Andy Conde on Manheim rostrum

The Gavel - April 2023

< next story   |   back to news   |   previous story >

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 warmer weather and lighter nights are finally arriving and there continues to be a spring in the step of our remarketing business. As I mentioned in last month’s update, new stock supply has improved ahead of so far this year and the knock-on effect in the wholesale market is a positive one: more vehicles hitting our auction lanes.  

Indeed, I’ve felt like a broken record for three years talking about a lack of used car supply so it’s good to have some positivity in this regard. Buyer demand for quality used stock remains as strong as ever also, meaning for the right vehicles it’s relatively simple to find a buyer. 

As ever, the later year, lower mileage stock is being snapped up immediately and at a premium. There is never enough of this type of vehicle to go around, so buyers are prepared to pay more when it does appear in an auction. To give you an idea of how precious this stock is, at a 200-car sale I recently auctioneered, less than 10% of the vehicles on offer were grade 1.  

The stock is still there to be found, particularly from manufacturer vendors which are consistently seeing 100% conversion rates, but we are certainly operating in a different market to the one many buyers had been used to pre-2020. 

We are also starting to see a significant change in buying habits towards the older, poorer quality stock. I’m a firm believer that these vehicles need to be priced accordingly if they are to find a new home, and as I consistently remind our vendors, our auctioneers are not always magicians. We use gavels, not wands! 

There is still a buyer-base for those lower grade vehicles with some prepared to take on the additional refurbishment work needed. But as the costs increase and the workshops fill up, I believe this will soon change. 

As ever these days, the hot topic is used EVs and I’m happy to report we have seen an improvement on the sale of EVs, especially the two and three-year-old product. Prices are still volatile for these vehicles, but the guides have reduced so much that they are now looking very good value for money. 

Stuart Peak - LCVs

Stuart Peak on Manheim rostrum

In the blink of an eye, Q1 is over! Hardly a surprise considering how busy our sites and sales have been throughout the early months of 2023. Overall, this was the perfect start to the year we had all hoped for, with increased stock levels and a very buoyant market. Physical and online attendance at all sales events remains excellent, and that has continued into April which traditionally can be one of the more challenging months of the year. 

Most sectors performed well in March, but we saw outstanding performance with panel van, minibus and fridge panel product. Half of everything we sold last month was a panel van, and performance was great too with first-time conversions for these vehicles being 85%, and average prices at just over 102% guide. On the other hand, fridge box product achieved 80% of guide values throughout the month, but first-time conversions remained consistent at 80%.  

We have also seen an abundance of small vans entering the lanes and we expect to see this trend continue over the coming months. Partner, Berlingo, Connect, Combo and Doblo all sold very well, and with stock in our sales to suit every budget, everyone was well catered for.  

Over the last three weeks we have seen a spike in auction arrivals with a 33% increase vs the same period last year. I can see this continuing over the next few months and beyond, as new vans hit the road that may have been ordered 18 months ago. We expect to see some ‘tired’ looking stock come back, but I have also been impressed with the condition of many of the older vans that we have sold over the last month. Who would have thought 13-year-old Combo’s could still make more than £2,000! 

I’m getting feedback from various trade and industry partners that retail demand has been excellent so far this year, so everyone is keen to stock up and keep the wheels turning. To summarise, we have had a fantastic start to 2023, and look forward to seeing what the coming months bring.

Y Close
Login to your account