Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Car Auctions Keep Going Once, Going Twice for Leake

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Car Auctions Keep Going Once, Going Twice for Leake

Article excerpt

TULSA - Record 2014 results keep Tulsa's Leake Auction Co. cautiously optimistic despite turbulent oil futures.

The 42-year-old Tulsa automotive firm generated about $35 million in revenue from four events last year, up 25 percent from $26 million at five events in 2013.

With early January vehicle auctions in Arizona garnering positive sales and pricing trends, Leake President Richard Sevenoaks said this sector may not feel the effect of lower oil prices until the second quarter.

"Our first two auctions this year are going to be fine," he said, referring to Leake's Feb. 20-21 event in Oklahoma City and its April 17-19 auction in Dallas. "After that, we'll just have to play it by ear and see what happens."

While this industry's investment nature offers some recession- proof qualities, Sevenoaks said economic uncertainties can play both positive and negative roles in two key customer decisions: whether to put cars up for auction, and whether to bid.

Leake makes money from both areas. The Tulsa company receives consignment fees for each car entered at an auction, a 6-percent commission on the auctioned price, and a 10-percent buyer's premium. It also charges vendor and sponsor fees, gate admissions and bidder registration fees.

Consignment activity for the Oklahoma City auction remains strong, with 275 cars in place to date.

"We're tracking right where we should be," said Sevenoaks.

That auction charted $6.4 million in sales last year, up 14 percent from 2013, with 74 percent of its entries finding a buyer. A 1968 Shelby GT 500 set the top mark at $128,700.

Leake scored $5.5 million in sales at last year's inaugural spring Dallas show, with keys changing hands on 64 percent of the cars auctioned in that two-day event.

The company followed that with $10.1 million in sales at last year's three-day Tulsa sale, down 14.4 percent from 2013. Leake Public Relations Director Jennifer Tetley said 72 percent of vehicles entered were sold at that June event. …

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