After more than four decades auctioning classic and collectable cars, collectable motorcycles, heritage number plates and automobilia, Shannons are dropping this side of their business to focus on their core insurance products and the Shannons Club.
In an announcement made on 31 October, Shannons cited “an increasing number of competitors offering frequent and low-cost online auctions” as one of the reasons behind the decision to end their auction programme. While Shannons have been offering auctions on a quarterly basis, some competitors are holding auctions monthly and even weekly for individual vehicles.
The first Shannons collectable car auction was held in Melbourne in 1981. The popularity of these traditional, in-person auction events saw an expansion into Sydney, with auctions later alternating between the two cities. Shannons also held auctions in conjunction with major events, like the Melbourne and Sydney Motor Shows, Motorclassica, the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix and MotorEx.
As Shannons became a leader in auctions for classic and collectable vehicles, they moved to larger premises in Melbourne in 2017, followed by a new Sydney showroom in 2020. In the same year, the impact of COVID-19 saw the introduction of online auctions. The popularity of these led to a Brisbane showroom being added in 2021. Offerings from all three cities have been listed together in the week-long online auctions since.
Despite the popularity of these auctions with buyers and sellers, along with the benchmarks they set in terms of vehicle valuations, it appears this side Shannons' business could no longer compete with rivals.
Part of the statement from Shannons follows.
“Recent years have seen a notable increase in the options our customers have in buying and selling vehicles and plates, which has prompted us to review the offering to determine whether auctions are still a unique need alongside Shannons Insurance and Club.
“As part of this review, a decision has been made that Shannons will no longer be facilitating auctions as part of its core business.
“Shannons will continue to be Australia's leading insurance provider for motoring enthusiasts and will continue its strong involvement in the car club movement through the Shannons Club, Australia’s largest motoring enthusiast community.”
Shannons say they will look at how they can continue supporting customers, including ramping up key events for members in the future.