ADESA Northwest, in Eugene, Oregon, was acquired by KAR Auction Services (the parent company of ADESA) in 2016, along with seven other auctions.

Previously called Brasher’s Northwest Auto Auction, this location is a nationally known leader in the RV and specialty auction industry. ADESA Northwest hosts a dealer-only specialty auction on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. The auction also features a public sale on the fourth Saturday of each month.

The ADESA Northwest facility consists of a 38-acre site with eight sale lanes in an auction/arena building measuring 38,000 square feet.

We recently caught up with General Manager Mark Melton to find out more about ADESA Northwest.

How did you get your start in the industry, and what path has your career taken?

In 1998, I graduated from Utah Valley University with a business management and accounting degree. My goal was to get an MBA with an emphasis in accounting and eventually get into the FBI, focusing on white-collar crimes.

One day while I was studying for the GMAT, I received a call asking if I wanted to come work for Brasher’s Portland. I flew out to Portland and interviewed with Jerry Hinton for a dealer sales position. Jerry hired me on the spot, and I joined the sales team at Brasher’s Portland Auto Auction.

Later, I moved to Eugene to oversee the fleet/lease department at Brasher’s Northwest Auto Auction. In 2007, I was named the auction’s general sales manager, and in 2012 I was promoted to general manager.

When did this auction first open? Is this the original building and facility?

ADESA Northwest originally opened its doors in 1985. It was owned by Gary and Lynne Petersen until 1991, when it was purchased by the Brasher family.

The Brashers operated the auction at the Prairie Road location until 2004, when they moved to a new, full-service facility off Enid Road, just a couple miles northwest of the original location. In 2016, we joined ADESA.

ADESA Northwest is known for its “World Famous Specialty Sales.” How did the specialty sale get its start, and how did it become such an important element for the auction?

Nineteen years ago, we started seeing an increase in RV and specialty products being brought to the auction. We realized that not a lot of auto auctions did much with this type of product, and in fact, most auto auctions at that time weren’t interested in these units. We recognized a great opportunity and decided to not only embrace the RV/specialty market, but become the best in the industry at selling this type of product.

We worked with several national accounts to consolidate all their inventory on the West Coast to one location. This helped build the buyer base we have today.

The specialty sale took off like wildfire. Pretty soon, we had consignors shipping us high-line RV product from as far as Florida. Today, we run two specialty sales a month.

What is the signature annual event sale at ADESA Northwest?

We have two major sales—our anniversary sale in January and our annual Checkered Flag Sale in August.

The Checkered Flag Sale typically features a classic car show, racing activities, dealer appreciation dinner and classic car auction on the first day. On the next day, we have a sale with about twice as much inventory as usual.

Has ADESA Northwest won any awards?

Yes, we have won the U.S. Bank Specialty Auction of the Year six times. We’re the only auction to have won this award. In 2017, we were named ARI Regional Auction of the Year for the third year in a row. That was the 10th year we have won it overall. We have won that award more times than any other auction in the country. We’ve also won awards from Capital One, Remarketing of America, Credit Acceptance and GE.

How has the ADESA Northwest team embraced becoming part of ADESA?

The team at ADESA Northwest have brought our longtime core values and customer service to ADESA’s great reputation and well-known services for customers.

We are excited to be fully integrated into the ADESA system so we can take advantage of all the wonderful products ADESA has to offer its customers. This should help us and our customers to continue to grow, now and into the future.