The Gavel - October 2023

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Wholesale market opinion from our resident car and LCV auction experts, Kevin Blincowe and Stuart Peak.

Kevin Blincowe - cars

Kevin Blincowe on Manheim Rostrum

As we enter the final quarter of 2023, I can look back on September as another very solid month for used cars at Manheim.  

Several successive book drops meant that the majority of cars looked like good value again at auction. You get the sense that the buyers are beginning to see this value as well, a physical and virtual bids came flying in.  

Conversion rates remain steady and we are seeing consistency in results for our key customers as our auctioneers drive performance to get as many units converted as possible. I would also like to take a moment to commend the great work our Buyer Services team do. They are an important cog in the wheel that helps to secure so many great results for our customers, all with a smile as is the Manheim way. 

September has some amazing figures in terms of buyer stats:  

  • 94 new buyers to Manheim purchasing hundreds of cars in September.  
  • 239 of our existing buyers were encouraged to make the trip to a site that they had never bought from before.  
  • 2,653 active buyers in our halls or online, a figure that is up year-on-year.  

    Our action-packed sales programme and hybrid approach is something that buyers are truly excited to be a part of and we are seeing hall attendances rise every week as buyers are eager to touch the metal. 

    Looking ahead to October, we have more good news to shout about (all of which happens on the same day coincidentally). Firstly, the last sale of our RAA Mega Event is happening in Birmingham on Monday 16th October. Then we have Birmingham which relaunches its Monday sales programme the same day – something which has been a long time coming at our largest midlands centre. Finally, we welcome Motability to Colchester on – you guessed it – Monday 16th, with a large entry of cars to be sold. I look forward to updating you on all these in next month’s update! 

    Stuart Peak - LCVs

    Stuart Peak on Manheim rostrum

    With Q3 now firmly under our belts, it’s safe to say we have had a lot to celebrate. 

    Manheim’s overall sold volumes of LCVs increased by a whopping 24% vs Q3 2022, which I was very pleased to see as the summer is often a more challenging time for the market. In September alone we saw a year-on-year increase of 40%. 

    Buyer appetite was also strong, particularly in August and September, and I have been hearing from buyers that retail activity has been good despite the economic challenges. 

    Diving deeper into the data, in September we saw the average age of vans at Manheim fall to below 70 months for the first time, and the average mileage also dropped to 76,000. Coinciding with the change in stock profile, we saw an improvement in the average sales price by more than £1,100 compared to August – now up to £9,415.  

    Looking back at September as whole, some large defleet replacements were placed on hold, and some have slowed down naturally as we approach the Christmas period. Early signs in October have been very pleasing, as buyers compete to own stock that they have been starved of over the past month as defleet programmes kick back into gear. Arrivals at our auction sites remain consistent, and we have seen the number of arrivals improve by 20% over the last 20 weeks – a trend I expect to see continue for the remainder of 2023. 

    Despite the great weather of late, we firmly have the summer holidays behind us now, but it has been great to get out to many of our sites and visit some customers along the way. In particular, it was a pleasure to return to our centre in Shotts for the launch of our fortnightly LCV sale where I saw so many recognisable faces back in the auction lane.  

    As ever, there is a lot going on in the commercial vehicle world, but for now I want to say a big thank you to all of our customers for your ongoing support.

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