CV Market Tracker - Tale of two halves in robust wholesale van market
- LCV volumes up +8% Year on Year (YoY) at Manheim in December, as buyers looked to pick up stock all the way through to Christmas
- After policy-led stockpiling of the first half of 2019, later months saw a market returning to position of strength and stability
- Buyer attendance throughout the lanes and online showed healthy appetite, with attendees reporting positive expectations for 2020
The lanes were buzzing at December for the UK’s number one CV auction company, Manheim, as vendors and buyers saw a Month on Month (MoM) increase in volumes, values and conversion rates to mark out what ultimately became a positive conclusion to a turbulent year.
With Society of Motor Manufacturer and Trader (SMMT) figures putting 2019 as the UK’s third best result for new van sales, appetite was matched in the auction halls, with Manheim seeing its overall used van sold volume increase by +2% on 2018 results, surging +8% MoM in December.
First time conversion rates jumped +1.7% MoM in December, to 82.6%, with four fifths of vans at Manheim sold on the first time of asking during 2019. That’s a +3.8% improvement on 2018 figures. Meanwhile, performance against the guide prices was also strong, at 97.66% in December, up +0.77% on the previous month.
There was little change in the average age and mileage of vehicles between November and December; however, both metrics were up overall compared with 2018, reflecting the stockpiling and delayed replacement cycles which took place in the early part of the year.
Matthew Davock, Manheim’s Director of Commercial Vehicles, said: “The robust run-up to the festive period looks set to continue into 2020, with strong demand throughout January reflecting overall retail positivity. This is likely to be coupled with a seasonal shortage of supply, as vendors wait to the end of the month, or even into February, before picking up their de-fleet activity.”
As noted in previous months, the upgrade to Euro 6 marked a key shift for 2019, with many lease providers taking the opportunity to upgrade their vans to meet the current and forthcoming ULEZ and CAZ charging zones, while early adopters looked to replace their ageing Euro 4 and 5 fleets. By year end, Euro 6 represented almost a quarter (24%) of average sold volume.
Online sales penetration continued to remain high, with 41% of LCVs sold in December going to an online bidder, matching an overall trend for the year of 42% of vehicles changing hands via Buy Now or Simulcast online transactions. Looking just at simulcast, the online/physical split at auction hovered around 33% online compared with 67% in the lanes.
Davock added: “The availability of stock 24/7/365 continues to be a significance draw for many of our buyers, who expect to be able to do business on their terms. With customers looking to purchase day and night, year-round, retailers are showing strong demand for transacting and sourcing stock online.”
Looking ahead, Davock expects political and economic factors will continue to drive fluctuations in the new and used van markets. He said: “Many of the questions over tariffs, legislation, taxation and CAZ implementation with plagued operators in 2019 have not yet been resolved. We can assume, therefore, that we will see an overall positive trend towards volumes and activity; however, with the caveat that significant percentage swings remain likely to respond to an ever-evolving business environment.”