Van at commercial vehicle auction centre

Record Breaking Online Performance


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Following on from a record breaking January, February is performing very well indeed. With an above average volume of catalogue entries it appears the anticipated Q4 de-fleet stock is finally coming through. In terms of mix, we are witnessing a similar ‘two tier’ pattern to 2015, seeing older extended vans with higher miles balanced out with an increase in younger daily rental/flexi-rent units.

Online commercial vehicle auctionWe ended January with a record breaking 41% of vans selling to online buyers, an 11% increase on prior year. February is proving to be very strong again, last week we delivered an 80% conversion at an exclusive ‘online’ auction event with 103 vans going under the virtual hammer for one of our blue chip vendors. The sale included 57 ultra-rare vans; sub 24 month and 25,000 miles. The sale was a major success and this just shows the power of our ever growing online buyer base.

Manheim’s award winning online platform, Simulcast, continues to perform strongly across all seven commercial sites. We’ve seen record online sales at Shotts, Gloucester, Shepshed and Washington in recent days; at one sale we sold 65% of the sale to an online buyer audience of over 200. That was in addition to over 100 physical buyers in the hall. It’s evidence of our strong and trusting buyer base.

So consistent performance and strong conversion rates have been the order of the day; providing stock mix and condition is there. We have witnessed the car derived and small panel van sectors performing the most consistency against Guide values. Large panel van and chassis cab have recorded weaker performance to Guide; driven by the condition and large duplication of certain models currently. Single cab and double cab tippers are particularly impacted. 4x4’s have received mixed results over recent days; late and low examples prove to be difficult with many buyers comparing these against the discounts available on new. On the positive side we have seen strong bidding activity from export buyers on certain models and these are performing very strongly to the Guide. Demand, and hence values, for Defender generally have rallied based on their new exclusivity – watch this space.

Back by popular demand is my “What’s Hot” list. It’s based on my sale performance versus Guide and observations from the rostrum travelling the length and breadth of the UK:

What’s Hot vs Guide

Citroen Dispatch L1 and L2 models
Ford Connect LWB
Old shape Vauxhall Combo
Land Rover Defender
Toyota Hilux 3ltr Invincible and HL3 models
Small Panel double cab/cab in vans in general
Volkswagen Transporter (in metallic with air con and 102ps+ engines)
Ford Transit 260/280/350 SWB and MWB Medium Roof
Fiat Doblo
Renault Kangoo
Citroen Berlingo 3 seat models

What’s Not So Hot vs Guide

New Shape Vauxhall Combo
Vauxhall Astra van base models
Peugeot Bipper
Mercedes Sprinter old shape LWB and MWB
Volkswagen Crafter LWB
Ford Transit 350 single cab and double cab - tipper and dropside
Mercedes Benz Vito
Volkswagen Transporter 84ps/102ps (in white, base spec, batch of high roof)
Ford Transit 17 seat minibus
2013 onwards Citroen Relay LWB
2013 onwards Fiat Ducato LWB

STAR performers

1992 J Land Rover 110 hardtop, 57,000 miles. Guide £3,600 Sold £5,600
1991 J Land Rover 110 pickup, 56,000 miles Guide £2,275 Sold £7,200
1996 N Land Rover 110 station wagon 5dr, 61,000 miles Guide £3,600 Sold £9,300
In total, 69 years of Land Rover Defender achieving 180% of Guide!
In my opinion we’ll continue to see a strong Q1 in auction. Despite mixed buyer feedback on January retail activity, the majority of buyers I have spoken to have reported they’re keen to buy stock for what they now feel with be a buoyant period of retail sales. Year on year I have noticed buying patterns change. A typical buyer that would have bought seven or eight vans per sale last year is purchasing three or four this year. This is not a concern due to the size and depth of our buyer base; in my opinion buyers are simply applying the lessons learnt during the heavy duplication months seen in Q1 and Q2 2015.

White van in an auction laneI couldn’t report such fantastic performances without the support of our ever-growing, loyal CV buyer base – we all know commercial buyers are different. Customer service, trust and new online inspections and imagery have all been key for us to drive strong online and physical attendances. Through the growth in dealer funding from our sister company NextGear Capital we will continue this trend in buyer growth; hopefully contributing to a very successful 2016.

To conclude I feel vendors need to be very mindful to reserve price heavily damage stock and product duplication at the correct market value. Some vans are significantly behind Guide and we have visibility of those vendors who are moving to the market value. Simply put, buyers follow the stock that is sold for market value. Any vendor who is concerned about their conversion rates and buyer activity please get in touch. We can provide supporting data to demonstrate where the market sits for your vans. A market value reserve underpins the best sale performances and stimulates buyer engagement and loyalty.

Thank you again for your much valued business and continued support.
Until next time keep ‘Sharing the CV Love’ at Manheim Commercials
Thanks Matthew

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