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The Gavel - 14th June

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Andy Conde - Cars

Andy Conde on Manheim Rostrum

For the first time in several weeks I am writing my entry for The Gavel with optimism and a feeling we are seeing ‘green shoots’ of recovery in all sectors of the market.

The fact that we have got the spate of bank holidays out of the way has certainly helped, but one of the main factors is that vendors are finally grasping the opportunity to ‘sell and not dwell’.

I have said numerous times in previous editions of The Gavel, that 99 times out of 100, the first bid is the best. I have seen many vendors decide to not accept a bid below the reservation, hoping to achieve more at another auction, but ultimately taking less money down the line. It’s great to see our customers use our knowledge of the market to great effect.

Getting the most out of the market

The big reduction in CAP prices last month has seen knee-jerk reactions for some as they see stock values fall, but my personal view is that the current market values are about right, and we may even see further reductions next month. However, I don’t agree with how we arrived at the current values and I believe a more gradual reduction throughout the first six months of the year would have been better.

We have seen a slight reduction in auction volumes recently which helps keep the balance of supply and demand healthy, but the quality of a number of part-exchange units coming in leaves a lot to be desired.

I have stressed before that the grade of a vehicle can greatly impact its chance of sale in this current market and we are once again seeing high-quality vehicles making in excess of 100% CAP clean. It would be wise for our vendors to consider investing in their stock prior to auction to reduce the time it takes a vehicle to sell.

Looking ahead

Make no mistake, there are signs of an improving market now, but we are by no means out of the woods yet. The opinion of many of my peers is that this is the best it’s going to get this year. I would advise our customers to make the most of the current market whilst the uncertainty around the political climate continues as we don’t yet know where that will leave us.

Stuart Peak - Commercial Vehicles

Stuart Peak on Manheim rostrum

With two bank holidays falling in May and half-term week thrown into the mix, the signs were set for a potentially challenging month as is often the case. However, overall the month was incredibly positive and was our second strongest month for volume sold in 2019.

As expected, the auction halls did feel a bit quiet as some buyers used the extended break to go on holiday, but we saw pockets of strong demand throughout the month at all centres.

If we reflect on the first five months of the year and compare to the same period in 2018, we have seen our average selling price increase by £213, yet our average stock sold has been one month older and mileage also increased by 2,200. All in all, this makes positive reading for the LCV market and goes to show that demand is still incredibly strong at Manheim.

Getting the most out of the market

Digital sales channels continue to prove popular with LCV buyers so some of our customers, such as Zenith and AVIS, are capitalising on this with premium ‘Buy Now’ events that make stock available as soon as it lands at a Manheim centre. 

As we accelerate our online sales strategy and the market continues to move towards a more efficient digital platform, we envisage LCV sales online to continue to grow at a rapid pace.

Looking ahead

June has started strongly and there has been a noticeable buzz in the auction halls. So far, four out of five LCVs entered have sold first time indicating strong buyer appetite. Now that the holiday period is out of the way, I predict increased activity over the next six weeks as professional buyers compete for high-quality LCVs on their forecourt.

Supermarkets have entered the buying arena in a big way recently, buying late plate, low mileage vans that can be turned around fast for a profit. With the introduction of the ULEZ in London and a host of CAZs around the country coming soon, we expect to see super-heated competition for this type of stock, especially as wholesale volumes remain low for the time being.

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