Auction for salvaged vehicles sold to Copart |

Auction for salvaged vehicles sold to Copart

John Seelmeyer

A Reno company that auctions vehicles

damaged in collisions was purchased by a

California outfit that is putting together a

nationwide chain of similar auctions.

EWE Salvage Pool and Auto Auction of

Reno was purchased by Copart Inc. of

Benicia, Calif.

Copart didn’t disclose the purchase price.

From its auction yard at 105 Sunshine

Lane near the intersection of Interstate 80

and Highway 395, EWE Salvage Pool auctions

salvage vehicles on behalf of insurance


Many of the salvage vehicles auctioned by

EWE have been declared a total loss by an

insurance company. Others are recovered

stolen vehicles for which an insurance company

already has paid the owner.

Buyers at the auctions include vehicle dismantlers,

rebuilders and used-car dealers.

Copart, which operates 96 similar facilities

in 40 states, was attracted to EWE by its

location, said Wayne Hilty, the company’s

chief financial officer.

Previously, he said, the company hauled

salvage vehicles from the Reno region to its

auction yard in Sacramento.

Hilty said, too, that Copart recognizes

northern Nevada as an area with significant

population and economic growth. Its

only other facility in Nevada is in the Las

Vegas area.

Copart doesn’t disclose either the revenues

or the number of vehicles handled at individual

auctions, he said.

The company makes its money from

auction fees as well as services such as towing

and storage.

In the quarter ended April 30, the company

earned $11.5 million on revenues of $71.5

million, compared with earnings of $8.3 million

on revenues of $53.8 million in the same

quarter ayear earlier.

Part of the profit increase came as

Copart moved more of its business from

fixed-fee auctions to arrangements in

which it takes a percentage of the sales

price. At the same time, the company has

aggressively expanded, both through

acquisitions and construction of new facilities.

More than half its auction yards have

come under Copart ownership since 1999.

State corporate records list Don Zinser of

Sparks as president of EWE Salvage Pool

and Auto Auction Inc.

EWE was launched in May 1996 and

has billed itself as the only salvage pool

that provides live auctions of salvage vehicles.

Its auctions have been on alternate

Thursday afternoons, and bidders sit

inside and bid on vehicles shown on a

large-screen television.