Fleet News

'Steady as she goes' as market sees stability - by Alex Wright, group commercial vehicle manager, Manheim Auctions

'THE market is currently enjoying a period of consistency, not experiencing any of the huge peaks or dips in the market that have become so common place in recent years. The market is very steady and we can assume a long-term confidence, with no reason to predict any boom or bust periods.

The rental companies are putting more stock into the market and the best sellers continue to be the clean, well-prepared vehicles, no matter what make, model or age. In addition, the new Transit has established itself well, assuming the position of the old shape Transit, faring well at auction.

The 'late-and-low' market is volatile and very much dependant on what the importers are supplying.

Currently, there is a low supply, which is increasing demand and helping the market to remain strong. There is continuity of price on the forecourt.

The three to five-year-old sector is very strong, with prices being based purely on vehicle condition. If the vehicle is well prepared and clean, it will achieve far in excess of book price, especially while there is a shortage of vehicles, helping to increase demand.

Smaller vehicles will achieve up to £3,000 and larger panel vans up to £5,000.

The export market is currently ticking over, but not as strongly as five years ago and high mileage commercial vehicles are following the trends of the car market, especially where smaller vehicles are concerned. For larger vehicles, high mileage is less of an issue and does not impact quite so heavily on the residual value.

The market was expected to experience the usual post-Easter lull, but it did not happen this year. Summer is traditionally a slower period with holidays becoming so many people's focus. However, due to the general buoyancy of the market, we do not expect to see the usual downturn.

Manheim Auction's prediction for the remainder of 2002 is the continuation of a consistent market without the 'boom or bust' scenarios of recent years and an anticipated strong month for September.'

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