Bulletin sees dollar signs in the US

A new deal by mobile developer Bulletin Wireless with American auction giant Manheim Auctions could represent business worth millions of dollars a year.

A new deal by mobile developer Bulletin Wireless with American auction giant Manheim Auctions could represent business worth millions of dollars a year.

Bulletin operating chief Bruce Herbert says Bulletin’s messaging technology will be used on the auction floor so dealers can get accurate information about cars as they are offered. It’s a good fit for SMS, Herbert says.

“If you’re a buyer there and a car’s coming through, you want to know the details. How do you get that information quickly?”

Currently dealers phone an assistant at a computer who attempts to search for the information before the auction finishes.

Bulletin’s contract with Manheim means the information can be sent to dealers’ mobile phones as each car enters the auction room.

Herbert sees it as a lucrative venture. “You’re looking in excess of 100 million transactions at $US5 a pop.”

Manheim is funding the development work, and the two companies have an “ongoing revenue development partnership”, he says.

The system is scheduled to be used commercially in March. Bulletin hopes to seal further contracts in the US, where the messaging market still emerging.

It’s common during demonstrations with to find that CEOs and other senior managers often don’t know how to read the messages on their cellphones, Herbert says.

“The US market is probably 18 months to two years behind everybody else.”

Manheim Auctions

Manheim, based in Atlanta, claims to be the world’s largest wholesale auto auction company.

  • 115 auction sites, open only to dealers

  • $US611 million spent at the Simulcast auction website in 2003

  • Sells 25 million vehicles annually, worth $US40 billion

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