The process of consolidation in the auction world took a big step forward today, when Carlisle Events and RM subsidiary Auctions America announced a joint agreement.

In effect, Carlisle will get out of the auction business, and RM will get into swap meets: Auctions America will run the April Spring Carlisle and September Fall Carlisle auctions, and Carlisle will bring a swap meet and car corral to the May Auburn Spring and September Auburn Fall. According to a statement, the deal will “leverage each other’s core competencies to stage co-branded events,” and synergize relationary structures throughout the corporate gestalt, repurpose cross-platform deliverables and empower front-end mindshare, resulting in increased throughput.” I’m presuming they’ll sell cars, as well. Carlisle also brings 146 (I think) acres in Pennsylvania to the table, with Auction America’s 235 acres in Auburn.

The auction calendar has filled back up since Kruse folded, taking as many as four auctions in some months with them. Carlisle, with a captive audience and good facility, had an advantage that most small and regional auctions couldn’t match, but they still struggled to attract bidders in the last couple of seasons. This arrangement will put additional pressure on some of those sales; we’ve already seen Bud Ward and ICA suspend their 2011 schedule, while others folded up entirely. Several new auctions in the last 18 months failed to thrive, too. I’ll be surprised if more new agreements aren’t formed in the next six months or so.

Full press release follows:

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (January 20, 2011) – Auctions America by RM and Carlisle Events have announced that they have entered into a joint marketing and corporate cooperation agreement beginning this year. The two companies, with their combined 70 years of experience in the collector car hobby, will leverage each other’s core competencies to stage co-branded events.

Carlisle Events, one of the world’s largest presenters of collector car, truck and motorcycle entertainment, will exclusively present the swap meet and car corral components at the annual Spring and Fall Auctions America by RM events held at the Auburn Auction Park in Auburn, Indiana.

Donnie Gould, President of Auctions America by RM stated, “We are absolutely thrilled to be joining forces with such a professional organization as Carlisle. The addition of Carlisle Events to Auctions America’s Auburn events simply makes good business sense and is a positive development for the northeast Indiana economy.”

In addition, Auctions America by RM, backed by the world’s largest collector car auction house, will host the two scheduled collector car auctions held annually at the Carlisle Expo Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

“The Miller families being an integral part of the collector car hobby for the past 37 years see this as an incredible and exciting opportunity not only for those conducting business within the hobby but for the automotive enthusiast who attends events.” Bill Miller III, partner of Carlisle Events continues, “The combination of core talents between our organizations will create a single venue on specific weekends that will be a must-attend for anyone in the hobby.”

Lance Miller, partner of Carlisle Events added, “From our first meeting with Auctions America by RM, I knew we had a strong synergy going. The more our teams worked together, the more excited everyone became with how successful this relationship will be for everyone involved. Please come see for yourself by visiting us in Carlisle, PA and Auburn, IN.”

Together Carlisle Events and Auctions America by RM will enhance the collector car hobby by providing automotive enthusiasts and their families with an unmatched event experience and level of service.

2011 Carlisle Events / Auctions America by RM Co-branded Event Schedule:
Spring Carlisle Auction: April 28 – 29
Auburn Spring: May 12 – 15 (new date)
Auburn Fall: September 1 – 4
Fall Carlisle Auction: September 29 – 30