A month after an automobile auction pulled out of Dorchester County, another with an all-digital sales strategy has opened.
Online-oriented Copart Inc. of Texas announced Friday it's now open at 120 Commerce Ave. in the small town of Harleyville.
The new site follows the recent departure of Summerville Auto Auction on U.S. Highway 78 after 25 years. Copart arrives more than two years after it began acquiring its Harleyville property in land purchases totaling about $1.8 million.
The Dallas-based online vehicle seller announced the completion of its Lowcountry expansion after recently opening its second Upstate auction site.
"This brand new, 53-acre, state-of-the-art facility is located close to Charleston, the largest city in the state, to accommodate our buyers' and sellers' needs," CEO Jay Adair said in a written statement.
Copart's biggest single source of vehicles is the insurance industry, the company said in its latest annual report. Virtually, all of its sales involve online purchasers.
Would-be buyers must sign up to participate in the remote auctions through the company's website or its app. Bidding kiosks are also available onsite for use during business hours. Copart said it has more than 750,000 registered members worldwide.
The business was started with a single location in 1982 in Vallejo, Calif. It now has more than 6,000 employees who operate more 200 auction yards stocked with tens of thousands of vehicles at a time across North America, Europe, South America and the Middle East.
In its last fiscal year, which ended July 31, Copart reported $227 million in auto sales, a 40 percent jump from the previous 12 months.
The company now has four sales sites in South Carolina. It opened in Spartanburg last year. Other locations are in Greer and Gaston, near Columbia.