Motor Industry News
As we enter January the used car market usually picks itself back up again after the December lull. Potential buyers have been distracted by Christmas and are suddenly left with free time at home as we enter the New Year. With the nightmare of Christmas shopping still a fresh thought, buyers start to look at car dealerships for a change! Traders see increased footfall and telephone enquiries, which in turn creates more deals! Dealers who were pro-active in December and bought the right stock at the right money will be feeling the benefit in early January. This increased activity is sure to fall off towards the middle of the month as buyers are back to work and fall back into their daily routine.
Where's the snow?
Everybody was expecting the wintery weather mayhem that we've come to expect over the last couple of years. So far we have escaped the worst of it. Does this mean that the dealers hoping to capitalise on the 4x4 sales due to the bad weather are suffering? Not at all. Buyers have been snapping up diesel 4x4s, especially at one to three years old.
UK to go left-hand drive?
Across Europe some manufacturers have continued to produce huge numbers of cars even though demand has tailed off dramatically. This has left masses of unsold brand new cars sat without a home. With no mainland European market to satisfy the already built vehicles, manufacturers are looking at the UK daily rental market as a way out. The bulk of the unsold stock is left hand drive. Clearly this would make the cars unsalable in the UK. Manufacturers are so desperate to dig themselves out of the hole that they are looking at the feasibility of converting the cars to right hand drive in order to clear the back log. If this plan goes ahead there are likely to be major consequences to the value of any models arriving in droves via the daily rental market come disposal time. Watch this space.
Values strengthen for some
The market is set to pick up into January and as such we have lifted values by four per cent on average. The usual undesirable culprits have been dropped by a further two per cent on last month. Older mid-sized cars such as Mondeo fall into this bracket. For the first time, we have singled out electric cars and dropped them by two to three per cent. Their high retail price and limited usability have strangled new sales. They are struggling to make anywhere near the used values than many people initially predicted.
December was a lot warmer than anticipated and the market remained buoyant for longer than the trade were expecting. January will be a slow start, but there will be a rush to buy stock when the shortage hits again. Anything in Ready to Retail condition will be gone. There are not many small vans around. If you want a CDV then you will have to look for it and perhaps pay a bit more for one. Ford Transit Connect short wheelbase vans are around in numbers. If it's anything other than white it will struggle.
Long-wheelbase variants have to be 90PS otherwise they still have no interest, with speed limiters also having a negative effect. There are plenty of desirable medium-sized vans available. There are a lot of Yellow Transits in the market and even with high mileage they are finding trade buyers. Late Volkswagen Transporters are struggling to make trade money but anything older, or in an odd colour will make RTR Values. There are a plenty of medium-wheelbase Vauxhall Movanos about to hit the market, but with the stock shortage we will see if that affects values on them. Long wheelbase vans have to be tidy and if so the badge doesn't matter as long as it's tidy. Anything that requires any work has to be cheap or very low mileage, Luton variants are proving very desirable. Tippers have to be tidy.
At the dawn of 2012 the bike trade feels to be in a semi-state of limbo. December was pretty flat with some flickers of life but generally felt like a natural wind down to year end as customers had sights set on the festive celebrations. Consequently beyond a few model adjustments then values remain pretty much unchanged this month. Looking ahead, then there appears to be a trepid air of expectation as to how the next few months will develop. As usual there are the range of emotions from total 'doom and gloom' to just being pro-active making the most of any opportunity.
The internet has become the major marketing tool for both new and used bikes, with location and display counting for less. Having the stock and displaying it correctly on-line is more important. With eroded margin on new product, the validity of carrying large numbers of new stock is just not financially viable. This isn't what the manufacturers and importers want in terms of promoting their bikes, but it could have a bearing upon the future profile of the Bike trade as a whole.
VIPDATA is part of CDL Vehicle Information Services Ltd (CDL VIS) the vehicle data arm of CDL Group Holdings Ltd, based in Stockport, Cheshire. www.cdl.co.uk
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