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This year Euro Auctions celebrates 20 successful years in operation; during which time it has grown to become a global leader for the resale of used and ‘as new’ industrial plant, construction machinery and agricultural equipment.
The first ‘one-day’ URO sale was held in Dromore, Northern Ireland, on the same site that has is now the global Euro Auctions headquarters. That day a total of 371 vehicle and equipment lots went under the hammer, achieving a total sales figure of approaching £1‑million. The ensuing years have seen massive expansion in terms of locations and staffing; creating a globally recognised brand that continues to go from strength to strength.
“When we embarked on this adventure we never envisaged the impact we’d have on the global equipment market,” stated Derek Keys, founder of the business. “We’ve so far been instrumental in selling equipment worth many billions in value with the single biggest items to go under our hammer being a couple of 220-Ton all terrain Tadano cranes previously operated by Hewden Stuart that each went for £725, 000 in Spring 2017 as part of the epic one day £32m disposal sale. We’ve also sold numerous lots at under £1000 each so there is always something for everybody at each of our auctions.”
Euro Auctions today
Today, Euro Auctions hosts around 60 key auctions a year and operates from 10-sales sites in seven countries on four continents around the globe. Collectively they now auction over 75,000 lots each year, consigned by more than 6000 regular vendors. Each auction also has massive appeal with sustained corporate marketing initiatives regularly reaching a global audience of over 150,000 potential buyers; one in five of whom actively register as bidders, with over 10,000 actually taking delivery of one or more consignments. This now results in a global turnover annually in excess of £400-million.
Further UK expansion
Having started with sales activities in Dromore, it took only a couple of years for Euro Auctions to expand into England and in early 2000 it held its first sale in Wetherby, featuring a selection of Volvo dump trucks that came in from the Far East. A couple of years later a new dedicated site near Selby Leeds was acquired which attracted over 500 buyers to its first sale, providing them with the opportunity to acquire 1139 lots from 83 consigners, which achieved a hammer total of £7-million. This site has steadily expanded both in terms of volumes and physical size and today regularly delivers auctions well in excess of £30 million every six-weeks / couple of months.
Moving Into Europe
With so many consignors being located across Europe and with an ever growing number of buyers also based on the continent, expansion into the key German market in 2006 and the Spanish market in December 2010 were logical steps. Territory managers were also created in most other key European countries during this period to help manage and promote the auctions in both the established and the emerging Eastern European markets.
Brisbane Australia was the next step in the expansion process with the first sale taking place in March 2012 opening up the flourishing Asia Pacific rim and providing a conduit for moving quality used equipment completely around the planet. The USA, a market in which the company had had aspirations to enter for many years, was the next major to become the focus of Euro Auctions’ expansion plans and a suitable launch site was acquired near Atlanta, Georgia and hosted its first successful sale.
2017 proved to be a momentous year for Euro Auctions; commencing in January with the acquisition of the renowned USA-based Yoder & Frey business that had been built up by Peter Clark and his team over more than forty years, helping spearhead expansion activities in both North and South America. New sales sites were also opened in September in both Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and in Hong Kong, together helping link the sales networks between Europe and Australia and creating seamless links around the globe.
To the Future
“Our staff remain our biggest asset and as such we ensure they have all the tools they need to do their jobs properly and provide each of our customers, both sellers and buyers, with the best service possible,” added Jonnie Keys, Operations Manager at Euro Auctions. “We’ve seen growth and increased interest over the past 12-months across all businesses around the globe with brisk trading, particularly online, being recorded, plus year‑on‑year growth at our flagship Leeds, UK site that saw a record breaking £42‑million hammer achieved earlier in April.
“Further afield our new facilities in both Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong are becoming well established in our annual auction calendar and we’re increasingly being retained to manage flagship off-site disposal sales for individual equipment owners. For anyone who has never attended one of our auctions we would encourage them to come along and see for themselves the massive quantity and the quality of equipment we offer and experience first had the unrivalled levels of service and support we deliver.
Other notable developments the year Euro Auctions was founded
1998 was a landmark year for a number of other significant businesses. Microsoft’s Window 98 operating system was released helping secure its domination of most global computer systems. Google was also founded in the September and Apple Computer unveils the iMac, now one of the most desirable global brands.
More widely it was 20-years ago that Europe agreed on a single currency, the Euro, and even though the UK didn’t sign up, it’s been an influencing factor on most Euro Auctions business transactions ever since. 1998 was also the year that France hosted and won the World Cup; on 10th April the Good Friday Agreement was signed bring about significant political change in Northern Ireland; and the planet also shrunk considerably with big developments in transport infrastructure including Hong Kong being opened as the world’s biggest airport and work commencing on the assembly of the International Space Station (ISS) in December.