Ten years ago, premium brand dealers such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi only ever retailed sub 12-month old stock with less than 10,000 miles that had either come direct from the manufacturer or from a rental buy-back arrangement.
However, premium brands have now opened up their used buying policies to include ex-fleet stock of three, four and five years of age in a bid to sell more used cars.
The premium OEMs still only retail used cars from their own brand, but recently we saw further evidence how times are changing with a BMW dealer buying a 100,000 mile M5 from the Autorola online platform to satisfy a customer order or to create interest with drivers on the forecourt.
This type of purchase by a BMW dealer would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.
More of the volume brands are also now adopting a policy of brand repatriation and the numbers of used cars going back into their dealers continues to increase. Franchised dealers continue to invest in building the profile and popularity of used vehicles in their local market place.
Just by analysing the used cars that Peugeot and Citroën dealers have purchased, via our online platform volumes, you can see the appetite for brand repatriation. Almost all (96.5%) of used vehicles Peugeot dealers have bought online since 2010 have been Peugeots, while 95% of the used vehicles Citroën dealers have bought online have been Citroëns. This has been helped by the growth in personal contract purchase (PCP), with dealers hanging onto own-brand part exchanges to retail them and being very proactive in sourcing additional own-brand stock. This has strengthened residual values for OEMs, on a region-by-region basis, as franchised dealers are prepared to pay more for to get a car back onto their own forecourt.
Repatriation continues to be good news for the used car market. It is likely that it will continue to grow in influence, as challenger manufacturer brands focus their attention on gaining control of used vehicle supply and pricing – as well as retaining control of their new vehicle supply.