By Roger Woodward, managing director, CD Auction Group
You’ll have read in Fleet News that some auction companies are reporting falling wholesale values as the supply of part-exchanges into the market grows.
But that’s not our experience and, I suspect, not the true picture for most vendors at the core of the fleet and business market.
Why? Well, there’s a big difference between trade demand for an ‘unwanted’ retail part-exchange vehicle and a good quality, well maintained ex-lease vehicle.
The latter are still in short supply and fetching good money – especially if they’re the right spec and colour.
It all goes to show the dangers of a broad-brush approach to market trends and statistics.
This is a business where some operators are pumping through literally thousands of cars a day; yet each one is different (colour, mileage, condition) and reaches a different price.
You may not be surprised to hear that I’m a fan of the ‘small is beautiful’ approach where each vehicle is remarketed individually and given the attention it deserves to maximise value in the market.
That should mean making decisions about storage, strategic refurbishment and sale date in close discussion with a remarketing partner who understands the market; not being bounced into the next available mega-sale.
And there’s at least one other advantage to ‘small is beautiful’.
Despite the boom in online auctions, nobody can be in two places at once and few professional buyers are bidding on more than one sale at a time.
They need to know where to find you. So, if you place your stock with one partner, you have a far better chance of standing out from the crowd and building up a following in the buyer community.
Right now, I don’t see the supply situation easing and I don’t see that changing.
There were simply not enough new fleet cars being bought three or four years ago.
So values will remain stable and relatively high in the short to medium term; which is worth bearing in mind if you’re thinking it’s about time for a defleet.