The Gavel - 16th July
Andy Conde - Cars
My previous edition of The Gavel was written with cautious optimism that the markets had ‘bottomed out’ and that we were on the long road to recovery. I am pleased to be able to report that my optimism continues.
The caveat – and there always seems to be one at moment – is the shortage of what I’d call genuine fleet cars in auctions. What do I mean by genuine fleet cars? I mean those that have come direct off fleets, have been well cared for with full service history, perhaps with some desirable extras, and in grade 1 or 2 condition. These vehicles are highly sought after as they often give the buyer a quick return.
You’re probably thinking, “Hang on, most of the auction centres up and down the country are full to capacity”. I wouldn’t disagree with you, but we have four main categories of car to sell – five if you include private and car buying services. These are manufacturer, fleet, finance and main dealer part-ex or overage stock.
Finance and the majority of part-ex stock is generally of poorer quality and needs to be priced accordingly, and manufacturer product is best suited to those retailers that serve the late year, low mileage buyer base.
As I have said, the genuine fleet car is becoming a rare commodity and we are seeing auction conversions hitting more than 80% and CAP returns of 95-98% when it is available.
Over the coming months I anticipate confidence to continue to grow, prices and conversions to increase and a general feel good factor return to the industry.
Stuart Peak - Commercial Vehicles
Seasonality played its part in the LCV market in June, although we did see some pockets very strong activity.
Demand for stock in North West has remained particularly strong and buyers in the South West are reporting good levels of retail activity. But across the country our LCV selling sites have produced some strong results.
What’s becoming clear is that damaged stock is becoming more of a challenge to sell, particularly if it’s late plate, high mileage with poor repairs. This is where reserve setting is key and taking damage levels into account is a necessity if the vendor wants an efficient sale. Those that react and take individual damage levels into account continue to lead the way with strong conversions.
The 4x4 sector took a hit in CAP values at the start of July and early signs are that the price realignment has helped with reserve setting and buyer demand.
There is evidence that buyer demand is still there, and there is no better example than our recent offsite premium event for Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions at their head office in Trowbridge. The sale was a huge success with 98% conversion at 106% CAP average. The event saw a good mix of stock, with a number of 4x4 Ranger Wildtrack and VW Amarok pickups performing well and exceeding both ours and Hitachi’s expectations.
We’re slowly but surely heading towards the electric future, and smart buyers on the day snapped up a number of E-NV200 vans previously used by British Gas in London, knowing they will fetch good retail values.