Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 13


13

* SEPTEMBER 2016

A CANADIAN
classic
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claimed to give the company an
edge over auction competitors.
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Million-dollar prices are
not unusual for classic-car
auctioneer RM Sotheby's

A

By JOHN IRWIN

DETROIT CORRESPONDENT

TYPICAL CAR
auction can bring
to mind images
of buyers strolling around a big
lot looking at
lease and rental
returns.
Blenheim,
Ont.-based RM Sotheby's does
things differently.
Instead of used Silverados
and Camrys, it auctions off
restored classics from the likes
of Porsche and Le Mans. And
instead of selling vehicles out of
an auction house, it prefers to
do so at prestigious events such
as the Pebble Beach Concours
d'Elegance, held every August
in California, that attracts
buyers of blue-chip cars from
around the world.
As RM Sotheby's COO Alain
Squindo said in an interview
with Automotive News Canada,
"Anyone who's interested in
cars puts (RM auction events)
on their calendar."
RM Auctions, which partnered with Sotheby's in 2015,
brought in $688 million in sales
revenue to the company last
year on the sale of 784 vehicles, 113 of which sold for more
than $1.3 million each, and six
of which sold for more than $13

This 1939 Alfa Romeo sold
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the highest price ever paid
at auction for a pre-Second
World War car.
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million each.
That's not bad for a company based in a town of less than
5,000 people.
RM began in 1976 out of
founder Rob Myers' garage as
a vehicle restoration business.
Over the next 15 years or so, the
company - and its sales figures
- grew at a rapid pace, to the
point where it started its own
auction company, RM Auctions,
in 1991.

Anyone who's
interested in cars
puts (RM auction
events) on their
calendar.

This 1955 Jaguar D-Type sold for $28.6 million in August
during Monterey Car Week in California.  3 + 2 7 2  5 0 6 2 7 + ( % < · 6 

FIRST AUCTION IN TORONTO
Beginning with the first RM
auction in Toronto in 1992, the
company has added auction
locations around the world,
including Monterey, Calif.;
Hershey, Pa.; London, Paris and
Monaco.
Much of RM's auction business is completed each year at
its annual flagship auction in
Monterey, Calif., during the
Pebble Beach Concours weekend.
This year's Pebble Beach
show brought in $154.5 million
Cdn for RM Sotheby's, a decline
of 32 per cent from 2015, the
company said in a press release.
Sales during Monterey Car
Week among all auctioneers
declined to $445 million from
$518.8 million in 2015, as uncertainty stemming from the U.S.
presidential election and global
economic concerns put a damper on sales, according to data
from Hagerty Group, a classic
car insurance company.
Still, RM was able to sell 21
vehicles at more than $1.3 million per car. The highest final
prices include $28.6 million for
a 1955 Jaguar D-Type, a world
record for an auction-sold
British car, and $25.9 million
for a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B
Lungo Spider, the highest price
ever for a pre-Second World
War vehicle at an auction.
RM auctions also sold the
original 1962 Shelby Cobra for
$18.1 million, which is a record
high for an American car at
auction.

RM Auctions sold the first Shelby Cobra ever built for $18.1
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at auction for an American car.  3 + 2 7 2  5 0 6 2 7 + ( % < · 6 
"Just to be able to see the
car in person was remarkable,"
Squindo said.
RM said it had bidders in
Monterey from 27 countries.
Squindo said RM's partnership
with Sotheby's has driven up
global interest in its car auctions, especially in Asian markets, thanks to the brand's reputation in the art world.
"We've had a growth in our
clientele who have never even
been car buyers before," he
said, calling the relationship
between RM and Sotheby's
"mutually beneficial."

'SIGNIFICANT' CANADIAN SALES
Despite the spike in global interest, Squindo said RM
Sotheby's has no current plans
to expand its auctions into the
Asian marketplace, though the
company is constantly evaluating where it can expand. He
said factors including taxation
and import regulations would
weigh heavily on any decision.
In the meantime, much of
RM Sotheby's business remains
centred in North America, especially among buyers based on
the U.S. West Coast.
Still, Squindo said

ALAIN SQUINDO

RM Sotheby's COO

Canadians play a "significant" role in its auction business, singling out buyers based
in metropolitan areas such as
Toronto and Vancouver.
"There's a good appetite for
sports cars" in those regions,
Squindo said.
While RM's restoration
business is separate from the
auction company, Squindo said
its restoration services help
give the auction company an
edge over some of its competitors since it can "cater to every
classic car need."
Like its restoration company, Squindo said, RM Sotheby's
auctions emphasize the quality of the cars it sells over the
quantity. He said unlike other
auction companies that aim to
sell thousands of vehicles, its
targets are lower; it sold 794 in
2015.
Squindo said RM Sotheby's
can spend up to six months
carefully researching, pricing,
cataloguing and advertising
vehicles prior to an auction.
"In that respect, our auctions are no different than the
art auctions that Sotheby's puts
together," he said.
It is that artsy approach to
auctioning off classic vehicles
that sets the company apart
from other vehicle auction
companies, Squindo said.
"Our approach is a bit more
discrete," he said. - ANC



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2

Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - September 2016 - V2 - 28
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