Andy Conde on Manheim rostrum

The Gavel - 19th November

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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

The life of an auctioneer is a busy one, filled with countless miles up and down the country meeting customers and getting a feel for the markets. Over the past few weeks I have been travelling even more than usual in an attempt to visit and auctioneer at all our auction centres before the year ends (only three more to go so I’m well on target).

It’s our job to make sure we understand the intricacies of the market, in particular the demand for auction vehicles at this time of year, and this is usually a productive exercise in understanding what the coming weeks have in store. 

I’m pleased to say that wherever my gavel falls – be it Shotts in Scotland, or Plymouth in the South of England – the demand for quality used vehicles is strong. In truth we’re a pessimistic lot in the motor trade, always looking for the next fall off the cliff, but I urge everyone to make the most of the market as it is today, to ride the crest of the wave, as I don’t see it changing for some time. 

The CAP value reductions this year have been widely discussed and I believe these have accentuated the rise in prices, but despite this, conversions and prices are unbelievable for this time of year. 

My recent travels have allowed me to catch up with old industry friends and everyone is equally amazed at the strength of the markets. 

As we get ever closer to the festive season, we will see the pre-Christmas buying fever coming into play. If demand continues to out-weigh supply, I believe we will see even higher prices and conversion rates.

Stuart Peak - LCVs

Stuart Peak on Manheim rostrum

You may remember in my last blog I mentioned a rare Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Access Platform that was for sale at Manheim Gloucester. I had my thoughts on what it would achieve, and safe to say I was not too far off the mark.

Understandably, there was a lot of interest with a flurry of bids from buyers on the phone, hands waving like mad. The vehicle itself did not take too long to offer and staying in £500 bid increments ensured that I was able to get to where we needed to be quickly! 

Opportunities like this do not come around too often and we thank LeasePlan for putting their trust in us to be able to deliver and remarket this unique vehicle for them. I won’t say how much it made but between Manheim and LeasePlan’s expertise, we were all singing along the same hymn sheet and able to achieve a price that we were happy with.
So, on to the LCV market in November, and all in all performance has continued along the same trend as October with strong performance across the board.

Our auction halls remain busy and we’re still seeing large numbers of users logging in to our auctions via Simulcast. Online ‘Buy Now’ events with fresh stock continue to perform well and help to reduce days to sell. 

Feedback from the trade so far this month is that retail activity has slowed down, although buyers are still keen to keep their forecourts stocked up. At the end of the day, you can’t sell empty spaces unless you own a car park! 

I spoke to one buyer after the sale at Shepshed yesterday and he enlightened me to the fact that he had achieved his record month in October in 37 years of trading. However, this month has been different for him and whilst he has still sold vehicles, enquiries have slowed right down, and sales have dropped. He is predicting that he will sell half the amount in November compared to October, not a huge surprise with Christmas just around the corner. 

On the other hand, another of our loyal buyers has had a great start to the month. By cherry picking different stock to his usual profile, he ended up selling four vans yesterday afternoon to four different customers – all in the space of 30 minutes after returning from our auction at Manheim Shepshed. It’s always great to hear stories like this and long may it continue!

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