At the preview showing in New York City’s Audi Forum of the 1939 Auto Union D-Type grand prix car in advance of its offering in the upcoming February 17 sale at Retromobile in Paris, SCM spoke with Rupert Banner, Department Head Motor Cars for Christie’s auction house.
He shared exclusively with SCM news of major changes in the organization’s U.S. operations.
Starting with the 2007 sales scheduled for June in Greenwich, CT and August in Monterey, the buyer’s premium for automotive lots will be lowered to a flat 10% across the board.
“We want to simplify the process for the buyer—we want to make it easier in the saleroom for people to focus on winning the car they want, without having to resort to a crib sheet to figure out the final price,” Banner stated. “By demystifying a part of the bidding process, we’ll make it more transparent for more of our buyers.” As to the potential financial shortfall from the move, Banner said that on the contrary, he felt that the move should encourage even more sellers to consider Christie’s as their auction house of choice, and benefit from a client base that numbers over one million people.
Also announced at the same time was the promotion of New York Motor Cars Specialist Christopher Sanger to the post of Vice President/Head of U.S. Sales Motor Cars. In this new role, Sanger will have responsibility for both of Christie’s annual sales in the U.S., which now represent two thirds of the division’s activities.
“We see continued strength in the U.S. market, which is the most important in the world” said Banner. “This move will help us to perform even better here.”