Getting something out of nothing is what this junkyard doggedly pursues. Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) is a leading auto salvage company that auctions off vehicles declared as total losses for insurance purposes and were recovered from theft. It also offers collision-damaged rentals, dealer trade-ins, and fleet lease automobiles. IAA holds live auctions for licensed business buyers and the public at about 150 sites in the US and Canada. The company also allows buyers to place their bids online. Founded in 1982, IAA is owned by holding company KAR Auction Services, which went public in late 2009.
Formerly know as KAR Holdings, IAA's parent company was formed in 2007 as a holding company for both IAA and its rival ADESA, which operates used-vehicle and salvage auctions across Canada and the US.
In its bid to become the top online seller of automobiles, KAR plans to continue strengthening IAA's Internet operations. (About 25% of IAA's sales come from online buyers.) In 2009 IAA launched I-Buy Fast, an online option that allows buyers to purchase vehicles that were not sold during their first auction run. The option helps IAA to pare down its inventory between auctions as well as offer additional buying opportunities. In 2010 IAA threw its hat into the cutting-edge mobile technology ring through the launching of Mobile CSAToday, a website offering quick access to phones.
IAA has largely grown through acquisitions, especially along the East Coast. In 2008 the firm bought Joe Horisk's Salvage Pool in Delaware and Southern A&S in Tennessee. It also purchased Salvage Disposal of Georgia and Auto Disposal of Nashville, which operate under the Verastar name and have more than 10 locations in Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
The firm primarily sells on consignment or buys vehicles outright, negotiating salvage contracts with major insurers. Yet IAA is trying to transition more of its business to a percentage-of-sale basis, in which its salvage clients, which also include dealerships, car rental companies, and fleet lease firms, get a percentage of the auction sale price. – less