Andy Conde on Manheim rostrum

The Gavel - 4th October

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Our resident auction experts Andy Conde and Stuart Peak share their views on the current wholesale market.

Andy Conde - Cars

Andy Conde on Manheim Rostrum

I cannot recall a September that as seen so few cars in the auction halls. This, coupled with high demand, has been high causing some simply eye-watering prices at auction.

Sale after sale we have seen 100% conversions for many vendors with the average across the board hovering in the mid-80s. Prices for most cars – even those needing refurb work – have been around 100% CAP clean with auctioneers receiving opening bids in excess of the original reserve.

Now we all know that this is unsustainable but when you consider the outside influences that usually affect consumer confidence and spending.

I have said before that one of the most difficult jobs is managing the expectations of the vendor stood next to you on the rostrum and making sure they are up to date on market conditions. All auctioneers at Manheim are encouraged to have a ‘pre match’ chat with our vendors - setting the scene for the day and understanding exactly what their expectations are. It’s also important that if their expectations are unreasonable then we are honest with them.

In all honesty the job of the auctioneer over the past six weeks has been a bit of a cake walk with plenty of bid taking and not much need to work for bids. But when the worm does turn, bid making and not bid taking will be key and we have some of the best bid makers in the business. We understand the importance of maximising prices for our vendors whilst remembering that our buyers need to buy to stay in business. It’s a balancing act, which is why there’s an art to doing it fairly.

The big question we are repeatedly asked is where are all the cars? In all honesty I don’t know. What I do know is that we are now in October and whilst travelling in excess of 4,000 miles since September 1st, I have only seen around twenty 69 plate cars on the road. I can’t see there being a major spike in numbers until around the end of the month, but such an influx combined with the pre-Christmas slowdown, November may be challenging. Soon we will be in the pre-festive frenzy and so the market downturn should not last too long. 

What I have noticed over the past 10 days is some smaller retailers have decided to stick with the stock they have and aren’t getting involved in the current feeding frenzy. When the number of vehicles in the market do increase, they will be ready to step up to the plate and replace those buyers who are currently standing toe-to-toe doing battle on the auction hall floors.

Stuart Peak - Commercial Vehicles

Stuart Peak on Manheim rostrum

As discussed in the last edition of The Gavel, September started off with a bang and the upward trend remained throughout the whole month.
Results have been fantastic across the board with first time conversion increasing by 3.5% vs August, average selling price increasing by £596 and average days to sell setting a new record (4 days quicker than last year!).

Buyer confidence is excellent despite the political uncertainty and many vehicles on the rostrum are starting off at reserve and making well over. In general, stock levels are low which is continuing to drive the market as professional buyers compete to own what is on offer.

We recently held an open sale for Ford Motor Company at Shepshed, the first for many years. 145 buyers registered on the day and all 92 lots were sold at 99% CAP average. Buyer appetite on the day was incredible as both physical and online buyers battled hard to own this unique, ready to retail stock. 

763 online bids were accepted with 33% of the sale selling online. In this type of event. I would have expected the online sales performance to have been over 40% but the buying power from the physical buyers on the day blew the online buyers out of the water. A fantastic result and one that further cements our close relationship with the nations favourite automotive brand.

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