Van at commercial vehicle auction centre

Volumes continue to rise during February at the UK’s number 1 CV auction company

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Increased van de-fleet volumes, stock duplication and unfair wear and tear – underpinned with robust market performances - dominate February’s blog.

February’s headline only paints half the picture. Year on year we have offered 20% more vans and, considering January 2017 was a new record for de-fleeted van volumes, offered 5% more than the prior month. Year to date Manheim has offered 22% more – over 3500 vans.

I remain very optimistic. When you take in all these factors into account, the following has been achieved during February:

Matthew Davock in the rostrum•    The average selling price of all vans sold was £5,442. Whilst 5% behind January 2017, this was 11% higher year-on-year (despite age increasing by 1 month and mileage remaining identical)

•    Conversion rates increased by 3% compared to January (on the back of a 5% increase in volume) but softened slightly year on year - by 3% (but on the back of 20% more volume!)

•    Average age was 60 months and mileage 73,000. Year on year age dropped by six months and mileage by 8,000 miles

During February, buyer footfall and clickfall remained positive, with footfall slightly improved over January. Online attendee audiences continue to go from strength to strength and perform ahead of expectation. We also saw a record breaking 36% of all vans sell to online buyers – a year on year increase of 4% and a 3% increase on January.

Our Online Auctions continue to go from strength to strength with a 45% increase in vans sold through this channel year on year. Two vendors held a series of online only auctions uniquely featuring pre-selected stock and enjoyed market leading results in terms of conversion and sale price.  

In my opinion, the increase in volume is good news for the CV sector. It is more “boom” than “doom and gloom” in terms of auction activity versus some anecdotal buyer commentary on the increased volumes. Manheim’s statistics prove we have more buyers operating in the van world than ever before; with a 14% year to date increase in new buyer accounts coupled to further increases in franchise engagement and traditional car only buyers.

Personally, I feel supply and demand is not an issue at present and we remain optimistic around the LCV marketplace during Q1.

I would draw your attention to the current 3 tier marketplace as detailed below. Each segment requires a distinctly different approach in terms of reserve setting to reflect model duplication and damage:

Sub 2 year

Record de-fleet volumes during January and February – 14% up year on year. The majority is ex daily rental (planned de-fleet and fleet replacement) with a rising number from personal/broker lease sources. The challenge here is the guide values. They cannot or should not reflect actual transaction prices on new vans – however with anecdotal buyer comments telling us how close they are to, or even in excess of, the deals available on new vans. It’s no surprise buyers value this stock according to the legitimate retail deals online. Only by factoring in these new/retail prices can they work back to an acceptable hammer price that allows for a metal margin and a sound value proposition.

2-6 year old

In high demand on buyers’ shopping lists! It’s clear to see that record demand outstrips the supply of clean 40-60,000 mile vans - based on bidding activity and pound note value. This sector has seen a slight YOY price increase of 3% but we have seen a noticeable decline in condition. Some vendors’ stock has an average damage level of £800 and a year on year increase of over 50% (or £402) per van.

Over 6 years

A slight year on year volume increase of 2%; again mileage and condition dominates this sector. Buyers are increasingly selective in this segment with specific focus on length of MOT, service history and provenance. In my opinion, this sector is coming under the greatest price pressure versus guide; with many buyers reporting higher levels of retail demand for younger vans. Buyers have also made me aware of the increasing number of mechanical issues and bodyshop repairs required to retail the vans in this segment. With costs of repair, paint and maintenance increasing year on year these vans have to be priced appropriately to find a new home readily.

These three age bandings reflect the ever changing dynamics of the LCV sector on the back of volume increases. Year on year we are still operating in a very healthy market place. As we enter March and the new 17 plate, I believe arrivals and catalogue numbers will reduce slightly based around the historic de-fleet lag. This lag is caused by the focus being on delivering new vans; with extra time needed for equipment commissioning and key for key handovers to create the resultant de-fleet volume.

To conclude, optimism and strength underpin February. I just encourage as we enter March, extra focus is needed around reserve pricing on duplication, late plate and heavily damaged stock. If these are priced according to the tiers they sit in and market sentiment then high conversions are the result.

Other news

Manheim has had plenty to celebrate with records tumbling left, right and centre. On the back of having the largest and most comprehensive CV auction programme in the UK, Manheim scooped another industry award during February from Van Fleet World. We collected the prestigious “Innovation in Technology” award for our 360° imagery solutions. We are all very proud of this award as it further demonstrates our commitment to the CV industry and the significant role we play in the future of the ever changing CV remarketing landscape.

Dates for the diary!

The CV Show 2017 at the NEC BirminghamWhere has the year gone? Please come and see myself and all my CV Team colleagues on Manheim’s stand at the CV Show on the 25/26/27 April. We’re in the same place as usual and will be serving hot and cold drinks as well as a buffet lunch from noon. It would be great to see you!

James has also asked me to make sure you keep an eye out for his “Spy Van” in the coming weeks! It is booked onto the Transit Van Club stand at the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC at the end of March and then on Manheim’s stand at the CV Show in April. On 2nd May it will be auctioned off at Manheim Shepshed with 100% of the proceeds going to Alzheimer’s charities. It’s a cause close to his heart; his Dad was diagnosed five years ago. See the restoration story unfold here and please get involved any way you can!

Have a great March all and thank you again for your input, very much valued business and continued support. March is gearing up to be an awesome month with further quality selection of vans from the UK’s leading vendors. Tune in to see how they perform in a months’ time. Until then, keep ‘Sharing the Love’ for all things CV.

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