Andy Conde on Manheim rostrum

The Gavel - November 2022

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Wholesale market opinion from our resident car and LCV auction experts, Andy Conde and Stuart Peak.

Andy Conde - cars

Andy Conde on Manheim Rostrum

The auction market continues to buck the trend of the general economic conditions we find ourselves in. The demand for quality used cars is as strong as ever and those older gems with one or two owners and under 70k miles are much sought after. It is clear however that the skills of our auctioneers and the experience of the quality disposal managers stood on the rostrums makes such a difference when it comes to not only getting that extra bid, but also in ensuring the cake is big enough for everyone to have a slice. Profit is not a dirty word!  

We have seen some spectacular results over the past month, particularly in the manufacturer sector. I was privileged to conduct an offsite sale that saw a 100% conversion, and with vehicles selling for 110% CAP. What stood out most was the hunger for anything and everything electric. 

Elsewhere, we have seen many of our fleet and finance vendors enjoy a big increase in physical auction footfall and this has resulted in some eye watering prices and very high conversion rates as battles across the auction hall floor pick up where they were left off more than two years ago. 

The main dealer sectors also continue to be strong, with vendors reporting high profit returns on their stock. 

Again, we have not seen a big increase in volume but the vast majority of what we are getting is selling first time. Condition is key though, and our buyers want vehicles they can buy clean and sell within days without spending excessive amounts of money on refurbishment. So much so they are prepared to pay premium price for this. 

As 2022 draws to a close, we remain in uncertain times and reports of a long and deep recession will only increase nervousness. But as I drive up and down our motorway network, there is certainly no reduction in the number of vehicles on our roads and as 2023 draws nearer I anticipate a very strong start to the new year, albeit there will come a time when we may have to cut our cloths accordingly.

Stuart Peak - LCVs

Stuart Peak on Manheim rostrum

At Manheim we’re proud to offer customers with the choice of how they buy and sell vehicles. In recent months we have reopened all our sites to physical auctions and delivered a fresh hybrid LCV auction programme to boot.  

In that time, we have seen the number of physical buyers in our halls steadily increase, and unsurprisingly, the volumes of vans sold to physical buyers has also increased each month. In October, 25% of all vans sold went to a physical buyer, up by 3% compared to the previous month.  

When you break down the data further, clear buying patterns between younger and older vans emerge. For example, in October, 34% of Euro 5 vans on offer went to physical buyers, compared to just 19% of Euro 6 vans. This suggests to me that buyers are keener to see and touch the vehicle if it’s older, whereas buyers of newer vans are generally happy to buy online. For reference, around 60% of vans before Covid went to a physical buyer.  

We all know the world has changed since the pandemic, no one can deny that. We can all shout from the rooftops about holding physical or online sales, it is how the world was prior to Covid so in that sense, not a lot has changed. The main change has been with supply, whether that is vehicles or parts. It’s an industry-wide issue and one that is having an effect in almost every other industry away from ours. Auction catalogues are now roughly 22% less than what we would have seen before, and I don’t see this changing any time soon.  

Reflecting on October, we saw first-time conversions increase by a fraction, up by 1.2% vs September with 81.2% selling first time. Our sold volumes were 17% higher compared to last year and days to sell improved slightly by one day. Average selling price reduced by £693, down to £9,633, but both average age and mileage increased vs September so this reduction in average selling price was fully expected. Demand remains strong, and appetite continues to outstrip supply. All told, the market is in great shape to see us out to the end of the year. 

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