’s received overcoming one of the hardest times in his life. 

“When I first started at Cox, I was homeless,” he said. “And I was working here for six months until I told my boss.” 

After that conversation with his manager, Tracy was set up with two months of paid housing to help get back on his feet — a gesture he never expected from an employer and will never forget. 

“They go above and beyond to help their employees through troubled times,” he said. “I’m 52 and I have never had this kind of support system in my life. It’s been a great ride; I’m just happy and I can’t wait to see what’s next.” 


The whole package 

It’s a joy to see everyone’s passion and dedication for their work firsthand, whether they’re working with the cars or in the admin and operations side of the house. 

Alisha Raynor, for example, had never heard of Manheim before she was recruited as a temporary administrator for a six-month contract. Five years later, she’s been able to grow in her career at the company and become an HR operations coordinator. 

Alisha appreciates that Cox has the training and resources to teach people how to become great leaders — rather than getting pushed into leadership positions without an understanding of how to succeed. 

“As a younger person in the workforce, sometimes you just get thrust into things, and you don't really know how to deal with them,” she said. “So, it’s been good to actually learn how to address issues and how to develop your team members and things like that.” 

As a recent college grad, Jayla Ores is grateful to work for a company that allows her to prioritize work-life balance and her mental health — especially as she juggles her full-time job while getting her master’s in marketing. 

“Cox cares about not only our physical health, but our mental health, and I feel like a lot of our leaders do a good job of checking on us making sure that we are in an OK headspace,” she said. “My managers have let me know that if I ever need to take a day off just because I may have a lot going balancing school and work, I am welcome to; it’s 100% OK.” 

As I got in my car to drive back home, I left feeling so fortunate to have witnessed such a lively sale day at Manheim Atlanta. 


Learn more about our Manheim locations here. Ready to join us? Check out our job opportunities and sign up for the Cox Talent Community today!