Vans waiting for auction at Manheim

Strongest quarter of the year for buoyant LCV market

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Manheim Commercial September data

Figures released today by Manheim highlight a buoyant UK commercial vehicle market across the third quarter of 2019.


Manheim saw strong sales performances across its national CV auction network in September as high volumes met strong buyer demand.

The business saw the percentage of vans sold first time increase by 3.5%, while the average selling price was up £536 MoM.

Matthew Davock, Director of Commercial Vehicles, said: “The overall appetite for vans was extremely high in September, and certainly comparable to the high levels of activity we witnessed during the record year of 2018.”

In addition, Manheim celebrated a new record for its average days to sell, with vehicles selling an average four days faster than the same month last year. This impressive record has been achieved through a strategic approach to online wholesale which allows vendors to get their vehicles on sale earlier in the remarketing process.

Quarter three

July to September represented Manheim’s strongest quarter of the year for both volume sold and performance measures, a strong indicator of a healthy UK LCV market.

The number of vehicles sold at Manheim across Q3 was 3% higher than Q1, and 5% higher than Q2. This increased volume was matched by buyer demand, and 80% of vans offered sold first time.

In terms of stock mix, Manheim saw a halt in the trend for higher mileage vehicles at auction, as average age saw a marginal drop to 62 months, and average mileage fell by just under 4,000 miles to 74,620.

Performance against guide prices was also up by an average 1.2% when compared to results from Quarter 2. 

Davock commented: “In the wholesale market it was pleasing to see our highest volumes recorded during Q3, and the fact that the additional vehicles were met with such high buyer demand really demonstrates the strength in the market right now.”

“Our buyers reported that levels of retail activity increased throughout the quarter, and this certainly translated into attendance at our physical and online auction events.”

For Manheim, the big story for quarter three is the continued growth of its online wholesale channels, as 40% of vans sold to online buyers.

Davock continued: “We’ve worked hard to create an online proposition that benefits both buyers and sellers, and in Q3 we’ve really seen our online channels come into their own. We now advertise vehicles for sale online as soon as we have the details, and in the past three months 12% (+6% v Q1) of our total stock sold online before ever reaching a physical auction, significantly reducing average days to sell.”

“For buyers, our digital channels offer the convenience of buying stock 24/7, backed up by the confidence that comes with high quality imagery, inspection reports, and our SureCheck assurance product.”

“We’ve also teamed up with our Cox Automotive sister companies to offer online buyers a complete service, including LCV wholesale funding through NextGear Capital, and convenient transport via the Movex logistics platform.”

The positive news in the used market came as new LCV registrations recorded a 4.5% YoY increase, not far off the record-breaking numbers seen in 2016. 

Davock commented: “With so much market uncertainty over the past months, it is pleasing to see both appetite and confidence return to both the wholesale and new registration LCV market sector.” 

“Looking ahead, demand for new LCVs remains healthy, which will naturally have a positive impact on the used market.  The outlook for Q4 is promising, and wholesale volumes are set to increase through late October.  

“Normal seasonal patterns suggest that the number of vehicles in the wholesale market will remain consistent through November and December, and I expect vendors to continue to sell right up until the close of 2019 and capitalise on what should be a healthy marketplace to the end of the year.”

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