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In memory of Charles A. Joans

by David Zatz on

Charles A. Joans started the industry’s first factory auction in September 1963 as manager of Chrysler Leasing Corp’s national used-vehicle sales. Chrysler hired Mr. Joans in 1963 to help dispose of it’s factory used cars. They were being sold according to a discount formula, without regard to condition or mileage, at prices considerably less than Ford or General Motors cars.

Joans convinced management to auction off the cars, even though auctions had the stigma of a distress sale. He required reconditioning as part of the effort. The first auction of 500 cars brought “higher residual values than we dreamed of,” said Joans. By 1967, he was selling 135,000 Chrysler cars a year and helped establish some of the major auctions still operate today.

Although Ford and GM officials snubbed Joans’ invitation to attend Chrysler’s early auction, they began auctioning their cars in the mid to late 1960’s after seeing how profitable auctioning was.

Charles A. Joans was born October 8, 1924, and died August 24, 1992.

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