The Gavel - September 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 expected, we saw lower footfall across our sites in August due to the summer holidays and people spending time with their families. Speaking to those dealers that could make it to an auction last month, it seems they were seeing a similar drop off in footfall in the retail space, which naturally has a knock-on effect to auction attendances.  

With CAP values on cars returning to a cycle of reductions each month, used vehicles are finally starting to become depreciating assets again; one that buyers can now seemingly look at and see real value in, not just in terms of getting the best margins, but also quicker turnarounds.  

Still, the usual story of cars that require little or no prep being popular remains, with those models often surpassing CAP values. Those vehicles with perceived issues are trickier, but in most cases we can find a buyer, providing the vendor is savvy and knows their market and audience. 

Bucking recent trends, we saw a noticeable dip in appetite for late year, low mileage cars in August as some buyers of these cars were on buying freezes, either self-imposed for independents or group instructions for our larger buyers. 

More generally, stock levels at Manheim have been very healthy and we saw an increase in sold volumes year-on-year. I would expect this to continue through to September and beyond, albeit with some increased buyer demand now the summer holidays are over to help snap up the incredible variety of stock we have going through the lanes. 

Stuart Peak - LCVs

Stuart Peak on Manheim rostrum

Looking back at Manheim’s LCV performance in August, the results were simply staggering. 

August tends to be a slower month, but we had plenty of stock available from our market-leading vendor base who were keen to keep the wheels turning, as well as the right level of demand from buyers. 

The result was a record August for the volume of LCVs sold. I mentioned in last month’s blog that CV arrivals had increased by 27% vs. the same period in 2022, and this trend has certainly continued over the last month. 

There have been some notable movements in guide values in recent months which has made it easier for vendors to make sales decisions. With an abundance of small vans now in the market – a sector that was starved for so long – we have started to see prices realign after the record-breaking prices at the end of 2022 the start of 2023.  

A quick scan of any social media channel shows there are deals to be had on new vans now, something that has not been witnessed over the last three years. Whilst the deals may not be quite as competitive as what they were pre-covid, it signals that there are finally more new vans available and that supply chains have eased. This is exactly what the market needs as there is unquestionably an ever-increasing demand for both new and used product.  

Shifting the focus back onto Manheim, I am delighted to announce we are re-launching our LCV physical sale at Shotts in Scotland on Thursday 14thSeptember. The sale will run fortnightly starting a 2pm, offering up to 150 quality vans from the likes of AVIS, Arval, XBG, Rivus, Royal Mail amongst many others. Launching this sale at Shotts is key to our LCV strategy and cements our number one position in the commercial vehicle space, giving customers the biggest range of hybrid LCV sales in the UK to choose to buy and sell from. 

In summary, the market was excellent in August and early signs in September are of a similar nature. There is a lot to get excited about for the remainder of 2023, not least our brand-new sale. If you can’t make it to Shotts on Thursday 14th, don’t forget you can join us online instead.

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