Record first quarter for used van sales

Manheim Commercial Vehicles saw record sales in the first quarter of 2016, with 100% conversion rates, the highest number of in-lane and online auction events held and a record number of vans sold to online buyers.

Matthew Davock, head of LCV at Manheim, said: “In my opinion, this quarter has been one of the strongest on record in terms of performance, conversion and buyer attendance. We have seen a record number of sales with 100% conversion rates, where we have sold every single commercial vehicle offered, helped by a 58% year-on-year increase in new CV buyer accounts being opened – 763 since January.”

Manheim saw the average selling price increase by 6.4% (£295) compared to Q1 2015, to a figure of £4,869. On average, commercial vehicle units sold have the same age as those sold in the first quarter of 2015 – 65 months – with slightly lower mileage (81,030 compared to 82,360) but days in stock have reduced on average by three days, so commercial vehicles at Manheim are selling faster.

Davock puts this down to Manheim diversifying its range of sales channels, with an increased focus on the Simulcast online bidding platform and the creation of a Mobile Auction Unit.  Manheim's new 360-degree imagery, which launched at Shepshed, is providing online buyers with "much greater visual detail", according to Davock, and there are plans to roll it out across all auction centres by the end of the year.

In the first three months of 2016, four out of 10 vans have sold to online buyers – a 15% year-on-year increase – and nearly 75% have received an online bid, which is 30% up on the same period in 2015. At Manheim’s auctions, buyers can also use their NextGear Capital stocking plan, and a record number of buyers, 173 individual CV dealers, bought with NextGear Capital at Manheim in the first quarter.

As well as Manheim’s investment in technology, it has also focused on building its buyer base, with 763 new commercial vehicle buyer accounts opened in Q1 2016.

Car-derived van and small panel vans are best performers

In terms of sector performance, Davock commented: “We have seen car-derived van and small panel vans performing most strongly against guide prices. There has been much less duplicate product in the car derived market in 2016, which has increased buyer confidence and thus demand.

“Tipper and dropside product has been the most challenging during quarter one, as this sector has been impacted by large de-fleet volumes and certain return conditions have played a major factor. Buyers have been selecting the cleaner, low-mileage examples first, and holding small volumes in stock, knowing there is a plentiful supply of stock available in wholesale channels.

“Large panel vans have also been under pressure during the first quarter, mainly due to the amount of heavily-damaged and extended-life stock being de-fleeted. We have also seen an increase of daily rental late-plate vans enter the marketplace compared to 2015, particularly long-wheelbase product, for which the overall hammer price has been affected by the fantastic deals on new.

“Late plate, low mileage 4x4 units have proved more challenging in the market, with buyers comparing these against heavily-discounted new models. More positively, there has been strong buyer activity from the export market on certain models, resulting in strong performance against guide.

“For all segments, mileage and overall condition remains to be the driving force around demand. For example, 2011 and 2012 models for most manufacturers with 60,000 miles and in clean condition have a massive following, as all buyers are currently chasing this age and stock profile. Conversely, 63-plate and younger stock remains a slight concern given the fantastic deals being offered on new vans. Some 14- and 64-plate vans have a used auction guide price higher than new 16-plate models.

“Overall, we need to make sure that we are pricing heavily-damaged stock and duplicate product at the correct market reserve price. From this, the conversion rates and buyer demand will follow, and vendors who take all of these pre-sale aspects into account will reap the best performance at hammer time.”


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